Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

chiropractorPregnancy is a very special time in a woman’s life. The knowledge that a life is growing inside of you is awe-inspiring and you undoubtedly want to do everything that is best for you and your unborn baby. You eat well, avoid smoking and drinking and exercise to help your body through the inevitable changes. Many woman, however, experience lower back pain and other complications that make pregnancy uncomfortable. Since many women shy away from medication during pregnancy for the protection of the baby, what options are available to help alleviate the pain? Chiropractic care is becoming an increasingly more popular pain relief option for pregnant women, even up to the last days before giving birth!

Since chiropractic care focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, it is helpful in alleviating back pain, neck pain, headaches and pain in the arms and legs. In addition to spinal manipulation, chiropractic doctors can also recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, and can assist an expectant mom with nutritional and dietary advice. Chiropractic care is generally regarded as a conservative approach to pain management, which is especially beneficial for expectant mothers. Chiropractic care for pregnant women has shown to be not only safe and therapeutic, but also relaxing.

When searching for a chiropractor, ask if the doctor has experience treating pregnant patients. Ask which treatments have worked for previous patients and how they benefited, to see if there are stretches or exercises you can do to help alleviate your discomfort. Remember, the further along your pregnancy progresses, the bigger your ‘cargo’ will become, putting additional stress on your spine and extremities. Keep in mind that the alignment of your hips, spine and pelvis will help to make labor an easier process. The lower back and pelvis are engaged in the physical pushing of the baby and if they are structured correctly and “loose”, the process of birth will be less complicated and decidedly more comfortable. By utilizing the Webster Technique, a specific adjustment that reduces interference between the nervous system and the pelvic area and surrounding muscles, a chiropractic doctor can not only help with lower back pain, but this technique has also proven to allow more room for the baby to move. If your baby is in the breech position, the Webster Technique has shown to be helpful in getting the baby in the proper birthing position. Another effective method is the use of the Torque Release Method which relies on the doctor providing a gentle touch and slight thrusting by using a hand-held instrument called an Integrator. Instead of twisting and manipulating the spine to make it “pop”, the Integrator provides a low-force form of chiropractic care while still offering the same pain relief as traditional chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can assist in pain management before labor, but also during labor and delivery, preparing your body for the physical work it will endure. Your body can also bounce back better after the baby is born by maintaining a regular chiropractic routine.

So you may be thinking to yourself, how can twisting and “popping” my spine be safe for me and the baby? Doctors of Chiropractic care, or DC’s, are exceptionally skilled in the maintenance of the spinal column and its adjustment. Coupled with therapeutic massage and exercises, chiropractic care is equivalent to physical therapy, reducing spinal nerve stress and promoting wellness throughout the body. Since chiropractic care does not involve prescription medication or surgery, it is considered a healthy alternative to conventional pain management. It is important, however, to have your chiropractor work in concert with your obstetrician to ensure you are not experiencing any complications that may impede a healthy, normal pregnancy. Some doctors even believe that chiropractic care should be an integral part of obstetric care. If you have an ectopic pregnancy or suffer from toxemia, you may want to wait until after the baby is born to resume chiropractic care.

Once you have confirmed that you are healthy enough to participate in chiropractic care, recognize that you can see the doctor throughout your pregnancy. Chiropractors can use adjusting tables to plan for the baby’s growth in your belly, and to avoid putting pressure on the abdomen. You will also notice changes to your posture while you are pregnant; your spine will not be accustomed to the additional weight. This can lead to the misalignment of your spine, and the discomfort that accompanies it. You may also feel pain radiating down your legs due to the excess pressure on your pelvis and surrounding nerve endings. Regular intervals with a Owasso chiropractor can help you through this uncomfortable period by recreating the balance and alignment of your pelvis and spine, thus providing you with some much needed relief!

While chiropractic care may be beneficial to your well-being, but how does it affect your baby? While the baby doesn’t directly benefit from the manipulation, exercises and therapeutic massage like the mother does, the baby can profit from the mother’s care. Regular chiropractic care can realign the pelvis, providing the baby with more “elbow room”. Also, during delivery, if your pelvis is out of whack, it may impede the baby’s positioning, possibly causing complications. Clinical studies have found that women who have received chiropractic care during pregnancy overall spent less time in labor, which is better for both you and your child! Additionally, the less time you spend feeling uncomfortable during your pregnancy is a positive for you, as well, giving you the opportunity to stay healthier up until your bundle is born!

Chiropractic center is a safe, effective way to manage pain and discomfort for the vast majority of expectant moms. It is imperative that your obstetrician gives you the okay to start chiropractic care or any sort of pain management regimen. Once you have been cleared, communicate effectively with your chiropractor to ensure your problem areas are being addressed, and your lower back, pelvis, hips and joints to help make labor and delivery faster and easier. Many women love being pregnant; with help, you can be one of them!

Posted by Patricia Adams