Why should you see a prenatal chiropractor?
Many people go to the chiropractor for relief from pain causing conditions such as: neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, “pinched nerves”, headaches and disc injuries. However, what many women do not know is that prenatal chiropractic care provides much more important benefits. In this article we will discuss the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy for both the mother and her baby.
Throughout pregnancy and especially during delivery, the pelvis, spine and surrounding muscles must all work in sync. If this does not happen it can result in dystocia (difficult birth, stalled labor or fetal malposition) often resulting in medical intervention. A Websters certified chiropractor is trained in a specific technique to address this imbalance. This technique involves an analysis and gentle adjustment to the sacrum (your tail bone). As well as soft tissue release of specific muscles and ligaments. The goal is to reduce the effects of pelvic imbalance. This restores proper maternal physiology. By addressing several causes of dystocia (stalled labor), the Websters technique may lead to a safer easier birth outcome.
As the pregnancy progresses the bodies bio-mechanics are force to change. Weight gain is a contributing factor that changes posture in many women. The “typical” image of a pregnant women is someone with “sway back posture” or I like to call it tired mom pose. In the picture the mother is holding her lower back, “pooching her belly and rounding her shoulders. Consciously working on correcting poor posture will decrease the risk of developing low back pain. Secondarily, for many women findings a comfortable position to sleep in is very difficult. Changes in typical sleep patterns often result in new aches and pains and less restful sleep. A good night’s sleep is necessary for brain and body health. Regular chiropractic care has been shown to improve your ability to sleep comfortably.
Hormonal changes that result from pregnancy increase ligament laxity (due to a hormone called Relaxin). This allows the female body to make the necessary adaptive changes to carry a child. Ligament laxity is necessary during this time but it can make women more susceptible to sprain injuries. The spine is surrounded by several ligaments that connect the vertebrae. As a result, it may cause misalignment (aka subluxation) more easily during this time causing nervous system interference. When the signals are not received properly, especially to the uterus, it may result in dystocia.
Despite all of the wellness benefits back pain is the most common reason patients present for prenatal chiropractic care. The body must adapt to the newly developing baby. It does so by expanding the rib cage and increasing pelvic motion. This often results in mid-back, rib and low back pain. One of the side effects of chiropractic adjustments is decreased pain and sciatica as a result of restoring normal neuro-biomechanics.
Your nervous system sends signals from your spine to surrounding organs. Chiropractic adjustments remove the nerve interference to allow the body to function optimally. This is most important which discussing the uterine nerves necessary for labor progression. In some cases, it may even improve reduce bowel irregularity and morning sickness once normal nervous system function is restored.
Consistent chiropractic care throughout pregnancy and postpartum results in a quicker recovery from the birthing process. The pelvis often develops sprain strain injuries similar to those of a car accident post-par tum. Addressing the injured tissues and restoring proper nervous system function during this time is essential to the quality of life of the mother.
There are many techniques that can be used during pregnancy. They are safe and effective for both mother and child. When you visit your chiropractor, a consultation discussing your medical history and examination will be performed. Relaying any pertinent information between your PCP, obstetrician, midwife, doula and chiropractor is always advised.
Our office uses a specific table that drops down to accommodate mommas’ belly. We also have chiropractic pregnancy pillows that may be used. They both allow you to lay face down on the table! It is a safe and comfortable way to be adjusted. For more information about the pregnancy pillow we use visit: https://chiropracticpregnancypillows.com/. For more information about prenatal and pediatric chiropractic visit: https://icpa4kids.com/training/webster-certification/webster-technique/
Dr. Amanda Courtney D.C.
Spine By Design Chiropractic