A common mantra of any expectant mother is, “I don’t care if I have a boy or a girl I just want a healthy baby.” One of the best ways to assist an expectant mother in having a healthy pregnancy through this incredible time is with regular chiropractic care. Chiropractic care optimizes the function of the nervous system by removing misalignments of the spine called “subluxations”.
A pregnant woman’s body undergoes a drastic amount of change in a short period of time. Weight gain places stress on the spinal and pelvic muscles and ligaments. Changes in posture and increase in the hormone relaxin can cause pelvic and sacral subluxations. This misalignment reduces the amount of needed space for the developing baby and places undue tension and torsion on the uterus. Nerves that exit the spine in the area of the low back and sacrum can become irritated and compressed causing low back pain. Any stress in a woman’s body can be transferred to her developing baby.
Chiropractic care is both safe and gentle for a mother and her developing baby. It can assist a mother by helping her maintain optimal posture and alignment. Proper alignment provides baby the necessary room to move for optimal development of the cranium, spine and skeletal structure and will also have a better chance to turn into the optimal birth position.
The chance of interventions during the birth process can be greatly reduced when mom has a properly aligned pelvis and sacrum. The baby is able to transition through the birth canal much more easily. A misaligned pelvis hinders this process.
A chiropractor that specializes in pregnancy adjusting will utilize what is known as Webster’s Technique. Mom will lie face down on the adjusting table with a special pillow that helps to support her growing baby. The chiropractor will access for any imbalances in the pelvis and sacrum, make a gentle adjustment and help ease any ligament tension.
Research conducted by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association has shown there are no known contraindications for chiropractic care during a healthy pregnancy or any adverse side effects. Slight soreness may occur with the first adjustment but is usually significantly reduced with a second adjustment.
It is important to note that chiropractic adjustment for pregnant women focuses strictly on the spinal alignment of the mother. The chiropractor does not adjust or “turn” the baby. In the event of premature labor or other complications, a woman should refer to her birth provider.
Some home care recommendations to support the chiropractic adjustment include:
- Avoid one-sided positions and repetitive motion
- Do not carry other children or use carriers
- Rock the pelvis forward when sitting
- Keep the hips mobile by doing a figure eight motion daily
- Perform a yoga cat/cow stretch daily
A great resource for pregnant women is www.spinningbabies.com . The website provides great information on baby position, lifestyle tips and the maternal biomechanics during pregnancy.
To find a chiropractor certified in Webster Technique, please visit www.icpa4kids.com and search under the tab “Find Doctors”.
Ramona Pleva, DC is the owner of Northern Lights Chiropractic, PLLC located within Spinal Solutions at 2506 Crossing Circle Suite A in Traverse City. She is certified in Webster’s Technique and enjoys working with expectant moms and their children. She can be reached at (231) 421-3333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.