About 50 % of women experience back, hip or joint pain during pregnancy. Many women also experience nausea and other digestive complaints. Chiropractic care during pregnancy can keep the mother to be more comfortable and lead to easier labor and delivery.
All chiropractors are trained in treating pregnant women, and some have additional certifications. Chiropractors use special tables to accommodate your growing belly, and they will use techniques that do not put pressure on the abdomen.
If you have experienced vaginal bleeding, placenta previa or placenta abruption, ectopic pregnancy, or moderate to severe toxemia, talk to your OBGYN before seeking chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments are considered safe for women who do not have these conditions.
Here are six benefits of receiving chiropractic adjustments during (and after) pregnancy.
Changes in your body and your hormones during pregnancy can cause pain in your back and hips and even in your neck and joints. As your baby belly grows, your back may arch more, and your body will make other adjustments to accommodate your increased weight. Your pelvis will also be changing as it gets ready for delivery. All these changes can cause discomfort, but you don’t have to be in pain for nine months. Chiropractic care will help to keep your spine and pelvis aligned. Better alignment will reduce pain and help your nervous system to function optimally.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can effectively treat sciatica, round ligament pain, pelvic girdle pain, and low back pain. Your chiropractor can also help you to adjust your posture to prevent neck and low back pain. Because your joints and ligaments are more loose than usual during pregnancy, a very gentle touch is needed to make adjustments.
Decreased Chance of Certain Pregnancy Complications
If your pelvis is misaligned, your baby will not have enough room to grow. This can cause birth defects and lead to delivery complications. Breech births are more common in mothers with a misaligned pelvis. Your chiropractor can safely realign your pelvis and keep it aligned throughout your pregnancy, giving your baby more room to grow and reducing the risk of breech birth.
If you are more than 37 weeks along and have been told that your baby is still presenting as breech, your chiropractor may be able to help. Using a technique called the Webster Method, chiropractors are able to gently correct the positioning of the mother’s pelvis and spine to allow the baby to turn naturally. The Webster Method has been shown to correct breech positioning in about 82% of cases. If you are looking for a chiropractor who can help correct your baby’s breech presentation, ask if they are certified in the Webster Method.
Women who receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can expect to have their time in labor decreased by 25-31%. Your nervous system is responsible for dilating your cervix and controlling your contractions during delivery. Chiropractors are trained in techniques to help the pregnant woman’s nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and uterus work together optimally. Chiropractic care can also reduce stress and anxiety, which can facilitate a shorter, more comfortable delivery. Studies have shown that women who receive chiropractic care during pregnancy are more likely to have a natural, non-invasive birth.
If you are at risk for a pre-term delivery or have had one in the past, chiropractic care may be able to help you carry your baby to term. Chiropractic adjustments can help move the baby upward and prevent premature labor.
Nausea can be one of the hardest pregnancy symptoms to tolerate. It is caused by hormonal changes and is most common during the first trimester. The aim of chiropractic adjustments is to align the spine; a well-aligned spine contributes to healthy nerve function, which in turn can help to balance your hormones.
Many women have found that regular chiropractic care during pregnancy reduces their nausea and vomiting. Chiropractic adjustments can also help relieve other digestive disorders that are common during pregnancy, such as constipation and heartburn.
Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to strengthen the immune system and encourage healthy circulation. These benefits are especially important during pregnancy. The better your immune system is, the better your baby’s immunity will be right after birth. Recent studies have linked healthy immune function during pregnancy to lower chances of miscarriage and premature births.
Less pain during pregnancy also encourages expectant mothers to be more active. This is important because exercise during pregnancy can lead to better sleep, improved mood, less digestive discomfort and even a decreased risk of gestational diabetes. Chiropractic care is one more thing you can do to ensure a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby.
Your body goes through an incredible amount of change during pregnancy, and once your baby is born, it will go through changes again. During pregnancy, your center of gravity moved forward, and your spinal curve deepened. After pregnancy, your spinal curvature will return to normal as your center of gravity once again moves backward.
Your core strength after pregnancy will be significantly weakened due to the stretching of the abdominal wall. Weak core muscles don’t create adequate support for your lower back, and sometimes this can lead to low back pain and even injury. In addition to this, long feeding sessions with baby can encourage you to roll your shoulders forward and tilt your head down, causing neck and upper back pain.
Chiropractic care after pregnancy can help your body get through all of these changes safely and comfortably. Your chiropractor can tell you which joints are moving too much or too little and show you how to correct your posture. Chiropractic care after pregnancy can help you get back on your feet and back to your exercise routine more quickly.