Research and Studies confirm that Chiropractic care helps women have a more relaxed and less painful pregnancy and delivery with little or no pain medication and fewer interventions. For those reasons, chiropractic treatment has become the smart, safe and effective way to alleviate the many unpleasant symptoms associated with pregnancy.
What is the Purpose?
While postural changes and back pain seem to be the most obvious conditions that link chiropractor to pregnancy, the reasons so many women choose to incorporate chiropractic are many. With a little online research and word of mouth networking, women have become more educated and informed about healthy alternatives to help their daily lives. Pregnancy is no exception.
Here are just a few of the physical effects of pregnancy that can be helped with chiropractic treatment.
Muscles – Throughout the entire pregnancy, abdominal muscles and posterior muscle groups are being altered to prepare the body for the growing fetus. The constant stretching and tightening of ligaments, tendons and muscles cause the production of lactic acid that creates a painful “burning” pain sensation. This symptom is generally more severe for first time mothers, however, it is a common complaint amongst all expectant mothers. The pain can be alleviated with a variety of strategies to improve circulation and elimination of lactic acid.
Bones – The forward shift in the mother’s center of gravity takes place causing an uneven weight distribution of the pelvis, resulting in sciatica or joint pain in the hips and/or pelvis.
As well, when the pelvis is misaligned, it will reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. Establishing pelvic balance and alignment helps the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery.
The most noticeable change to a woman’s spine is the increase of the lumbar curve that grows as the baby grows. This produces low back pain, usually starting after the second trimester and continuing through delivery and often for months afterwards. The strain and stress on the lumbar curve triggers compensatory changes in the cervical and thoratic spine resulting in other symptoms like migraine headaches and numbness of the arms, shoulder, and neck.
These complex musculosketetal changes are sure to exhaust a mother’s energy and add to the stress of the pregnancy overall. While they may be temporary or considered a nuisance, they can be helped without drugs or gimmicks. Without help, the result can spiral into insomnia, overeating, and depression. By the time the baby is born, the mother is so worn out that adapting to life with the baby becomes harder than needed.
How does it Work?
Generally speaking, pre-natal chiropractic care involves gentle adjustments to the spine according to the individual symptoms and stages of pregnancy. The process can begin anytime after the first trimester.
The adjustments are performed in a sitting or lying down position on an ergonomically designed chiropractic table built to accommodate the expecting mother’s tummy.
In addition to the adjustments, your chiropractor may prescribe pre-natal massage to help relieve swelling, improving circulation and reduce pain.
Doctors of Chiropractic that have specialized pre-natal and peri-natal training and education usually offer consultations for individual care programs before, during, and after pregnancy.
What are the Benefits?
Potential benefits include the following:
Improved energy levels
Back, limb, neck, and joint pain relief
Reduced interventions, pain medications, and duration of labor and delivery
Prevention of a potential cesarean section
Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association recommends that women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance, optimize the room a baby has for development resulting in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.