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Pregnancy and Postpartum Care

Dr. Melissa Reinke, DC

{Fee Schedule}

60 Minutes $165
40 Minutes $110

Frequently Asked Questions- click here

Dr Melissa Reinke is certified as a Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist. She follows the most up to date evidence and exercise protocols to correct underlying dysfunctions in the body.

Commonly treated conditions include:

While these are relatively common postpartum issues, they are not normal... and you don't have to continue to live with them. You also don't have to be pregnant OR postpartum to suffer from them.

Many people with these issues feel like they've tried everything from chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, exercise, medications and even surgery.  While these treatments can help, if you are not addressing the root cause of the problem, the symptoms will undoubtedly return.

So what is at the root of these problems?

The underlying cause is most often ineffective breathing patterns and poor posture. These two things combine to put either too much or too little pressure on our body's basic core structures- the pelvic floor, abdominal wall, and low back. Without an effective core, our body will adapt with poor movement patterns and the problem snowballs from there. 

What is the solution?

First it's understanding and acknowledging the problem. Second it's retraining your body and brain to move the way it was designed to. Third it's maintaining these correct movement patterns and reinforcing them through exercise and continued mindfulness.

We all have fascia (connective tissue) links which connect different muscles throughout our body. So a poor movement pattern in one area can have a widespread effect on the whole body: from your jaw, to your back, to the arches of your feet. It's important that your body is assessed and treated as a whole unit rather than just addressing the one area of concern.  

To be clear- this is NOT a quick fix passive treatment. You are re-training breathing and movement patterns that have been ingrained for years... and this takes a lot practice and patience.

If you think you don't have the time, not to worry. Life is busy- we get it! No matter how much or little time you have in your day, we can work with your schedule. The key is to be consistent.

Disclaimer: This program works based off of your compliance to your exercise program. We are not offering any passive treatments but rather are providing you with the tools you need to help yourself. We understand that not everyone will be in the right mental or physical place to start this program but when you are ready, we will do everything we can to help.

Dr Melissa- my personal story:

I am extremely passionate about helping postpartum people return to a healthy and pain free lifestyle! I want to empower them to take back control of their bodies and enjoy life to the fullest.

I've always really enjoyed working with this population but it wasn't until I had my first child that I was able to connect with the vulnerability that this group faces. So many postpartum people have been told they can't be helped and they become resigned to the idea that they will never get back to their pre-pregnancy body and activity level.

Here's my story...

Since graduating as a Doctor of Chiropractic in 2011, I have prided myself on being strong and "working out smart". I am trained in proper exercise form and have tailored my own exercise program to my body's unique needs... which include congenital hip dysplasia and general low back hypermobility, both which make me more prone to low back injury.

So when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was excited for the challenge! I stayed strong throughout my whole pregnancy and did "everything right". I was that lady at the gym still lifting weights at 8 months pregnant.
I was so fortunate to be able to work with midwives during my pregnancy and have a great child birthing experience with no complications.
I followed all the best evidence on how to properly return to exercise and was patient with my body.

So, I was taken aback and upset when four months postpartum I started having debilitating low back pain and muscle spasms. By seven months postpartum I had herniated two discs in my low back, and an MRI showed deep bone bruising with chip fractures in my vertebrae. I was in so much pain that I would have to crawl across the room every morning to get to my baby... and then play with her on the floor until my pain medication kicked in so I could bear to stand.
I did all the right rehab and treatment, and saw all the right people... experts in the field of disc pain management. I knew that the patients I treated with disc herniation's typically saw improvement right away. So why was I still in excruciating pain over a year later, at two years postpartum? Why did exercise seem to make my pain worse?

Then I unexpectantly found the answer I was looking for- by becoming certified as a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist. I took this certification course to further my understanding of some of the common issues my postpartum patients face. What I wasn't expecting was to heal my low back pain in the process.

I learned so much about my body! I now understand why I wasn't healing, and how I was actually exasperating the problem with some of the typical disc treatment protocol exercises I was doing. 

It is NEVER too late to correct these issues. Whether you are currently pregnant, six months postpartum or 20 years postpartum- you can be helped and return to an active lifestyle and feel good in your body again!

I greatly look forward to working with you!

-Dr Melissa Reinke

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect during my appointments?

Your first two appointments will focus on assessing your posture, breathing, and movement patterns. We will also be doing specific muscle testing for your hips, low back and pelvis to check for strength and side to side imbalances. 
From there, the appointments are individually catered to each person based on their needs. At each follow up session we will be going over your previous exercises, adding to your program and making modifications. The focus is on perfecting your form, building strength and re-balancing your core muscles.

How often do I need to come in?

The first two appointments are ideally scheduled one week apart, with follow up sessions every 2-6 weeks depending on your needs. We are able to personalize your treatment plan based on what works best for you and your schedule. As your compliance for doing the homework is essential, we are mindful of offering flexibility to help you from feeling overwelmed.  You can expect your first few appointments to be an hour, and then as you progress we offer a shorter 40 minute appointment.

What do I wear to my appointments?

Please dress in comfortable clothing that you can move well in. Work out clothes are ideal.

I am 20+ years postpartum... is this program right for me?

YES! There is no time limit on when you can be helped.

I'm not postpartum but I have one of the conditions listed above. Can this program help me?

Absolutely. This program is designed around a postpartum body because that is typically when our pelvic floor and core structures undergo the most stress. However, it is applicable to everyone! The goal is to re-train how your body moves, regardless of your gender, activity level, past injuries or health history.

Do you include internal pelvic examinations or treatments?

No. As a chiropractor it is not within my scope of practice to do any internal examinations of your pelvis. I can evaluate the tension of your pelvic floor through hip muscle testing, breathing techniques, and with your history questionnaire.
For some patients, I may recommend that you also include a pelvic floor physiotherapist in your care.

Are these visits covered under Alberta Healthcare or my Extended Health Benefits?

Chiropractic treatments are unfortunately not covered under Alberta Healthcare, with the exception of seniors over the age of 65.
Most Extended Healthcare plans do, however, include Chiropractic. If you have any questions about your individual benefits, please contact your insurance company directly.
We are able to direct bill to most insurance companies.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call or email the clinic. Dr Melissa also offers a free 15 minute consultation, if you are unsure of whether this program is right for you.