Diaphragm and Organ Restrictions after Childbirth Leads to Breathing Difficulties
Ever wonder what happens to all your abdominal organs when the baby grows so big in your belly? Did you have problems taking a deep breath during your pregnancy? What about afterwards?
It’s very common for woman to experience mid back pains after delivery or have difficulty taking a deep breath. As your baby takes up space in your belly, your stomach, liver and small intestines all get jammed upwards and laterally. See photo below. It also compresses your diaphragm upward into your chest and your ribcage widens out to the sides. Sometimes things have a hard time getting back to their original places after birth. This is really true if your baby found it fun to use your stomach or liver as its punching bag!
Working with so many post partum woman I’ve seen time and time again where one organ, more commonly the liver, gets jammed upwards and remains this way for months to even years after birth. I also find the thoracic spine and diaphragm to be restricted in mobility after having a baby.
If you find it difficult to take a deep breath after delivery or you have pain in the bra line area you may have some restricted organs or diaphragm in your midsection.
Jane came to see me after delivering twins two years ago. She complained of not being able to take a deep breath since delivery. One of the babies laid sideways across her upper belly near her ribs during her pregnancy. I found her liver and stomach to be jammed up into her chest and her diaphragm and mid thoracic spine restricted in the middle. With just one session her organs and her diaphragm released and were back in their normal place, and the mobility of her thoracic spine was freed. She told me she was surprised she wasn’t hyperventilating because she had been taking so many deep breaths since our session together.
Getting your organs back in their proper place and getting the thoracic spine moving again is helpful to regain that sense of having your body back after pregnancy. Doing some abdominal contractions, pulling your belly button back to the spine til it can’t go anymore, while also focusing on bringing your lower ribcage together in front can help with the flaring ribs and to mobilize your diaphragm. Initially, some woman report having mid back pains when doing these contractions but over time that pain goes away as things gain more mobility and find their way back to their normal position. If your organs are really stuck upwards you may need some help from a practitioner who does visceral manipulation and or a chiropractor to help make an adjustment in your thoracic spine.
THERE IS HELP OUT THERE FOR YOU!
Just know that whatever ailment you may be experiencing in your body after birth, there is help for you. Keep searching til you find the right practitioner who knows how to help you. Many healthcare professionals don’t have experience working with the post partum body. Keep searching til you find one who does.
It saddens me how many women are left to feel crazy, “it all must be up in your head” after childbirth when their body doesn’t feel the same anymore. There is help and it can feel the same again. Don’t give up!