Pre & Post Natal Chiropractic
There are so many changes that happen in a womans body during pregnancy, as the baby grows and begins to take up space the organs are pushed around, the pelvis changes shape, the spine can become compressed due to both the structural changes and the additional weight added rapidly to the body during pregnancy. The production of relaxin (made by the body to soften the attachments and allow the pelvis to stretch open during childbirth) also softens the attachments in the rest of the body. As the pelvis shifts to make room for the baby, it can tighten the facets (where the nerves pass through the bones) pinching nerves and causing pain (i.e. sciatic nerve pain) this can make the journey of pregnancy challenging. As you draw closer to delivering, chiropractic can help your pelvis open and allow the baby to shift into more optimal position with regular adjustments.
Post-partum, regular adjustments help the body shift back into a more normal position and support the new mother as she moves through the first few years of carrying the new baby as it gains weight.
Below is an excerpt from an article on the American Pregnancy Association website. Read more here.
Is chiropractic care during pregnancy safe?
There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant. Investing in the fertility and pregnancy wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive is a routine care for most chiropractors.
Some chiropractors take a specific interest in prenatal and postnatal care and seek additional training. Below represents designations of chiropractors who have taken advanced steps in working with infertility and pregnancy wellness.
- DACCP – Diplomate with ICPA reflecting highest level of advanced training
- CACCP – Certified with the ICPA reflecting advanced training
- Member of ICPA reflecting special interest
- Webster Certified – trained to work specifically with pelvic balance in pregnancy
Chiropractors that have been trained to work with pregnant women may use tables that adjust for a pregnant
woman’s body, and they will use techniques that avoid unneeded pressure on the abdomen.
A chiropractor who is trained in the needs of women who are pregnant will also provide you with exercises and stretches that are safe to use during pregnancy.
Why should I have chiropractic care during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby.
The following changes can result in a misaligned spine or joints:
- Protruding abdomen and increased back curve
- 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. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint.
A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery.
The nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively.
What are the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can provide 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 labor and delivery
- Relieving back, neck or joint pain
- Preventing a potential cesarean delivery
What about chiropractic care and breech deliveries?
The late Larry Webster, D.C., Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association(ICPA), 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 has been clinically shown to allow for optimal fetal positioning. The technique is known as the Webster Technique. It is considered normal by some for a baby to present breech until the third trimester. Most birth practitioners are not concerned with breech presentations until a patient is 37 weeks along. Approximately 4% of all pregnancies result in a breech presentation.
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.
Further, the results from the study suggest it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique, as soon as the 8th month of pregnancy, when a woman has a breech presentation.
Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy.
With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether.
Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and, therefore, results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.