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If Mom Ain't Happy: The Stresses of Being Motherhood

Hands on womans backThis month, we are exploring stress: the different varieties and solutions. If you missed the first post on physical and career stress, read it here.

In 2017, there were an estimated 43.5 million mothers in the USA. Many moms are fulfilling multiple roles, both inside or outside their homes, doing everything from working a 9-5, to getting everyone fed, to chauffeuring kids to appointments and sports.

With pregnancy and birth, every kind of stress is compounded. That includes chemical stressors, as many hormones are needed for each trimester and postpartum.

The hormone relaxin relaxes cartilage and tendons to help a mother’s body stretch for pregnancy and birth. This hormone causes her body to subluxate more easily. Relaxin stays at a high level in a mother’s system after the birth for about five to six months on average, and continues to affect a woman’s body as a whole. Women who have had more than one pregnancy will have higher levels.

Relaxin compounds the physical stresses of motherhood, such as breastfeeding.

As moms focus on their babies latching and feeding, nursing can lead to a slouched position that affects their neck and upper back. A chiropractic adjustment for mom and baby can help breastfeeding to be a better experience for both.

“You’ve got your hands full,” is a fairly common thing for many moms to hear. Baby carrier, backpack, carseat, toddler: mom is carrying it all! And that adds extra weight on the hips, shoulders and thighs. Many of these weights will are unequally distributed, as she favors one hip for carrying a baby or car seat, leading to a subluxation that needs to be addressed and corrected with chiropractic care.

Emotional Stress of Being Mom

While feeling these painful and fatiguing physical symptoms, moms are also trying to show up for their kids. Being patient with a colicky baby or toddler that needs attention or an older child with their own tensions, adds to any woman’s stress levels.

For new moms, there’s a lot of pressure to enjoy your newborn and to be excited for motherhood. After birth, hormones dip naturally, causing emotional lows. Postpartum depression is common and needs to be discussed, free from stigma and shame. (Find more answers and help here.)

Being adjusted allows a mother’s hormones levels to balance better when she is well-adjusted, and allows her body to function better throughout her life and transitions.

More Resources and Suggestions

At the end of the day, take some time to calm down before bed. Lay down on the floor and use a rolled towel under your neck to increase the curvature for a few moments.

In the car, intentionally press your head back against the rest to improve your posture.

When exercising, emphasize strengthening and opening the back muscles. Do twice as many exercises as you do chest exercises.

Get Help

If you or a mother you know is struggling with any type of stress, book an appointment for an evaluation and adjustment with Dr. Katie today.

Dr. Katie Schlein D.C. is a family chiropractor located in Hillcrest, San Diego. You can learn more about her here. She specializes in prenatal, pediatric and youth athlete chiropractic care but serves families of all shapes, sizes and ages. Through mutual support and striving to understand her patients’ needs, Dr. Katie is committed to helping families reach their maximum health potential with the help of chiropractic care.

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