Chiropractic and Pregnancy: 5 big reasons to get adjusted when expecting
Nothing changes our lives like giving birth and raising a child. It is an AMAZING process! There are so many things that have to come together just right in order for an egg to even be fertilized, and even then about half of all pregnancies are ‘spontaneously aborted’ before the mother even knows she is pregnant. So it’s only natural to want to do everything you can to have the best pregnancy possible.
And it’s no wonder more and more people are turning to chiropractic to help with that. Each week we receive referrals from the local birthing center or the midwife group at a nearby hospital just for that. And when you understand the benefits for soon-to-be mom and baby, it’s a wonder it’s not suggested more often.
How chiropractic care helps with pregnancy
Pelvic/Back Pain: As the uterus expands during pregnancy, there is a lot more pressure on the pelvis and the ligaments that attach to the uterus. As the baby keeps growing, the center of gravity moves forward away from the body. It’s estimated that for each inch forward, there is an extra ten pounds of pressure on the low back! Getting adjusted regularly throughout pregnancy allows the spine and body to adapt to that stress and pressure, and reduces pain. Even WebMD is catching on to how beneficial chiropractic can be for pregnancy related pain
Better Nerve Function: Pregnancy and childbirth are pretty much entirely automatic. 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 those nerves won’t work right. When we adjust the spine, we get pressure off the nerves, which helps all those things work better.
Easier Labor: The pelvis has to expand and open up for the baby to come out. A hormone called relaxin 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 much. Parts of the pelvis can actually block the way out, making delivery much more difficult and painful!
Proper Fetal Positioning: We get a lot of referrals for a BREECH POSITIONED baby. That’s when the head is up and the feet are down. It’s potentially life threatening, 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 back. Posterior births produce ‘back labor’, which causes intense pain for the mother. The more uncomfortable the mother is, the greater chance of medical intervention. This can also lead to fetal distress, which ends up in a c-section. 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 out of aligment before labor, there’s a chance that ligaments can be damaged as it expands. Also when the pelvis heals, if it doesn’t come back together in the right way there can be A LOT of pain. Research has shown that regular chiropractic care during pregnancy reduces the occurrence of SPD (SYMPHYSIS PUBIS DISORDER) an extremely painful post-partum condition when the 2 pubic bones don’t realign correctly.
Even though the RESEARCH shows chiropractic care is safe and effective, make sure to find someone 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 check out the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association website http://www,icpa4kids.org They have a TON of great and free research articles.