Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy is becoming a more accepted and more common practice utilized by expecting mothers; in fact, many Obstetricians are now encouraging and referring their patients to chiropractors. A properly aligned spine and hips can help make pregnancy and delivery more comfortable. The old way of thinking was, “pregnancy is supposed to be uncomfortable and sometimes painful”, or “well, it’s only for a few months”. By getting regular adjustments throughout pregnancy, this process can be much more pleasant than women think.
The most common complaint throughout pregnancy is low back pain. This is due to spinal dysfunction related to changing load distributions within the motion segments of the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints. As the fetus develops during gestation, this weight is projected forward and the lumbar lordosis is increased, placing extra stress on the intervertebral disks and facet joints. Also, as the baby grows, the body is required to make room for the baby; it does this by expanding the pelvic ring. However, if the pelvis is not moving properly, this altered motion can stress the muscles and compress spinal nerves resulting in symptoms such as muscle spasm, sciatica, leg pain, and sharp pains in the low back area. Other common symptoms during pregnancy are headaches, carpal tunnel, rib pain, and nausea; and yes, chiropractic care can help with all of these symptoms listed!
Pain relief is not the only reason chiropractic care is beneficial to pregnant women. Proper spinal and pelvic alignment allows room for the baby to grow, develop, and move. This reduces the risk of having a breeched baby. If an expected mother discovers that her unborn child is in the breeched position, a Doctor of Chiropractic skilled in the Webster In-Utero Technique can naturally correct the baby’s position.
Most women who receive chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy experience a faster delivery which is much safer for both mom and baby; a properly aligned pelvis allows more room for the baby to enter the world with little resistance, and greatly reduces the risk of the Ob to have to resort to suctions, fracturing the child’s clavicle, or performing an emergency C-section.
Chiropractic adjustments are completely safe to both mother and baby; there are no known contraindications to chiropractic care during pregnancy. The ligamentous laxity brought on by pregnancy often makes adjusting comparatively easy using the gentlest of movements. The equipment used when adjusting pregnant patients is specifically tailored for both safety and comfort.