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. The good news is, chiropractic can help!
How can chiropractic help?
Your spine is made up of 24 independent vertebrae that enable your body to twist, bend and move. It also helps protect the delicate central nervous system that controls and coordinates every cell, tissue and organ of the body.
Subluxations of the spine, commonly know as joint dysfunctions, occur when two or more vertebrae become restricted and impede the body’s ability to communicate with itself. Joint dysfunctions during pregnancy can be caused by the changes taking place in your body as it prepares to support you and your new bundle of joy.
Changes such as weight gain in the abdomen, poor posture and rotation of the pelvis force the body to unnaturally adapt to additional stress placed on the spine. These changes negatively affect joint function and nerve communication throughout the body.
Chiropractors are trained to locate and correct joint dysfunctions by applying a gentle, targeted movement to the body’s spinal column and extremities–where and when needed–restoring proper joint function and improving nerve communication throughout the body. This non-invasive technique is commonly known as a chiropractic adjustment.
What are the benefits of chiropractic 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.
Benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy could include:
- Relief from back, neck or joint pain
- Controlling symptoms of nausea
- Reduction in time of labor and delivery
- Prevention of a potential cesarean delivery
Another Factor to Consider
Proper nutrition is another essential factor to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Be sure to incorporate good sources of protein, iron, calcium, and fruits and vegetables into your diet. Try to curb those sweet treat cravings, since too much sugar can cause you (and the baby) to gain unnecessary weight. Finally, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking approximately eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids per day.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Why should I go to the chiropractor if I am pregnant?
A: Most pregnant women are referred for lower back or pelvic pain associated with pregnancy. This includes localized lower back pain, sciatica (radiating leg pain), groin pain, and leg or thigh pain. Some patients present with middle back pain, rib pain, neck pain or headaches. Chiropractors can also help determine if the fetus is not in the optimal position for birth, such as breech, transverse, or posterior.
- Q: Is Chiropractic treatment safe during pregnancy?
A: Yes! Gentle chiropractic treatment including joint mobilization, soft tissue treatment, and therapeutic exercise is safe and effective during pregnancy. Doctors of chiropractic are trained to address the challenges of the pregnant body including loosening ligaments and increased weight.
- Q: How often will I need treatment during my pregnancy?
A: 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.
- Q: What else can I do at home between my office visits to help my pain?
A: In addition to drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet, home care recommendations usually include ice, physioball exercises, and gentle stretching. A maternity belt support may be recommended as well. Exercises are tailored specifically for each patient.
- Q: Can chiropractic treatment really reduce my time in labor?
A: A research study showed that patients under chiropractic care during pregnancy had decreased labor times by 24-39%.
- Q: Is my treatment over after my baby is born?
A: Prior to returning to routine personal care, at least one postpartum evaluation is recommended before the ligaments around the pelvis tighten. Usually this occurs about the same time as your postpartum visit to your birth provider at 2-4 weeks.