Pregnancy and childbirth is one of the greatest, self-sacrificing events that a mother can experience and is, unfortunately, often associated with aches, pains and many other unpleasant symptoms. However, many of these unpleasantries can be avoided with safe, effective chiropractic care. Chiropractic is most often associated with back and neck pain, and while these are things that chiropractic care often helps, this is not the only benefit of chiropractic care, especially for pregnant women.
Different and unusual stresses are at work on the spine and pelvis during pregnancy. And because of this, structurally and functionally, the spine and pelvis can and often do change during pregnancy. When this occurs, not only can it be a source of pain and discomfort, but it can also affect the shape of the uterus and the position of the growing baby, which may lead to unwelcomed outcomes that are discussed below. However, a well functioning spine and nervous system under the care of a chiropractor can allow a mother to easily overcome many of the hurdles she might face during and after pregnancy. There are actually several benefits that pregnant women can experience with chiropractic care before, during and after delivering, here are just a few.
Maintain a Healthier Pregnancy
Chiropractic works with the idea that the human body has an innate intelligence that is coordinated by your brain and nervous system to control vital bodily functions. That includes creating a proper environment in your body for your baby to grow and develop. Misalignments in the spine, called subluxations, can interfere with this process through irritation on the nerves. Any interference with the communication process between your brain and body through the nervous system can create a less than optimal environment. By keeping your spine in proper alignment and functioning properly, your entire body can work more effectively to provide greater health potential for both mother and baby.
Control Symptoms of Nausea, Acid Reflux, Etc.
As stated above, your nervous system controls every aspect of your body. The nerves that originate from your spinal cord and exit through the vertebra of the spine, have an effect on every cell, organ and tissue in your body. The brain sends messages through these nerves to tell the body how to function. If there is a problem with this communication, it can cause dysfunction within the body, which creates symptoms such as pain, headaches, nausea, acid reflux, etc. Making corrective chiropractic adjustments to the spine can help decrease these symptoms often associated with pregnancy. Your nervous system can determine how your body responds to a pregnancy or how your body is functioning as a whole.
Reduce the Time of Labor and Delivery
Studies have shown that first time moms who received regular chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy had a 25% shorter labor time on average. This average goes up to 31% for moms delivering for the 2nd time (or more). The alignment and function of the spine and pelvis is extremely important in the birthing process. If there are misalignments or structural defects, it can interfere with the process creating a less efficient and prolonged labor and delivery.
Prevent a Potential Cesarean Delivery & Better Chance of Natural Delivery
Creating good pelvic balance and alignment with chiropractic care during pregnancy is also important for the position of the baby as well. A misaligned pelvis may make it a difficult task for the baby to get into the proper position for delivery. This in turn affects the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth. In a Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics study, chiropractic care was shown to have an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex. The Webster Technique is often used to correct dysfunction in the pelvis to allow the baby to get into the best possible position for birth. It helps to correct dysfunction in the pelvis, eliminating tension in muscles and ligaments and enhances optimal fetal positioning. Better positioning and proper nervous system function improve the mother’s ability to have a safer and easier natural birth.
Relieve Back, Neck and Joint Pain
50 – 70% of pregnant women will experience back pain during their pregnancy. Many women just learn to accept these pregnancy discomforts, but they don’t have to. Fortunately, chiropractic can help ease these aches and pains. In fact, a study by the AMA (American Medical Association) showed that chiropractic allowed women to carry and delivery their babies with more comfort. And in another study that included chiropractic adjustments during the patient’s pregnancy, the results showed a 50% decrease in the need for pain medicine during delivery, attributable to pre-delivery chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic care can also be beneficial when recovering from delivery.
When pregnant, a woman’s body is providing for two and its optimal function is critical for the baby’s healthy development. The spine and pelvis can undergo many structural changes to compensate for the growing baby and this increases the risk of interference to the nervous system. Regular chiropractic care throughout pregnancy helps enhance nervous system function to help women get well, stay well and be their best throughout pregnancy, delivery and beyond.