There are a number of reasons why many women will see a chiropractor for the first time during pregnancy. Often the body is changing as the result of weight gain and altered biomechanics that happen during pregnancy. With regular adjustments the benefits of chiropractic care while pregnant are many. Your balance and alignment in your spine and pelvis can actually be improved. This is important as it can help the baby get to a healthy birthing position and it reduces the risk of having a breech baby. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.
Through regular chiropractic care your nervous system is stimulated and this enables proper functioning of the reproductive organs which in turn supports the baby’s needs during your pregnancy.
Potential Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy:
- overall healthier pregnancy
- reduced symptoms of nausea
- shorter labour
- relieving pain that may occur in the back, neck and/or joints
- reduced risk of cesarean delivery
Tips on things you can do to improve the position of your pelvis during pregnancy:
- start wearing flats and avoid high heels
- exercise by swimming and doing yoga
- prop pillows between your knees when sleeping (also a firm mattress would be beneficial)
- avoid crossing your legs
- try and sit with your pelvis forward, avoiding extended periods of time in a reclined position.
- limit how much you carry other siblings around
Why Does the Back Hurt During Pregnancy?
As your pregnancy progresses there is a change in load distribution and how our bodies can adapt to the extra weight and pressures that are placed on our lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints. Pressures put on our bladder, urethra, rectum and pelvic structures can also cause pain and muscle spasms. As the baby continues to develop the extra 25+ lbs. increases the stress to the sacroiliac joints. To compensate with the extra weight that is projected forward there is extra stress put onto the intervertebral disks and facet joints. In the third trimester there may even be direct pressure from the fetus placed onto lumbosacral nerve roots causing pain. *
Research shows that approximately 50% of all pregnant women will have back pain during pregnancy, and 50% – 75% during labour. * The need for pain medication during delivery was reduced by half for the patients that received regular chiropractic care throughout their pregnancies, according to a study by Dr. Per Freitag MD.
Another 2 studies showed that 75%-84% of pregnant patients who had chiropractic care during pregnancy found relief from their pain (during pregnancy). More good news, those who received regular chiropractic care experienced shorter labours! Up to 25% shorter. *
There are many natural alternatives available to assist your pregnancy to be as healthy as possible. Chiropractors can assist you in maintaining or achieving a healthy spine and nervous system that will enable all your organs to function at an optimal level. They can also provide you with exercises and tips on stretches and techniques to allow you to experience a beautiful, healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Have you experienced the benefits of chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy? Would love to hear how it helped you.
Berg G., Hammer M., Moller-Nielsen J., Linden U., Thorblad J. Low back pain in pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 1988;71:71–75. [PubMed]
Shaw G. When to adjust: chiropractic and pregnancy. J Am Chiropr Assoc. 2003;40(11):8–16.
J.M. Fallon. Textbook on chiropractic & pregnancy. Arlington, VA: International Chiropractic Association; 1994: 52, 109.