Adjusting Pregnant Women

People often wonder or ask why we would want to adjust a pregnant woman, especially if they aren’t suffering from back pain or some other common musculoskeletal malady.

Chiropractic and pregnant moms.

In a hospital study, incorporating Chiropractic care resulted in a 50% decrease for the need of painkillers during delivery. (Photography by Katie Barbier Photography)

As with all chiropractic care, the goal of care is not to take care of back pain. It’s to enhance the function of the body so that it can heal and take care of itself more optimally. Let me say that more simply: It’s to allow optimal function.

Here’s a link to a magazine article that talks about this in some depth, but I’m going to summarize some other points about how Chiropractic care can help pregnant women, and why.

Physical Changes

As women go through pregnancy, there are a number of physical changes that occur. Namely, the center of gravity changes, putting much more stress on the lumbar spine as it curves farther to accommodate. In addition, the presence of the hormone relaxin causes the joints to become more flexible. This helps make it easier for the pelvis to accommodate the head of the baby when it’s born.

Women gain weight throughout pregnancy, more than just the weight of the baby. It’s not just the spine that has to account for this change, but every joint in the body. Many women experience discomfort or discoordination in the pelvis, especially in the sacrum, or the pubic symphysis. So even though the goal isn’t to eliminate pain, that is something that Chiropractic care can help with.

Preparation for labor and delivery

Chiropractic care has been shown to decrease the overall time spent in labor. By enhancing nerve system connection, the uterus can contract more effectively and efficiently, moving through labor easier, with less discomfort, which is better for mom and baby.

Fewer interventions

This allows the mom to use fewer interventions, such as Pitocin, episiotomies, medication, epidurals, vacuum extraction, and others. Every intervention used makes it more likely that the delivery will move into the surgery room, resulting in a C-section. If a mom you know wants to have a natural childbirth, chiropractic is extremely helpful.

By adjusting the pelvis throughout the time you are pregnant, we give the uterus the ability to be as large as possible, giving the baby the most room, allowing for optimal fetal positioning, thus potentially reducing the chance for a breach position. Unfortunately, OB/GYN doctors today aren’t well trained in how to deal with the breach, and they immediately go to C-sections to deal with that.

We do that with the Webster Technique, which is a technique designed to balance the structures of the pelvis in a way that allows optimal uterine space. That would encourage great fetal positioning. (Note, we do NOT turn babies. That is not the goal of care. The best approach to prevent this breach presentation is ongoing chiropractic care throughout pregnancy, as well as other lifestyle factors.)

The WHO recommends C-section rates to be around 10-15% at maximum. Current rates in the US are closer to 30%. C-section is over-utilized and carries plenty of risks to both mom and baby that are often under-reported to the US public. It can interfere with normal neurological development, can disrupt the microbiome of the baby, and reduces the ability of the mom and baby to bond. On top of that, it is a physical trauma to the abdomen and internal organs of the mom, who sometimes never recover fully from it.

Improved bonding experiences

When you have a natural childbirth with fewer drugs and interventions, the baby is more aware and awake, which allows for a greater chance of bonding with mom. This bonding releases copious amounts of oxytocin, the “love” hormone, which makes nursing easier, and reduces a lot of the chemical stress that babies have to deal with when they are born.

Moms will have a greater ability to nurse if their nerve system is clear, especially throughout the thoracic spine, which governs some of that ability.

Do you know someone who is looking to have the best birth possible? They need to get in here! Or if they aren’t in Tacoma, get them to their local chiropractor. To find one who is Webster Certified, like we are at Brilliant Life Chiropractic, check out the ICPA’s website for more information.

You deserve a brilliant life, let it shine!

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