Pregnancy puts pressure on the soon to be mother’s body. The growing fetus gradually pulls the low back forward causing the spine to shorten and become compressed. Finally, with the crescendo of birth, the spine is left to reconfigure.
Breastfeeding brings new challenges to the structure of a new mom. Sitting for extended, frequent periods while nursing a newborn tends to coax the mid/low back backwards while bringing the head and neck forward. This creates compression and misalignment of the vertebrae.
Hormonal challenges add to the postural demands of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Elevated levels of estrogen, progesterone, prolactin and relaxin can result in ligamentous laxity. This means the woman’s body at this stage is softer. The supportive structures are more giving. This can render a young mother more vulnerable to any preexisting structural weaknesses that was present before pregnancy.
Young moms often come to our office with neck and low back issues. Additionally, they complain of poor posture and a general sense that they have lost their pre-pregnant youthful bodies. They want to get back into shape and reclaim the feeling of lift and vitality they fondly remember.
This is an excellent time to see a Rolfer. Why?
- To restore verticality and lift to the spine. As hormonal levels normalize, Rolfing can help the spine to reconfigure with out compression.
- To ease and align tired, tight muscles of the shoulders and arms which have been holing and supporting the baby.
- To release chest muscles that have shortened from the stress of nursing and carrying the weight of engorged breasts.
- To bring breath and width into the rib cage while releasing the diahram (breathing muscle.)
- To bring the head back over the trunk, eliminating neck pain and tension headaches.
- To refresh the new mother’s grounding to the earth. Healthy feet with well functioning arches provide shock absorption and a stable foundation for the rest of the body.
A happy baby is mirrored in the eyes of a happy Mom.
Featured Image Credit: Mother breastfeeding her child | www.mirror.co.uk