During pregnancy, there are incredible changes occurring in a woman’s body and the creation of delicate new life within. The significance of pregnancy cannot be over stated. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is focused on caring for both mother and unborn baby.
Studies have shown women who have consistent chiropractic care throughout their pregnancies have shorter and less painful labours, with fewer complications and fewer interventions.
I can speak from experience not only as a chiropractor, but 12 years ago as a pregnant patient myself. I am fortunate to have experienced the health benefits from chiropractic care personally, and passed on to my child as well.
Why is Chiropractic care important during pregnancy?
The nervous system is like the “electricity” for the body. It supplies this “electricity” to every body system including the reproductive system. Therefore, keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively. This is true throughout all stages of life, and very important throughout pregnancy for a woman. Chiropractic care is also a drugless way to manage symptoms of pregnancy, such as back pain. A common misconception is that back pain during pregnancy is “normal”. Back pain is not normal, it is only common.
A few aspects of pregnancy that may lead to spinal misalignments:
- Rapid increase/decrease in weight
- Postural changes
- Changes in sleep patterns & positions
- Altered appetite and eating habits
- Loosening of body ligaments to allow for growth and labour
- Flat feet/pronation due to weight gain/loose ligaments
- Emotional changes (hormonal shifts/new family stress)
Not only does what you eat and drink during pregnancy affect the unborn baby, but the way you sleep, sit, stand, walk, drive and handle stress will affect the baby too. Your baby needs your nervous system to be functioning optimally in order to develop correctly.
Is chiropractic care safe during pregnancy?
The answer is Yes! There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. General wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive is a routine treatment.
Chiropractors that have been trained to work with pregnant women may use tables that adapt to suit a pregnant woman’s body, and will use special techniques that avoid unneeded pressure on the abdomen. Exercises and stretches that are safe to use during pregnancy are recommended by chiropractors to compliment any adjustments made to your spine.
Why should I have chiropractic care during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there are several anatomical and physiological changes that occur to the woman’s body. The following changes could result in a misaligned spine or joint:
- Protruding abdomen and increased back curve (lumbar lordosis)
- Pelvic changes
- Postural adaptations
Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is another reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. When the pelvis or lumbar spine is misaligned, there are also increased chances of developing back pain, groin pain or sciatica.
What are the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can include a variety of health benefits for women who are pregnant. Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:
- Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
- Controlling symptoms of nausea
- Reducing the time of labour and delivery
- Relieving back pain, neck pain or joint pain
- Preventing a potential caesarean section
What about chiropractic care and breech deliveries?
The late Larry Webster, D.C., Founder of the International Chiropractic Paediatric Association, developed a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment which enables chiropractors to establish balance in the pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments. This balanced state in the pelvis makes it easier for a breech baby to turn naturally. The technique is known as the Webster Technique.
After your pregnancy, chiropractic can help to ensure that the loosened ligaments and joints to get back into their proper places. A spinal check-up is recommended for mother and baby to assist in enabling optimal nervous system function.