What to Expect from Your Chiropractor When You’re Expecting
Author: Christina Cerrato
Pregnancy can be full of beautiful moments between mother and baby, but it can also be full of low back pain, achy joints, nausea, sciatic sensations, swelling, anxiety, stress and discomfort highlighted by hours of intense labor. Whether you’re experiencing pregnancy bliss or counting down the hours, your chiropractor help you through it all. Not only are you eating for two, but you’re also walking, bending over, and getting out of bed for two. Your spine is no longer just supporting you, but your little one, too. Who better to help you manage it all than your chiropractor?
Generally, the source of low back and hip pain during pregnancy is obvious; your baby bump. As the uterus expands, additional weight is placed onto the pelvis increasing your lumbar curve. Nerves, veins and arteries are compressed creating pain and swelling. 1Wide-spread joint pain and instability is caused by the release of several hormones. 1 Many medications for a mom-to-be are off limits, which leaves fewer options for care. Lucky for you, chiropractors can help facilitate a more comfortable pregnancy.
While most chiropractors receive some education in treating pregnant patients, more is typically seen in those practicing in-depth family care. Chiropractors that are certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) have hundreds of hours of specialized training on fertility, pregnancy, postnatal, infant, and child care. Any adjustments during pregnancy are gentle and easier to perform since circulating hormones relax ligaments. 1 Treatments are always safe and customized to you, changing as your baby grows. Chiropractic care is not only safe but effective. A study was performed involving a group of pregnant patients with low back or pelvic pain who received regular adjustments. The results were incredible: 52percent saw improvement at just 1 week, 70 percent at 1 month, 85 percent at 3 months, 90 percent at 6 months and 88 percent at 1 year. 2
Adjusting may not only help to reduce discomfort, but could also reduce time spent in labor. On average, first-time mothers who received regular chiropractic care throughout gestation had a 25 percent shorter labor, and mothers of multiple children had on average a 31 percent shorter labor.3 Throughout pregnancy, Webster Technique (a specialized sacral analysis and adjustment) can be applied to provide more room for the baby to move on its own, naturally assuming an optimal delivery position. This has even greater importance in the case of breech. In one survey, chiropractic doctors who performed Webster Technique on women with breech babies reported significant results: “92 percent of cases resulted in resolution of the breech position.” 4 By creating a healthy pelvic environment, risk of interventions such as cesarean delivery could be significantly reduced. 5
More possible benefits from prenatal chiropractic care include reduced stress/anxiety6, decreased blood pressure7, minimized morning sickness8, reduction in swelling by promoting circulation7 and countless others. Your chiropractor may also recommend stretches, exercises, nutritional changes, quality products, and other alternative options like massage.
After birth, chiropractic can help you bounce back fast by re-establishing pelvic balance and caring for your tired back. Sleepless nights and toting around your little one can take a toll, so be sure to keep those appointments going. Consult your chiropractor for proper body mechanics when picking up your baby, selecting carriers, and breast or bottle feeding postures that are best for you. Your chiropractor is an incredible resource, use them! Don’t tough out back pain and discomfort. Bringing a baby in the world is tough, so talk to your chiropractor about a quicker, easier, and safer delivery.
Christina Cerrato, Current Palmer of Chiropractic College Student
- Borggren, Cara L. “Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature.” Causes of low back pain during pregnancy. National Center for Biotechnological Information. Online 2007. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2647084/#bib8
- Painter, Frank M. DC. “Outcomes of Pregnant Patients With Low Back Pain Undergoing Chiropractic Treatment: A Prospective Cohort Study With Short Term, Medium Term and 1 Year Follow-up.” Results. Chiro.org. Online 2014 http://www.chiro.org/pediatrics/ABSTRACTS/Outcomes_Of_Pregnant_Patients.shtml)
- Fallon J.M. “Textbook on chiropractic & pregnancy.” Arlington, VA: International Chiropractic Association; 1994: 52, 109.
- Pistolese R.A. “The Webster Technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetric implications.” Circle of Docs. Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2002 Jul-Aug; 25(6):E1-9 https://circleofdocs.com/the-webster-technique-a-chiropractic-technique-with-obstetric-implications/
- “Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy.” American Pregnancy Association. November 8th 2017. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy/
- “Chiropractic for Anxiety and Depression.” How chiropractic can help. echiropractor.org. Online n.d. https://www.echiropractor.org/chiropractic-for-anxiety-and-depression/
- “Blood Pressure” Discover Chiropractic. Online n.d. http://www.godiscoverhealth.com/blood-pressure/
- Arcadi, Victoria. How Do You Treat Hyperemesis Gravidarum (Morning Sickness)? Dynamic Chiropractic – March 29, 1991, Vol. 09, Issue 07 Dynamic Chiropractic https://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=44231