Alright, show of hands...
Have you ever suffered (or are you currently suffering) from any of these problems during pregnancy?
-Back and hip pain
-Round Ligament Pain
-Pubic Symphysis Pain
I'm guessing every woman who has ever had a baby is holding her hand up right now, am I right?
In our society today, we have normalized the idea that pregnancy is just painful and uncomfortable and generally just unpleasant.
But what if I told you, it doesn't have to be that way?
What if I told you there was a way to help reduce many of those symptoms and, in some cases, eliminate them altogether?
What are some of the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy?
Decreased stress, stronger immune system, increased blood flow to the baby, reduction of hormonal symptoms such as nausea and fatigue, reduction in labor time, avoidance or reduction of common pregnancy complaints such as reflux, carpal tunnel, sciatica, dizziness, and constipation, and giving the baby the maximum amount of space to move and rotate.
Everyone experiences pregnancy differently so the adjustments we do will depend on what's going on with the individual mom!
When is the ideal time to begin getting adjusted in pregnancy?
The most ideal time is before you get pregnant! Starting pregnancy with your body in a state of wellness sets you up for the healthiest pregnancy possible.
The next best time to start is today! Don't let your pain get crippling before you seek care. Take action right away and end the suffering.
We also take proactive measures to prevent intrauterine constraint and focus on getting your pelvis ready for labor.
Pregnancy should feel amazing!
How often should a patient get adjustments during pregnancy?
This is super dependent on your state of health and your goals. If you are super healthy and want to get your body and nervous system ready for labor, your adjustments will probably be once a week.
If you're in pain and there is stress on your nervous system, you may start at a few times a week.
Pregnancy has a finish line, so it also depends on how much time you have left in the pregnancy. If you come in with big goals and only a few weeks or a month left, we will see you much more often than if you came in with those same goals at 20 weeks.
Is it ever too late to start getting adjusted?
Well, if you're in labor already...
Your body takes time to heal. You can see improvements with a few adjustments, but there are limitations to what we can get done in a short amount of time. It's better to start earlier and make sure there's enough time to reach your goals.
What should an expecting mother look for or ask when searching for the right chiropractor?
Ask if pregnancy is a main focus of their office. We all took that one pregnancy adjusting class in school. You want a doctor who has gone above and beyond with their education geared around pregnancy and post-natal care. Also, you want a doctor who has the right tools and equipment to accommodate your growing belly!
What should someone expect when they come to see you for care during pregnancy? What does a typical visit look like?
We always start by assessing your nervous system and adjusting your spine. These adjustments may be with our hands, using the table's drops, or using an adjusting instrument.
The type of adjustment we utilize all depends on your body and your comfort level. All the adjustments we do are completely safe for you and your baby!
As we adjust, we take a look at important soft tissue structures on your back, around your pelvis, and in your belly. Releasing tight and stiff muscles can be the key to not only helping you hold your adjustments, but also to help in reducing any tension on your uterus.
We look at not only the soft tissue connecting the bones and uterus but also any soft tissue around the pelvis that could prevent it from opening symmetrical. Having not only the hard tissue but also the soft tissue alignment can help reduce labor times by making sure that baby engages the cervix symmetrically.
Everything is super gentle - not painful - and we explain and discuss everything with you as you go.
What about postpartum? What are the benefits of continuing care after birth? How soon after birth can a mother begin getting adjusted again?
I always joke with moms that after you have the baby, everything has to "fall back" into your pre-pregnancy position. Although, if you've been through this postpartum stage, you know that things never go back to the same place.
Adjustments do help your body recover and find balance again after you bring your little baby into the world. Helping your body realign after nine months of really big changes can be a game changer for some women.
A lot of postpartum women tell me that they recover faster and easier than their pregnancies where they didn't have chiropractic care afterwards.
This is also a great time to get the new little baby checked too. Birth is super stressful, not only on mom, but on our tiny babies too. Getting your kiddo checked early can help them avoid problems later.
You can get adjusted as soon as you feel ready to come into the office after having your baby. I have women wait anywhere from four days to up to two weeks to come in and get their next adjustment.
I personally know I was adjusted the day I gave birth and so was my baby!
A huge thank you to Dr. Angela for taking the time to answer my questions! I highly recommend her and her husband, Dr. Chris, if you're currently searching for a chiropractor for your family. Their office is located in West Ashley and my whole family has come to love their practice.
And if you take anything from this interview, let it be this: DON'T WAIT! I'm one of those people that waited until I was suffering every day before seeking help. I wish I had taken action sooner and saved myself the pain!
2017 - In Review
A door is closing on another year. When each year begins, I always feel like I have a long stretch of time in front of me - a long chapter of my life yet to be written. Then at the end of the year, I always end up thinking to myself, What happened? Where did the year go?
This year has been busier than most for my family. I decided that I wanted to really pursue photography as a career - more specifically, birth photography. I spent this year going to school at night to complete a photography certification program, building a portfolio and website, preparing all of the legal aspects of my business, and finding new clients. If building a business weren't enough, we moved twice this year! My husband and I decided to sell our first home in the spring and build a new house. We are still living in the Charleston, SC area, but we had to move into an apartment between selling our old house and closing on the new. We've been settled in the new house since September, but I just now feel like I'm getting to sit and breathe for a minute. It's been a wild ride.
I wouldn't change it for anything though. I love this crazy life.
This year, I've spent time with several amazing families...
Some of those families were expanding.
Some had recently expanded. I photographed some of the most beautiful babies and kids!
One of the biggest highlights of my year was capturing an unforgettable birth.
Despite the chaos, 2017 has been an amazing year for my family. I hope you close this year with fond memories, but most of all I pray 2018 is full of joy and blessings for all of you... and, of course, I hope you'll consider inviting me in to capture some of those memories. Happy New Year!
What To Expect: Portrait Sessions
The What to Expect series on my blog is an overview of the different types of sessions I offer and what you can expect from the experience. Other posts in this series include:
Fresh 48 Sessions
Although I chose to specialize in birth and fresh 48 photography, I really enjoy portrait photography as well. My favorite portraits are those that come from ongoing relationships with my clients - taking maternity portraits and then being present when the baby growing in that sweet bump is born or seeing a baby from a fresh 48 session grow throughout their first year. I love capturing families as they grow and change over the months and years.
I have two options for portrait sessions: the Mini and the Full. They are both great options for all types of portraits; the difference really boils down to the length of your session and the variety of options presented in the gallery at the end.
A mini session is 30-minutes on location. These sessions are ideal for seasonal/holiday photos, baby milestones, children's birthdays, pregnancy announcements and gender reveals. Minis are also available for family or maternity portraits, but photo options are more limited by the time available.
Full sessions are one hour on location. These sessions are perfect for any client looking for more variety from their portraits. Because we have more time, we are able to include an outfit change if desired and possibly a change in location if another option is close.
I sometimes have clients ask which type of session is best for families with young children, and my answer honestly depends on the family. Some children are excited to take photos and are very cooperative at the beginning, but by the end of the session they're tired and ready to be done. In those cases, I think a mini session would be appropriate. On the other hand, some children take time to warm up to me and a longer session gives them time to get comfortable and pose well for photos. You know your family best, and I am happy to talk it through with you to decide which option might be best.
Once a client has chosen the type of session they want and paid the retainer fee to secure their date/time, I send an email with an overview of what time to arrive and some suggestions for choosing outfit(s). Sometime in the week before the session, I will consult with clients by email, phone, or text - whichever is easiest for them - to go over any final details and answer any questions. I am also available if they need help choosing what to wear! It's not uncommon for clients to text a photo of some options and ask for my help and opinions. I want them to love their photos, so I am always willing to help choose a location and clothing that will make the portraits look their absolute best.
The day of the session has arrived. Everyone is dressed and ready. Now what?
I usually plan to arrive early to walk around, even if it's a location I have used before, just to make sure there are no surprises waiting. I also prefer to be unpacked and set up, so clients don't have to wait on me when they arrive. If children are involved in the session, I usually take a few minutes to introduce myself and talk to them to help them feel more comfortable with me.
The flow of the session depends on each client and their family dynamics and what they want from their portraits. However, I usually include the same four prompts within each session.
Posed Group Portraits
These are what most people think of when they hear the word "portraits." Everyone placed in a specific spot, looking at the camera, and smiling.
These are more active photos. I encourage clients to walk together, tickle, dance, or move in some way. These portraits usually show more geniune smiles and the relationships between family members.
These are similar to traditional posed portraits, but instead of the whole family/group being included, these are individual photos of each person or smaller combinations of family members.
No matter what form a portrait session takes, I always end my sessions the same way: PLAY!
These are often my favorite photos from a session. This is when personalities really shine. I take whatever time is left at the end of a session, and I encourage clients to just let loose! If we are at the beach, go splash in the water. At a park, clients will chase each other or pick flowers or whatever comes most naturally to them.
Once the session is over, I try to post a couple of sneak peeks on my Facebook and Instagram accounts as I edit over the next few days, and the gallery is delivered within 2 weeks.
Contact me today to plan your next portrait session. I would love to work with you!
Have you ever had a portrait session? What were your favorite photos? Posed or Playful? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Beach Maternity Portraits
One of the many perks of living in Charleston, SC is the access to so many beautiful beaches. There is no shortage of gorgeous ocean views in this area. However, there's one stretch of beach that holds a special place in my heart. I have memories from my teenage years of sitting on the rocks with friends talking about nothing and everything. It's a quiet stretch of beach with a spectacular view.
When Allie contacted me about taking maternity portraits, I knew this would be the perfect place.
Allie and I went to Winthrop University together. She is a teacher in the upstate and was planning a vacation to Charleston and Hilton Head with her husband, Andrew, and her son, Liam. She asked if I would take beach maternity portraits for her while she was in town. Having recently finished my photography certification program, I jumped at the opportunity to use some of my new knowledge.
We started with some posed family portraits on the rocks. I loved what they chose to wear because they all coordinate without being super "matchy."
Liam did a great job listening to my directions and suggestions, but he eventually started getting restless (as all kids do). We let him take a break while I took some photos of mom alone. We did convince him to run back in and give his baby brother a quick kiss though.
My favorite part of every beach portrait session comes at the end. That's when it's time to get wet! The family takes a walk in the water. Kids get to splash and get wet. My favorite photos almost always come from the spontaneous moments the waves bring.
I only wish I lived closer to this family so I could photograph this sweet new baby boy on the outside too!
Do you have a favorite beach spot? Tell me about it in the comments!