Pregnancy is an exciting, joyous time, but it can also be fraught with anxiety. As you undergo the necessary physical, hormonal, psychological, nutritional and other changes, they can be very demanding on your body and cause many unpleasant symptoms. Whether you experience morning sickness, intense headaches, fatigue, or like 50% to 75% of all pregnant women experience low back pain, chiropractic care can reduce pain and help you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that 94.1% of pregnant women who underwent chiropractic care showed clinical improvement without any noted adverse effects.
Chiropractic care is a safe, natural, drug-free solution to many of your pregnancy issues. Other than providing maintenance to the spinal column, discs, nerves, and bones; it can also be utilized to effectively reduce risks and other complications during labor and delivery. With so many potential benefits, it is no wonder that more women are seeking chiropractic alignment during and after pregnancy.
But is receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy really safe?
If you have wondered if chiropractic care is an option for you and safe your baby, research shows that it poses no danger and may be considered a safe and effective treatment for your musculoskeletal and other symptoms. In fact, there are no known contraindications to receiving chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy. Chiropractors are trained to work with pregnant women and some even specialize in prenatal and postnatal care.
Here, we will review some symptoms and birth risks that you can treat effectively with chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy to alleviate discomfort and prepare your body for a more comfortable birth.
Low back pain and headaches
When you have bad low back pain, you know that you would do anything to relieve it. In fact, it is one of the most common reasons pregnant women consider chiropractic care. Most of the time low back pain during pregnancy is caused by vertebral subluxations and muscle spasms, but there are also many hormonal triggers that can contribute to the problem. Vertebral subluxation is a term that is best defined as a misalignment of a bone in your spine, which causes muscle spasms and stresses your nerves and spine. The simplest method for treating vertebral subluxations is a chiropractic adjustment, which is targeted force applied to your misaligned joints that corrects their position and function.
Aside from low back pain, vertebral subluxations also contribute to headaches and migraines during pregnancy. This is due to misalignments in your cervical spine or neck. Low back pain can also be an indicator of developing complications. In fact, the relative risk of back labor was 3X greater if back pain was experienced during pregnancy.
Considering that the average woman will gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy, as well as having to accommodate the additional internal stress of a growing baby, it is no surprise that muscle strain, pain, and a misaligned spine are such common issues. You see, in order to prepare for the baby, after you become pregnant, your center of gravity begins to shift toward the front of your pelvis, which, as your baby grows and your stomach moves away from your body, puts an enormous amount of stress on your nerves, ligaments, low back and pelvis, resulting in pain and postural issues. Pelvic pain is very common with nearly 50% of women experiencing moderate and severe pelvic pain during pregnancy.
Getting your spine and pelvis aligned in preparation for childbirth is one of the main goals of prenatal chiropractic care, as a misaligned spine and imbalanced pelvis can create problems for you and your baby. To get your spine and pelvis where the need to be in preparation for childbirth, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy.
The Webster Technique
ICPA founder Larry Webster developed the Webster technique especially to help pregnant mothers get the most benefit out of chiropractic care. It takes into consideration the changes in your body and the common issues you will likely encounter during your pregnancy, such as pelvic misalignment and the increased stress on the ligaments that support your uterus. What it does is it works to return your pelvic and sacral balance and overall function.
When you have pelvic and sacral misalignments, it causes tightening and torsion of special pelvic muscles and ligaments, which can create a constraining effect on your uterus and prevents your baby from getting into proper position for birth. Using the Webster technique, a chiropractor can make special adjustments that help reduce overall interference to your nervous system, while facilitating biomechanical balance in your muscles, ligaments, and pelvic structures.
One problem often encountered by doctors and other birth practitioners are breech presentations, where the baby’s feet and buttocks are positioned to be delivered first. Breech presentations occur in approximately 4% of all pregnancies. To get breeched babies turned around, many practitioners are using the Webster technique with great success. In fact, according to the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics the Webster technique has an 82% success rate.
When your spine and pelvis are properly aligned they enable proper fetal positioning, which relieves stress to your baby’s developing spine and nervous system.
As you can see, turning to chiropractic care during your pregnancy has many benefits. Other than reduced pain and better spinal and pelvic alignment, many women also report:
- Reduction in the use of analgesics during labor and delivery by 50%
- Shorter time spent in labor
- More comfortable pregnancy
These are just a few of the benefits that chiropractic alignment can offer you and your child during pregnancy. By contacting a chiropractor and developing a treatment plan specific to your needs, you can help yourself experience more of the joys and less of the pain and other discomforting symptoms. Have you previously tried going to a chiropractor when you were pregnant or do you know someone who has? Let us know by sending us an email or feel free to contact our office for more information on how chiropractic care can help you toward a healthier pregnancy.