Introducing Dr. Amber Moravec!

I’m so excited to introduce you to Dr. Amber Moravec from Naturally Aligned Family Chiropractic. She practices just over the river in St Paul, and has helped many, many mamas to have comfortable pregnancies and smooth labors. She has also worked her magic with newborns who are fussy or who have difficulty nursing. I’ve known Amber since 2008, and I also know first hand how great her adjustments feel! Amber not only works out of her office, but is also willing to come to labors if needed (although moms who get adjusted in pregnancy usually don’t need a chiropractor in labor). I’ve seen the work Amber has done in labor make such positive changes! A good adjustment can mean not needing to transfer in a labor where nothing else is working. Chiropractic care in pregnancy makes labor go so much more smoothly that I would make it a requirement for all of my moms if I could! But, as Amber explains below, it’s important to be sure you’re seeing a chiropractor who specialized in pregnant women with additional training in this area.

Dr. Amber Moravec with her three sweet kiddos!

Name:
Dr. Amber Moravec

Occupation: 
Pediatric and Pre/postnatal Chiropractor

Family:
I have been blessed with a supportive husband, Andy, and three sweet kids, Everett (4), Ellie (3) and Jackson (6 months) – they keep us B.U.S.Y.

Home life:
I grew up on a farm in south central Minnesota, in the small town of Le Center.  We currently live in White Bear Lake.  We love the cozy downtown, fun lakes, nature center and walking to the yummy ice cream store.

Favorite weekday dinner:
I am a duteous meal planner, but often struggle with consistent execution – so honestly anything I don’t have to spend lots of time cooking or cleaning up is fabulous!  Realistically we eat lots of kid friendly foods, i.e. chicken, pasta, and pizza-ish creations but try to use fresh and organic ingredients to make the healthy versions of our favorites.

Favorite Workout:
Walking with friends, yoga, and lifting weights.

Favorite downtime activity:
Does Facebook count?!?!

Kate: When did you know you wanted to be a chiropractor? 
Amber: I decided to pursue a career in chiropractic three years after I finished my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education.  I was working for the University of Minnesota Duluth (Go Bulldogs!) and decided I wanted to work in a field that helped people be proactive about their health.

Kate: Tell me a bit about your practice.
Amber: I have a passion for caring for pregnant moms, newborns, and children.  I provide gentle adjustments so the body can communicate more efficiently and function better as a whole.

My practice is located in St. Paul – I see patients out of the Health Foundations building on Grand Ave.  It’s a convenient location from many parts of the metro.  If you are familiar with Grand Avenue – the building is straight across the street from D’Amico and Sons.

Kate: What is the best part of your job?
Amber: Patient interaction hands down!!  I love hearing that patients are feeling great at 40 weeks (and sleeping well), I’m ecstatic when a mama whose malpositioned baby finds an optimal spot, and I get emotional thinking about the birth’s I’ve attended to help a strong mama through labor – all because of an adjustment.  And who doesn’t love snuggling a newborn???  I get to do it often!  My work with infants and kids is particularly rewarding.  When one adjustment can help a baby sleep better and cry less or help a little boy run faster it – I can only imagine the impact that is having on their whole life.  It’s such an honor to witness each and every patient feel better and live a happier, more balanced life.

Kate: I’ve seen first hand how moms who get adjusted throughout pregnancy have much smoother and shorter labors. Can you explain why that is?
Amber: In one word…Balance.  Your nervous system can coordinate all functions in your body, if there is balance and proper internal communication.  I think about it as running with all pistons firing!  Pregnancy changes your body in lots of ways, namely structurally and chemically.  Chiropractic care can help your body adapt to all the things going on.  Structurally, an adjustment can help you stay moving as belly grows and weight is placed in different areas.  Chemically, it impacts the way hormones flow – pregnancy is fundamentally a hormonal event – we need the right amount of each hormone in all trimesters. Chiropractic care is good for baby too!  If mom’s body is balanced the baby has optimal room to grow and is more likely to find a better spot in mom’s pelvis before labor starts – that makes for efficient labors.

Kate: You often work with babies too. How would you say adjusting a newborn is different than adjusting an adult? 
Amber: If I was cramped in a small space for 9 months and then squeezed out of an even smaller space I would not likely be very balanced!  Uterine constraint and the birth process can be hard on babies, adjusting a newborn is very gentle and often involves more pressure points and stretching rather than quick impulses.  I frequently teach stretches to parents so they can be a part of their child’s healing and prefer to think that we are working together as a team.

Kate: Sometimes people are worried about getting adjusted if they’ve never been to the chiropractor before. How would you describe what you do? 
Amber: I talk a LOT before ever adjusting anyone!  I like clients to understand the basics of their nervous system, feel the imbalance in their body, and agree on the desired outcome before we get to the adjusting part.  An adjustment is an intentional, quick movement designed to change the position of a bone to impact the function of the nervous system. It sounds scary, but it’s gentle movements with very little pressure and I work hard to insure everyone is comfortable with what is going on as we go along.  The first appointment takes a bit as we talk through things in detail, but adjusting head to toe really only takes minutes in subsequent visits.

Kate: How would you say that you are unique from other chiropractors in the community?
Amber: If find that many chiropractors want to do it all – treat men, women, children, low back pain, chronic inflammation, athletic injuries, extremities, wellness, etc.  I have a passion and developed a specialty for those families in the midst of birth.  I certainly adjust the occasional dad and other family members, but I am really good at fixing the conditions of the spine related to pregnant moms and growing bodies of children.  I’ve done the pregnancy thing (x3!!) and have young children so I can also personally relate to what that population is experiencing.

Chiropractic school is an 8+ year endeavor (four years of undergrad, four years of chiropractic school, plus four board exams).  In addition to my chiropractic license, I have two specialty certifications in pregnancy and pediatrics.  I took a yearlong distance learning course on the specific chiropractic techniques best suited for the pregnant body and spine.  Then I spent many weekends in the classroom immersed in information related to the evaluation and spinal treatment of the pediatric population through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.  My postgraduate training and continuing education is consistent with my interest in this sub-specialty within the chiropractic field.

Kate: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with our pregnant readers?
Amber: Breathe!  Take these months as a chance to get to know yourself and your body.  Feed it well.  Move it around a bit.  Take time to enjoy the simplicity of your life.  I encourage moms to read a few books {on pregnancy and/or parenting} if they want, but don’t go overboard.  Read up on the areas you are most interested in, but don’t add stress to your life trying to read it all!  Last but not least, don’t be afraid to do things differently than your mom, sister, neighbor, or best friend.  If you are confident in your decision others will usually respect you for it.

Kate: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with our post birth, new mom and new dad readers?

  • Rest, relax and have realistic expectations of yourself and your time.  Adding a baby to your life, whether it’s your first or fourth, it’s a big deal!  Allow it to be a big deal.  Take help, food, and gifts from anyone willing to give them.  But… be greedy with your baby.  Babies need their parents.  Nature designed it that way.
  • I’ve become better at trusting my mama instincts more with each child.  Like most things in life you get better when you practice!  Don’t be afraid to access and change the way you do things as a parent.  It always feels like a work in progress.
  • You can only make decisions based on the information you had at that time.  If you learn something new and “wish you would have known better” don’t be too hard on yourself.  You know now.
  • Lastly, in the throes of parenting… Days are long…Years are short.

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