It’s been 9 months of physical and emotional changes. You stretched, grew, and morphed. Then you (possibly) laboured and brought your baby earth side. Whether it was a vaginal or cesarean delivery, your body has just gone through one of the most major physical triumphs one can experience. Now you’re curling into your little one as they feed and cozied up unable to move as you are their safe space as they snooze on your chest.
As a Postpartum Doula, I believe in complete support as you transition into parenthood. This time is often met with enormous changes emotionally and physically. These changes often go hand-in-hand, walking side by side. If one starts to drag its feet, it will tug on the other drawing it back. This is why it’s so important to me that I make local connections with care providers to better serve you and get you on the road to balanced recovery.
Recently, I had a conversation with a local chiropractor about perinatal chiropractic care. I loved her approach and view on caring for the whole person. She spoke with such passion on the subject and I enjoyed sharing (virtual) space with her. I later reached out to ask some additional questions that I believe hold incredible value to a recovering postpartum person. Information that isn’t typically provided in the prenatal period but crucial for a full body and mind recovery.
So, I bring to you Dr. Devin Welch and why chiropractor care is essential to recovery after childbirth!
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Dr. Devin Welch and I am a chiropractor here in Kelowna at AltaVie Health & Chiropractic Clinic. I work with all people but with a special interest in prenatal, postpartum and kids. These are stages of such great change in bodies and I love being here to offer support.
Why should someone postpartum see a chiropractor?
Postpartum can be an amazing but overwhelming time when lots of mammas are told over and over that babe comes first. Then at your 6 week check up when you’re cleared and healthy, you’re told to just continue focusing on babe. However, your body did this amazing thing for 9 months and grew another human and now it needs more time than 6 weeks to heal. Muscles need to relearn their jobs and heal to support your body properly. Chiropractors can be a great resource to help you on that journey of healing.
What are some commonly seen conditions (or why care is sought) after birth?
As mentioned above chiropractors with special training can help with the rehabilitation of your musculature to regain core (abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, muscles of your low back and diaphragm are included in your core) stability. Diastasis recti is the separation of your rectus abdominals (6 pack muscles), this is very common in pregnancy with new studies showing all women have some degree of separation after 35 weeks. This separation can heal and lessen over time but it is truly a sign of core instability more than being the problem itself. Specially trained professionals can check and determine the severity of a diastasis and then help you rehab the muscles involved. The issue with not properly rehabbing these muscles is that it can lead to low back pain, weak abdominals and stress incontinence (peeing when jumping or sneezing are examples).
There are also new stresses put on your body as a new mom when caring for a newborn. The positioning of nursing, bottle feeding or even holding babe is all new to your life. It’s not a position your body is used to holding or supporting and will take a bit for your body to accommodate. This change can cause upper back pain and tightness, neck pain or even headaches. Chiropractic can help with relieving muscle tension and helping with finding comfortable positions.
How soon after birth should someone see you?
I would recommend coming to see me 2 weeks to a month after babe arrives unless something is causing you pain and you are comfortable coming in. Allow your body some time to settle and heal from labour then come in to regain some strength and stability. However, whenever you feel ready and comfortable is a good time to come in. Remember also that babe can always come to your appointment and hangout in the treatment room if that is what makes you comfortable, or feel free to use this as some time to yourself. My practice is about meeting you where you are and getting you to where you want to be.
Benefits of chiropractic care postpartum?
Chiropractic care as a whole has the goal to allow your body to be pain free and moving optimally. This goal holds when it comes to postpartum, we want to ease any pain you are feeling and give you the tools to allow you to move optimally in this new body. If this is treating muscle tension in your shoulders from holding babe or teaching you exercises to strengthen your core. At the end of the day we are here to help you navigate this new body and get you to a place where you are able to do the things you want to do in your life.
Can you describe your approach to care?
My approach to practice is very movement based. I treat the musculature and joint issues we find and then teach you the tools to help your healing. Throughout care we will continue treating joint and muscle issues that arise and cause pain. While also progressing your exercise program and strength.
A huge thank you to Dr. Devin Welch for taking the time to answer these questions and provide information on perinatal chiropractor care!
Dr. Devin Welch can be reached at:
AltaVie Health & Chiropractic Clinic (778) 484 4414
434 Cedar Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 4X3
Website: AltaVie Health & Chiropractic Clinic | Kelowna Chiropractors
Okanagan Family Health Care (@altaviehealth)
Facebook: Dr. Devin Welch
AltaVie Health & Chiropractic Clinic