During pregnancy woman’s body suffers major changes: structural, hormonal and emotional. It does that to create the best environment for the baby to grow inside the womb and to prepare itself to the delivery. That’s why during the pregnancy the ligament laxity increases, the ligaments that support our joints become more elastic so the joints are more flexible. All of that is due to the production of many different hormones like relaxin, progesterone, estrogens, etc.
Among the complaints that were often present before the pregnancy starts –or increase during the gestation– are sciatic pain, low back pain, pubalgia, breathing difficulties, etc.
A lot of times the babies are not in the right position because the mother has an imbalance in her pelvis. Correcting this imbalance could help to restore the proper orientation of the fetus in the womb. It can also happen that the delivery does not happen normally because the mother’s pelvis misses the proper position or it does not move properly.
Chiropractic care is health maintenance of the spinal column, discs, related nerves and bone geometry without drugs or surgery. It involves the art and science of adjusting misaligned joints of the body, especially of the spine, which reduces spinal nerve stress and therefore promotes health throughout the body.
Is chiropractic care during pregnancy safe?
There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant. Investing in the fertility and pregnancy wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive is a routine care for most chiropractors.
Chiropractors that have been trained to work with pregnant women may use tables that adjust for a pregnant woman’s body, and they will use techniques that avoid unneeded pressure on the abdomen.
A chiropractor who is trained in the needs of women who are pregnant will also provide you with exercises and stretches that are safe to use during 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
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
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can provide benefits for women who are pregnant including;
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
What about chiropractic care and breech deliveries?
The late 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 in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.
Further, the results from the study suggest it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique, as soon as the 8th month of pregnancy, when a woman has a breech presentation.
Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy.
With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether.
Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and, therefore, results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.
Solve your questions: Talk to Your Health Care Provider
As more women are seeking the benefits of chiropractic care throughout pregnancy, more health care providers are seeking trained doctors of chiropractic in their communities to refer their pregnant patients to.
Discuss these options with your health care provider. If they are not yet familiar with chiropractic care in pregnancy, ask them to find out more about its many benefits.
Most importantly, seek options that support your body’s natural abilities to function and find a team of providers who are respectful of your choices.
Why should I bring my kid to the chiropractor?
Parents know the importance of regular dental, eyesight and hearing check-ups for their sons, but usually they forget one which is probably the most important: the spine check-up. There is no need to wait that our son complains of back pain to bring him/her to a chiropractor.
Children and babies need a spine and nervous system working at 100% of its potential. Their brain has to be constantly aware about their body and their environment, just as our brains do.
The child’s first subluxation could happen in the uterus as a consequence of the position of the fetus in it. Then the labour, depending on the process of giving birth, could provoke interferences that irritate the baby’s nervous system.
We shouldn’t forget that kids can subluxate due to falls (when they learn to walk or to ride a bike), bad postures, heavy backpacks, and so on. As a silent tooth decay, the vertebral subluxation alters all the baby organism without showing any symptom at the beginning.
Which are the common symptoms that have to make me think about chiropractic care for my son?
Kids go to see a chiropractor for different reasons:
To grow up healthy and prevent problems,
Baby colics, otitis media, scoliosis,
Breathing or sleeping problems,
Cranial asymmetry (the baby always looking at the same side or sucking the same breast),
The baby crying a lot, reflux, back and neck pain, involuntary urination, muscle contraction, anxiety, dizziness or vertigo, hyperactivity, etc.
The chiropractic care provides health in a natural way and has a preventive function of great importance for our kids’ quality of life.
Of course we as chiropractors do not adjust children in the same way we adjust adults. That is because the children’s bones are softer, not fully mature yet. We apply a very gentle pressure on the joints or the segments that are not moving properly in order to get them back to the right place.
Before you ask, chiropractic is not risky at all; actually the research says that there has not been one single serious adverse event caused by chiropractic care for a child anywhere in the world for the past 20 years.(1)
Doyle MF. Is chiropractic pediatric care safe? A best evidence topic. Clinical Chiropractic. 9//2011;14(3):97-105.