Here are 3 Important Things to Consider on the Journey to Conceiving:
1. When trying to conceive, your partners health matters too.
Women tend to get the short end of the stick on this journey because they are the ones who carry the child, but the seed is just as important as the soil when it comes to conception. Both the egg AND the sperm play equal roles in not only the ability to conceive but to carry a full-term pregnancy and have a healthy baby. In fact, the first trimester is heavily dependent on the health of the sperm because it is responsible for building the placenta that grows in those first 12 weeks. Things like morning sickness and miscarriage that happen in the first trimester are a strong indicator that the health of the sperm is involved, even if a sperm analysis test comes back “normal”. A passing sperm analysis test does not let the guys off the hook. In order to get a passing test when looking at OPTIMAL levels of morphology, motility and count only 4% of the sperm have to possess all the qualities that attribute to good health and fertility. That is not enough to rule out the possibility that the sperm may be contributing to the issues. This is why we work from a place of creating health physically, chemically and emotionally for you AND your partner.
My best advice to these couples is to begin this preparation process BEFORE trying to conceive. Building a strong foundation is key in having a beautiful pregnancy, a healthy baby and a wonderful postpartum period. The life cycle of an egg is 120 days and the life cycle of sperm is 60, this is why we recommend doing this work for at least 120 days before trying to conceive. Doing this will allow for the healthiest egg and sperm to be available for conception and allow mama to get herself out of a depleted state (if she is in one) to support the demands a growing baby places on her body. When it comes to your health and your body’s ability to heal the best time to start is now, no matter where you’re at in your journey, it’s worth it.
2. Pain during pregnancy is NOT normal.
Is it common? Absolutely. There are so many things changing during this special time, including an increase in physical stress on your body as your baby grows. This increase in stress can be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” if you don’t have a strong foundation with proper structure and function to support these changes. This is where Chiropractic care comes in. Structurally and neurologically, it can help your body adapt beautifully to all of the changes that happen during your pregnancy. By checking the spine and adjusting the areas that are out of place and stuck enough to cause nerve damage, we can restore function and motion while reducing pain as you grow through this beautiful time. Studies have also shown that routine chiropractic care reduces labor and delivery times and optimizes fetal positioning allowing baby to get head down and ready for birth when the time is right. Finding an ICPA webster certified chiropractor to care for you during your pregnancy will not only help reduce pain and discomfort, but it will also dramatically improve the quality of your pregnancy, labor and delivery.
3. The best thing you can do for yourself postpartum is get the care that you need.
While giving birth is what our bodies are made to do, there can still a lot of recovery that needs to happen on the other side. Asking for help where you need it will allow you to be at your best for you and your new baby. My best advice is to set up as much of your support system as you can prior to giving birth, this will give you less to worry about after the baby comes. My personal support system outside of my husband and family throughout my pregnancy included a prenatal and pediatric specialized Chiropractor, a massage therapist, a doula and a midwife. These may all seem to be people that are only helpful through your pregnancy and your birth, but every single one of these people showed up for me during my postpartum period as well. At my 7-week follow up appointment after the birth I couldn’t even have an internal exam done. My midwife already knew how hard my birth had been on my heart and on my body so after this appointment she referred me to Breathe. to start pelvic floor physical therapy. I was 3 months postpartum when I had my first appointment. I was still having a lot of pain from the episiotomy that was causing extreme pain when I would try to go to the bathroom. In the beginning I tried to “tough it out” telling myself that it was going to take time and to be patient, this didn’t last long before I realized that I needed help, and that was ok. I was nervous and scared for my first appointment because I knew that an internal exam would be happening based on what I needed. After everything that I had gone through already I couldn’t stand the thought of anything else “happening” down there. Two months later, I could go the bathroom without pain, exercise and even have sex! Something I honestly thought would never happen again (dramatic I know, but it was my reality at the time). I am no longer terrified of this area of my body, not only have I healed physically I have been able to heal emotionally and reconnect with my body.
My point in telling you this is because I know that I am not the only mama out there who feels like her body failed her and her baby. And while this is NOT true in the slightest, it doesn’t mean the feelings aren’t real. I had to get over myself and look at this part of my journey as another amazing opportunity to heal and to watch my body change and adapt to life after birth. Physical therapy is the only thing I added after the birth that I didn’t already have on my team going into it. I strongly believe no matter how beautiful you birth is, every single woman deserves to give this gift to herself. Your body is the most brilliant and resilient thing you have, if you don’t take of it no one else will. You deserve to be at your best, not just without symptoms. Waiting for symptoms to start chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, or anything else is like waiting for a cavity to hurt before you fill it. Seek out the professionals in your area that can help you understand what your body may need before, during and after your pregnancy. Even if you feel good it doesn’t mean that you’re at your best or that you don’t have any underlying issues. If there is ever a time in your life where you deserve to be at your very best, it’s on this beautiful journey to becoming a mother.