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Pregnancy: Alternative Options and Ideas for a Health Pregnancy

Alternative Options During Pregnancy

1 in 3 women gives birth by c-section in the united states.

This includes c-sections that are emergent, elective as well as those done for convenience. This statistic is on the rise.

Pregnancy is not an illness. Pregnancy in the united states is treated like an illness. It is depicted as an event that should be feared and as if all pregnancies are complicated that require intervention. In reality, less than 5% of births are complicated! While medicine has its place in pregnancy and birth, it’s important to keep this fact in mind. It’s also important to know that the tests we undergo during pregnancy are not without risk. These antenatal tests do not determine or enhance the health of the pregnancy or the child. Rather, the health and vitality we experience during pregnancy and post-birth depends upon the proactive steps taken towards wellness rather than the number of tests we undergo. Remember, your body was made to do this!

“We are the only species of mammal that doubts our ability to give Birth” – Ina May

There are some key factors that we are missing in the prenatal and delivery experience as most women experience it.

  1. Support!

Support is needed from many different aspects in order to have 40 weeks with minimal stress

  1. Empowerment

This is a big buzzword right now but it is truly needed during this time. We need to feel empowered and that have the ability and the tools needed to successfully grow and birth a healthy baby into the world. Empowerment can come from our OB’s, midwives, doulas, friends, family and of course our partners. It’s very important to find your people, figure or who supports the decisions you’ve made for your birth and hold them close!

  1. Understanding how the body works

When we begin to understand what our body is capable of, we can have confidence in the ability of our bodies.

Ask yourself:

What does a healthy pregnancy and delivery look like to you?

Knowing this will help guide your decisions through pregnancy and birth. When you know this, you can find providers and professionals that align and can support what you want. Only you can determine what health looks like to you. As long as we’re on the topic of health… We cannot judge health simply by how we feel. It’s important to determine how well your body is functioning and adapting to the stresses of life. Stressors are a major factor that affect how our bodies function. We categorize the 3 stressors at the “3 T’s”

Toxins, Traumas and Thoughts

Toxins: Toxins include the food we eat, the water we drink, cosmetics, lotion, pollution, cleaning products, pollution, etc.

Traumas: This includes any physical stress such accidents, falls, poor posture. Specifically during during our physical traumas include the growing and changing that occurs in our body.

Thoughts: This is the emotional and mental aspect. It can include self doubt, disagreements at work, fights with a loved one and worrying.

Wellness comes from what we do consistently. Good nutrition, movements, sleep, happy thoughts and chiropractic adjustments are all great ways to minimize our stressors and increase ability to adapt.

How do these stressors affect the function of your body?

Your nervous system is made up of your brain, spinal cord and nerves. This system controls every function in your body. This includes your heart beat, breathing, digestion, hormone function, the growth and development of our babies, all 5 senses and so much more!   Your bodies’ #1 job is to be resilient Nervous Systemagainst the stresses of life ie. the 3 T’s that we mentioned above.

So, what happens when stress starts to take over our bodies?   Your nervous system works similarly to a fuse box in your house. Too much input into an outlet in your house will cause to fuse to blow. Then, we have to reset the fuse before we can get electricity back to that part of the house. Your body and nervous system will blow a fuse if we have too much stress within the body. When stress builds up we blow a fuse in our body. We call that a subluxation.   There are 3 components to a subluxation:

  1. Misalignments – this occurs frequently in our body
  2. Fixation – problems arise when misalignments are stuck
  3. Stress Response – when the body has a fixation, it causes that area of your body to go “dark”. This causes your body to have to guess at what messages are supposed to be sent back and forth. This is really stressful for the body so your body responds with a stress response. When the body is stressed, it gets stuck in fight or flight mode this is also known as ‘protection’ mode.

Here’s another thing… Your body cannot be in GROWTH mode and PROTECTION mode at the same time.

How does the affect your body during pregnancy?

The hormones you experience, whether they are good or bad, are also experienced by your baby. If you are having a stressful day, so is your baby. On the flip side, if you are having a great day then your baby also gets to enjoy those positive hormones as well.   Stress is a natural process in life. We can always attempt to decrease our stress levels but it will always be present in one way or another. What truly matters is how the stress is handled.

A few of the recommendations we recommend are getting a chiropractic adjustment, deep breathing and meditation. These things all bring the body back in growth mode.  Your nervous system is responsible for the growth of your baby! If you are in protection mode, so is your baby. Your babies’ nervous system can only be as connected and balanced as yours.

Did you know…

Babies with moms who are under significant amounts of stress during pregnancy are often born with larger arms and legs.   Why? Because protection mode (sympathetic dominance) sends blood primarily to the arms and legs. It does this because protection mode prioritizes blood to these areas to prepare us to run away from our enemies.

Pesky Symptoms!

If a person is in pain, takes a pill, and the pain goes away… are they healthy again?   No! This is like the equivalent of putting a piece of tape over your check olliss-375377-unsplashengine light.   Symptoms in the body are there for a reason. Even though they may be uncomfortable at times, it is important for us to tune in and try to understand what our body is saying. Symptoms are not a weakness, they are helpful indications of how our body is adapting to lifestyle stressors. For example…

  • Fever is the body’s way of eliminating a bug by making the environment to warm for it to survive.
  • Headaches can be a sign of dehydration and overexertion (especially in pregnancy)

Ask yourself… Why am I having these symptoms? What is my body trying to tell me?   If the answer is not obvious to you, reach out! Find a health care provider that can help you understand what the symptoms mean and how we can give the body what it needs. Some of the common symptoms experienced during pregnancy and what they could mean:

  • Round Ligament Pain indicates an imbalance within the pelvis
  • Low back pain also indicates an imbalance within the pelvis
    • It’s important to note that an imbalance within the pelvis can create intrauterine constraint for your baby. This affects the space they are able to grow in and can limit them.
  • Breech Babies
    • When our baby isn’t in the ideal position for delivery (head down) it is known as a breech position. This is a frequent cause of c-sections. The good news is it can often be avoided! Balancing the pelvis through chiropractic adjustments creates a lot of space and ease within Mom’s body so if baby can safely go head down, he or she will!
    • With that said, it’s important to know that you baby is really smart! A breech position can often occur for a very good reason. For example, the cord may not be in an ideal position (wrapped around the neck) or there could be another reason the baby is unable to go head down. It’s important to do everything we can to make sure our baby is safe and comfortable but never to force them into what we consider the “ideal” position.
  How does stress affect your birth?

1834a44c10349772d5dfd4e28346c59cWe’ve all seen the movies where they going into labor as this crazy event! The woman’s water breaks, Dad freaks out, they search for the hospital bag, rush to the hospital, Mom is rushed into labor and delivery where she quickly delivers the baby.

In real life… freaking out during this process is what causes labor to slow WAY down. When we freak out at the first sign of labor, this sends our body into protection mode. Your body doesn’t feel like it is in a safe place to deliver a baby and so labor will slow down. When you arrive at the hospital, you get poked and prodded, it’s uncomfortable, unfamiliar and no one will let you eat anything. Then, if labor doesn’t progress, you will be injected with pitocin which a synthetic hormones that your body now has to process. You will be getting check frequently and informed how dilated you are – that can be stressful! If you’re not progressing as quickly as they want they will start talking about c-section which is scary!   All of these different things are sending your body further and further into protection mode. Tell your body “this is not a safe place to deliver the baby” and your body refuses to allow it. This is when medicine forces us. Great, so what on earth are you supposed to do?!

  1. Make SURE you have a positive birth team. Interview your OB, ask them about all of these things and make sure they know your wishes.
  2. Connect with a doula, midwife, sister-law, husband – find someone who is one your side. Someone who will play the music you want to hear, rub your back and shoulders, dim the lights and help your find your calm.
  3. Understand that both stress and relaxation will be a natural part of birth.
    1. Contractions = stress
    2. Time between contractions = relief.
  4. Find a birth class that aligns with you. Go outside the hospital and see what else is out there.
    1. The classes at Blooma are empowering rather than being fear based
    2. If all we do is go the hospital and learn about the different interventions available to us, those will become the only tools in our tool box. Fill that box with more tools!
  5. Understand what stresses you out and what calms you and then do your best to create the best possible environment you can in wherever you are giving birth.

The most important fact to take from this blog is that your baby is having an experience. Right now. Within your womb.

Receiving support from empowering birth professionals cannot be under-estimated.

The power of getting adjusted by a chiropractor who is trained in prenatal care cannot be under-estimated.

The power of connecting with your baby every day, cannot be under-estimated.

During pregnancy, we get blood tests, urine tests, an extensive interview into our health and our family history. We know exactly what to do if something goes Woman holding a babywrong, what drug we can take and who we can call.   …But who is telling you what you can do to make your pregnancy as healthy and beautiful is possible? Who is helping you understand how your body is functioning from the inside out?

We believe every pregnant woman should have this opportunity. We would like to extend this opportunity to you.   At Revival, we are here to support you and your baby. We believe that every pregnant woman deserves the opportunity to know what her options are and to feel the best that she possibly can during her pregnancy. If you want to find out how well your body is functioning during pregnancy in an environment where you will be supported, we will listen to exactly what you want to see happen for your pregnancy and find connections to a community of empowering and incredible birth professionals, Revival can be that place for you.

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