Dr. Maria practices chiropractic care out of Alberta Therapy Co. in Edmonton, Alberta, with a special interest in pregnancy, postpartum, and pediatrics. Born in Colombia and raised in rural Southwestern Manitoba, Dr. Maria moved to Alberta with her husband Taylor, and their dog, Zorro. In her practice, Dr. Maria enjoys discussing all things healthcare with her patients, and when she is not at the clinic, you can find her going for walks with her dog, binging reality TV, or looking for the best food trucks in Edmonton.
The postpartum period is a very important, but often overlooked part of healthcare. Every person that gives birth should be evaluated postpartum, regardless of how or when they gave birth. Currently, postpartum care consists of a 6 week check-up, which is often lumped together with babies’ 6 week check-up; a couple of questions, and away you go. This is not okay. Luckily, in Canada right now, there is a huge movement in healthcare towards better postpartum care for birthing parents and I am honored to be a part of this movement.
Postpartum care consists of multiple components, and because of this, should be evaluated by multiple providers. From hormones to physical and mental changes, postpartum marks a major transition in your life, and does not deserve to be overlooked.
Where does chiropractic come in?
Chiropractic care is a manual therapy technique used to treat mainly muscle and joint pain. Chiropractic care can be helpful in pregnancy to help manage low back and pelvic pain, especially in the last trimester and this is no different in the postpartum period. Ongoing low back pain, midback pain from breast or chest feeding and headaches are just some of the things that a chiropractor can help with. On top of all that, chiropractors are also a great resource for additional providers who can support you holistically. Pelvic PT, OT, and mental health experts are just some of the providers that I collaborate with on a daily basis to ensure my patients get the best possible care.
When are you no longer postpartum?
The most common misconception that I see in the clinic is that the postpartum period ends after your 6 week check-up. This is simply not true. Postpartum by definition means after birth, meaning that if you have given birth, you are considered postpartum whether or not your baby is 9 weeks, 9 months, or 9 years old. If you have given birth, you can and should seek postpartum care.
The difference between common and normal:
Through the many conversations I have with birthing parents daily, I often hear them talk about symptoms and define them as “normal.” There are a lot of overlapping postpartum symptoms that people will experience that are very COMMON. However, just because something is common, does not mean it is necessarily NORMAL, and as such should be addressed. For example, low back pain and midback pain are common complaints in the postpartum realm that may benefit from chiropractic care. Other common postpartum complaints may include incontinence and prolapse, which could benefit from pelvic physiotherapy.
The most important thing to realize is that if you are suffering from any postpartum issue, you are not broken, and in most cases, with the proper help, these issues can be addressed so you don’t have to continue to experience pain or discomfort.
You can learn more about Dr. Maria’s work at www.albertatherapyco.com/chiropractic-care or @drmariavargas on Instagram.