Welcome to Birthing Ayurveda, where we follow one woman's pregnancy experience week by week—from a positive home pregnancy test all the way to delivery.
For those of you who, like myself, are doing yoga while pregnant, you may have been noticing that you are more flexible than you were. While it may be in part due to your diligent yoga efforts, it is also largely because your ligaments are naturally getting much looser because of the impact of hormones. This is a natural process to make more room for your growing uterus and for the baby during its delivery.
This has certainly been obvious to me. My ribs are definitely wider as my uterus grows upward. While I can lower my knees much more in bow pose, I also feel a bit more unstable, especially as I push the limits of my new-found flexibility. My pubic symphysis (the middle part of the pubic bones which are held by this ligament) started to hurt with every step. And, not so fun, my upper back has been incredibly uncomfortable (as opposed to my lower back, which is a far more common source of discomfort to me). I was fairly certain it was because my ribs weren’t aligned properly.
Your ligaments are incredibly lax. Do not push your yoga poses or other movements too far. Make sure you are supporting your joints well by using your core for movements and by strengthening and activating the muscles around the joints. Consider a pelvic belt that you can wear around your hips to help stabilize all of the bones and ligaments in the incredibly changing pelvic cavity. This helps provide much needed support (especially to that pubic symphysis), particularly when out and about.
As for the back pain, I felt it was high time to go visit a chiropractor. The adjustments that he made really made a difference in my back pain. Given the laxity of the ligaments, I plan to revisit him weekly until my delivery. He also accurately identified the fact that I have very tight hips and started some minor adjustments to loosen them to help with the delivery.
On a more subtle plane, I was gifted the opportunity to have a craniosacral treatment. The subtle and gentle manipulations of the skull harmonize the natural rhythms of the central nervous system. By doing so, the entire body functions in greater harmony. With this treatment, I found greater ease in my digestion, pelvic discomfort, and my overall being. My therapist worked with the baby as well, and I did feel a deeper connection with Charlie (what we call the baby) that I haven’t felt before.
There are many health care providers that can be beneficial. A massage therapist can be extremely impactful especially during the third trimester as the body begins to feel more taxed from a rapidly growing baby. It is also very helpful if you are having difficulties with sleep or anxiety. I would be cautious, however, with deep therapies or energy healers (unless they are have a lot of experience with pregnant women and are well-trained), as you want to be careful not to alter the highly sensitive and fragile growing baby in your belly.
7th Month Nutrition
As we are in the seventh month of pregnancy, I want to make a couple nutritional and diet points. As many of you may have noticed, your stomach may be becoming quite compressed and smaller. For that reason, eat smaller meals throughout the day (much like the first trimester). Eat foods that are easier to digest. Having soupy rice with ample ghee will provide energy and healthy nutrition. In general, start increasing the amount of ghee that you take in everyday to help with lubrication and nourishment of the tissues. Also consider decreasing the salt content in your foods, particularly if you are having the occasional swelling due to pregnancy.