Manual Physical Therapy can support bringing life into this world in so many ways.
When you are in any stage of parenthood, be it imagining your future family, growing a human, recovering from delivery, feeding them constantly, playing sports and doing crafts, or sending them off to college, this work can remove barriers to really enjoy the whole process.
It truly begins before pregnancy. In the ideal world, your body would be strong and flexible, your nervous system would be balanced, and all your organs operating under the least amount of stress before you open your womb for business. If you are having difficulty conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy to full term, mechanical imbalances could be playing a role. A blocked fallopian tube, retroverted uterus, congested pelvic circulation, upregulated nervous system, or restricted organs that impact the neuroendocrine system can all contribute to infertility.
Once you are already pregnant, we need to respect the process.
Certain techniques, such as visceral mobilization of the pelvic organs, are no longer on the table while Baby is growing. If residual restrictions from an IUD, past abdominal surgeries, or dysmenorrhea are present, they need to be managed before conception to minimize the risk of musculoseletal pain, hemorrhoids, GERD, SIJ instability, and sciatica. However, there is a lot we can do to help your body feel its best throughout your pregnancy with the gentle techniques of craniosacral therapy and the diverse tools of Functional Manual Therapy ™. Resolving headaches, reducing nausea, managing carpal tunnel syndrome, restoring pelvic stability and pain free walking, and ensuring your pelvis is going to open as it should when delivery time comes are all possible.
Delivery is a challenge on the body, no matter how it goes down. In the best of circumstances, you are left with tissues that need to recoil or expand to their original length from your shoulders to your hips. And whatever emotional experience you went through during the process that brought your baby into this world may still be with you. Integrating this transformative event into your new reality of parenthood, or an expanded family, will take time. But processing your birth afterward with craniosacral therapy makes this task more manageable, leaving you with more patience and empathy. It is the greatest “push present” you will ever get and it benefits the whole family.
And then there is feeding and caring for Baby.
Bodywork for Baby can be what is needed to make latching less painful and more productive. But if you are uncomfortable in your body, sitting down every two hours can be quite the chore. If working with your location consultant to adjust your posture isn’t working, you may be having a hard time finding neutral spine alignment and maintaining it. Lifting, holding, and carrying also require strength, endurance and efficient alignment to minimize strain on parents.
As they grow and become more independent you get to experience all the stages of development again through the eyes of your child. Your child is your teacher who unknowingly reveals all your physical and emotional weaknesses. Just by being themselves, they can bring forth forgotten memories from your childhood or challenge you to reassess some of your core beliefs of how the world works. Delving into this shadow side with craniosacral therapy was huge for me. It helped me come closer to the parent and partner I actually want to be. I found I want to have more fun. It seems simple, but I needed to go back and have a talk with my 2nd grade self who didn’t like going to school. I needed to really understand why she was having such a hard time. It wasn’t fun to go to school and 2nd grade Julia would have been much happier to stay home and play with Dad on the swing all day. And so understanding all the parts of myself helped me be a better Mom. I was reminded how important it is to play. Without this work, I may not have found myself doing things you haven’t done in years, like ice skating. I actually gave my ice skates away thinking I would never use them again. I’m so glad I was wrong!
I meet people who say “getting old isn’t for sissies.” But parenthood isn’t for sissies either. So if your usual ways of self care aren’t doing the trick, I am happy to help get you back on track.