Finding out you are pregnant is an exciting time for every woman. Once you discover you are pregnant, it is not uncommon to immediately think about how to better care for yourself and your baby.
Every woman wants an easy pregnancy and an even easier birth! There are a great many ways you can achieve this:
- Proper diet
- Vitamins and supplements
- Getting plenty of exercise and fresh air
- Staying hydrated
- Avoiding stress
- Getting regular chiropractic care
That last point might have stopped you in your tracks. Chiropractic care? For pregnant women?
Chiropractic care has multiple benefits for almost everyone, but few people seem to consider it for pregnancy.
Chiropractic Care = Healthy Mom and Baby
You might wonder how “cracking your back” could possibly make much difference to a pregnant woman, but that’s not really what chiropractic is about.
Chiropractic care allows the body to operate naturally and is a holistic method of removing any obstruction in the spine. If the nerves in the spine are not receiving proper signals from the brain because they are ‘kinked’ or pinched, then the organs and muscles in the body cannot respond properly. Like a garden hose with a kink in it, you can turn on the faucet full blast but receive just a drip on the other end. Chiropractic care allows your body to function as naturally as possible, allowing the transmission of signals from the nerves to reach all parts of your body, including your growing baby.
If you haven’t considered chiropractic care while you are pregnant, you should! Let’s look at the benefits you and your baby can receive from regular chiropractic adjustments.
Chiropractic Care Can Make You More Comfortable
If you have given birth before, you know, especially in the last trimester, your body can get pretty uncomfortable. Many of these symptoms can be avoided or relieved through chiropractic care
Better Control of Annoying Symptoms, Including
∙ Less back pain. Approximately 50% of women complain of back pain during pregnancy and a full 75% say they had back pain during labor. A meta-analysis of 33 studies and references from 1987 through 2006 found that 72% of women who had chiropractic care during pregnancy experienced less back pain.
∙ Reduced leg and pelvic/lumbar pain. One study found that chiropractic treatment reduced pain levels from a 7 to a 2 on a numeric pain rating scale.
∙ Nausea and vomiting. Although there are no studies in this area as every woman experiences different levels of nausea (and for some women, none at all!), many pregnant women state that their nausea and vomiting was greatly reduced when they started chiropractic care.
It Restores Correct Posture
As the baby develops and grows, mothers-to-be experience sway-back. This misalignment puts extra pressure on the feet, knees, and hips. By reestablishing correct posture, chiropractic care not only makes mom more comfortable, but it provides the baby with a bit more room to grow, eliminating what is known as intrauterine constraint.
Chiropractic Offers Prevention or Relief from Back, Feet, and Neck Pain
As your abdomen grows, it often causes pain in the back, feet, and neck. While the added weight is partially to blame, a misaligned spine is the main cause. Receiving regular chiropractic adjustments will help to relieve these frequent sources of discomfort for many mothers-to-be.
Return Balance to the Pelvis
As you might imagine, your growing baby can push your pelvis out of alignment, which not only reduces the amount of space for your baby but causes lower back and hip pain for you. It can also make things more difficult for the baby when it is ready to be born. Chiropractic adjustments will keep your pelvis aligned, allowing space for the baby to grow and to be delivered more easily.
Chiropractic Care Means an Easier Labor and Delivery
Unless you plan on having a C-section, receiving regular adjustments during your pregnancy can reduce the amount of pain involved in the birthing process.
In this article, published in 2016 in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, the authors talk about the safety of the over 100 year history of chiropractic, and a study involving 400 pregnant women who received chiropractic adjustments in their last trimester experienced a lower risk of complications and the need for forceps, as well as reducing their risk of premature delivery, which can be a dangerous problem for both mom and infant.
A Shorter Delivery Time
First-time mothers, in particular, are known for having longer labor and delivery time. This article explains and lists several studies which show that women who receive chiropractic care during pregnancy, even women giving birth for the first time, experience shorter delivery times, and a reduced need for pain medication.
Prevention or Reversal of Breech Births
Although this study is controversial because it used only a small sampling, doctors surveyed reported that 82% of women who received a chiropractic treatment called The Webster Technique in the last two months of pregnancy, stated that they had successful head-first births.
Anchorage chiropractors who perform The Webster Technique on women whose babies were in a breech position state they have a 92% success rate.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Me and My Baby?
Yes, it absolutely is.
All chiropractors take classes in prenatal care and the special techniques used with women who are expecting, similar to the training medical doctors receive.
In the same way that some doctors continue with their education and receive specialized training and become OBGYN’s, chiropractors can also take more advanced and intensified training in both prenatal and postnatal care.
Chiropractors have special tables for pregnant women that work better to suit her changing body and avoid unnecessary pressure on the abdomen.
When seeking chiropractic care, you can ask your doctor if he/she has any of the following certifications which shows they have taken advanced classes in pregnancy-related care:
- Webster Certified: This shows the chiropractor received special training for pelvic balance during pregnancy
- CACCP: This certification from the International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA) reflects that they have completed advanced training in care for pregnant women
- Membership in the ICPA
- DACCP: This reflects the highest level of advanced training possible from the ICPA
Of course, you should always speak with your OBGYN about receiving chiropractic care during your pregnancy. Almost all doctors will recommend it for women with normal, low-risk pregnancies.
Written by Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells is one of the leading chiropractors in Anchorage who believes in treating people the way he would want to be treated. Born and raised in Southern California, Dr. Wells received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada and his Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine degree from Western States Chiropractic College. He, his wife Coni, and their three children live in and enjoy the great outdoors in Alaska. Dr. Wells volunteers for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation and can be found hiking or rollerblading when he isn’t playing his guitar.