Chiropractic and Pregnancy
Nothing has the capacity to change our lives like raising a child and leaving a legacy. Nothing is more a rite of passage for many women as becoming pregnant and birthing a child. Pregnancy is an AMAZING process! There are so many factors that have to come together just right in order for an egg to even be fertilized. After that, it is estimated that about 50 percent, yes HALF, of all pregnancies are spontaneously aborted by the body before the mother even knows she is pregnant.
So it’s only natural for an expectant mother to do all she can to ensure the best pregnancy possible. One of the things that is being recommended more often these days is chiropractic. Each week in our office we receive multiple referrals from the local birthing center or the midwife group at a nearby hospital. Once you understand the benefits getting adjusted has on a soon-to-be mom, it’s a wonder it’s not advised more often.
Let’s take a look at all the ways chiropractic care can helps with pregnancy:
Pelvic/Back Pain: As the uterus expands during pregnancy, there is increased pressure on the pelvis, as well as the ligaments that anchor the uterus. As the uterus expands, a woman’s center of graviity moves forward. It is estimated that for each inch forward, there is an additional ten pounds of pressure on the low back. Getting adjusted regularly throughout pregnancy allows the spine and the body to adapt to the increased stress, and reduces pain. Even WebMD is catching on to how beneficial chiropractic can be for pregnancy related pain
Better Nervous System Function: Pregnancy and childbirth are pretty much entirely autonomic processes, meaning you don’t have to think about them for them to happen. The autonomic nervous system controls them entirely, except for the pushing part. If there is pressure on the nerves to the placenta, or uterus, or cervix (which has to dilate to 10 cm for the baby to come out) then they will not operate normally. Removing the interference, or subluxation, helps the entire process to work better.
Easier Labor: The pelvis has to expand and open up for the baby to come out. A hormone called relaxin actually helps the ligaments, which hold one bone to another, to soften and stretch out. If the pelvis is out of alignment and stuck it will not be able to expand as it’s supposed to. Certain structures can actually block a portion of the pelvic outlet, making delivery much more difficult, and painful!
Proper Fetal Positioning: One of the main reasons that birth centers and hospitals refer us patients is for a BREECH POSITIONED baby, that is, head up and feet down. This is a potentially life threatening condition to delivery a baby in, and almost every case winds up a c-section. Another position that can create problems is POSTERIOR POSITIONING, or the baby head down but facing the front instead of facing the rear as they should be. Posterior position births, also called ‘back labor’, produce intense pain for the mother. The more uncomfortable the mother is, the greater the chances of medical interventions, which can cause more complications, including fetal distress. Aligning the pelvis throughout pregnancy keeps pressure off of these ligaments, and the parts of the uterus that attach to the pelvis. This helps create more room inside for the baby to move around and get into proper position.
Quicker Recovery Time: Birth causes a lot of pressure and stretching to the pelvis and to the ligaments holding everything together. If the pelvis is misaligned before labor, there is a high chance that as it expands during labor ligaments can be damaged. Additionally, when the pelvis heals, if the different portions don’t come back together the right way it can cause considerable pain. Research has shown that regular chiropractic care during pregnancy reduces the occurrence of SPD (SYMPHYSIS PUBIS DISORDER) an extremely painful condition post-partum when the 2 pubic bones do not realign correctly.
Even though the RESEARCH shows chiropractic care is not only safe, but also effective, be sure to find a chiropractor who is certified to treat pregnant patients. Since the ligaments are already more stretchy and loose during pregnancy there is a greater chance of injury if the doctor is not properly trained.
For more information about chiropractic and pregnancy please visit the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association website http://www,icpa4kids.org