One of the most important times for a woman to receive chiropractic care is during her pregnancy. From the moment of conception, your body goes through a series of changes. Back, pelvic and postural changes can cause unwanted pain and discomfort. All of this can do quite a number on your spine. Enter, chiropractic care, or the process of adjusting or realigning your spinal cord (and the ligaments and muscles that surround it) to lessen the pain and promote health throughout the body. It’s thought that chiropractic care may be able to undo some of this damage and realign your lower body for an easier birth.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe During Pregnancy?
There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. Our Chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant They use tables that adjust for a pregnant woman’s body, and they will use techniques that avoid unneeded pressure on the abdomen. Our doctors will also provide exercises and stretches that are safe to use during your pregnancy.
Why Should I Have Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby.
The following changes can result in a misaligned spine or joints:
- Protruding abdomen and increased back curve
- Pelvic changes
- Postural adaptations
Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is another reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. This can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth. Breech and posterior positions can interfere with the natural ease of labor and lead to interventions such as c-sections.
The nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively.
What Are The Benefits Of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?
Millions of expectant mothers look to chiropractic for it’s safe, natural and drug-free approach to pain relief and prevention for a healthier, happier pregnancy.
Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:
- Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
- Controlling symptoms of nausea
- Reducing the time of labor and delivery
- Relieving back, neck or joint pain
- Preventing a potential cesarean delivery
Can Chiropractors Turn Breech Babies?
No. Chiropractors do not actually turn breech babies. Don’t worry! We get asked this questions more times than we can count, so you’re not alone.
The external cephalic version (ECV), a procedure done by obstetricians and some midwives, is a medical procedure that numbs the mother’s uterus and manually attempts to turn the fetus from head up to head down while in utero. Completely separate from the medical ECV is the phenomena of reestablishing pelvic balance. This helps to remove tension in pelvic muscles and ligaments and through the restoration of normal bio-mechanics in the mother, babies optimize their positioning on their own. This is essentially what chiropractic is all about, restoring normal physiological function with gentle spinal adjustments. With no structural or neurological interference, the body has a fascinating ability to correct abnormalities, heal itself, and restore normal function.
Larry Webster, D.C., Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), developed a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment which enables chiropractors to establish balance in the pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments. This balanced state in the pelvis has been clinically shown to allow for optimal fetal positioning. The technique is known as the Webster Technique.
It is considered normal by some for a baby to present breech until the third trimester. Most birth practitioners are not concerned with breech presentations until a patient is 37 weeks along. Approximately 4% of all pregnancies result in a breech presentation.
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.
What is the Webster Technique?
The Webster technique is a specific sacral adjustment to help facilitate the mother’s pelvic alignment and nerve system function. This in turn balances pelvic muscles and ligaments, reduces torsion to the uterus. This may offer a greater potential for optimal fetal positioning.
Originally used for breech presentations and then posterior presentations, current research is revealing the benefits of receiving the Webster technique throughout pregnancy for the prevention of dystocia.
How Often Will I Need Treatment During My Pregnancy?
A treatment plan will be individually tailored for your specific condition and depends on your week of pregnancy. Treatment recommendations range from 2-3 times per week to once a month.