Chiropractic and Pregnancy

If you or someone you know are expecting a newborn child, here is some helpful information about pregnancy and how chiropractic care can affect the baby as well as the mother.

Pregnancy should be a time of joy, excitement and great anticipation. Unfortunately, for some women, this experience can be tainted by pain, discomfort and illness. The primary reason for these occurrences is because a woman’s body undergoes many structural and hormonal changes that affect the spine, nerves, joints and ligaments.

nearly all drugs and medications hold a very real risk of causing fetal damage or malformation, it is very important for expectant mothers to avoid them as much as possible.  This is one of the reasons why chiropractic’s drugless approach can be so valuable during pregnancy.

In the later months, when weight gain is increasing, the expansion of the abdomen creates a tremendous pulling effect on the spinal column and pelvis. At this point there is a greater tendency for lower back pain, muscle tension, changes in center of gravity and stability.  These spinal misalignments are referred to as vertebral subluxations. Subluxations interfere with normal nerve flow impulses and therefore, alter the function of muscles, glands, and vital organs of the body.

There are so many things to worry about while you’re pregnant. Subluxations should not be one of them. A doctor of chiropractic can help to ensure that the spinal column, pelvis, and related structures are balanced, moving easily and free of spinal nerve stress by evaluating the level of subluxation and gently moving the spinal vertebra back into a normal position.

Besides helping to relieve the discomfort many expectant mothers’ experience, chiropractic care helps to normalize nervous system function. This is an important component of overall good health.

Many women who receive chiropractic care during pregnancy have less incidents of morning sickness, reduce their pain levels, deliver full-term healthier babies, and have an easier and shorter labor time. Properly educated pregnant patients can experience a greater level of comfort, health, and vitality with chiropractic care.

“Chiropractic in the 9th Month of Pregnancy”

9th Month. William Sears, MD, Martha Sears, RN. Parenting, June/July 1997.
“As your baby descends into your pelvic cavity, you may feel sharp, stabbing pains at the base of your spine or in the middle of your pelvic bone, making it uncomfortable twinges of “pains and needles” in the cervix itself. Pain may radiate down your back or thighs. The increased pelvic aches and pains are likely due to the relaxation and stretching of your pelvic ligaments in preparation for labor. You can ease these discomforts by changing positions. Exercise gently each day; take long, slow walks or ride a stationary bike. If you cannot exercise without pain, consult your doctor. He or she may be able to recommend a chiropractor experienced in working on pregnant bodies, who may be able to give you some gentle pelvic adjustments to get your hips back in the balance. It is our personal theory that chiropractic care in pregnancy can held to avoid or relive back pain and also prepare your back and pelvic structures for the stresses of labor and delivery.

The 9th Month. William Sears, MD, Martha Sears, RN. Parenting, June/July 1997.

The Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique

Chiropractic care benefits all aspects of your body’s ability to be healthy.  This is accomplished by working with the nervous system—the conduit of intelligence between your brain and body.  Doctors of Chiropractic work to correct subluxations (misalignments) of the individual spinal bones.  When subluxated, these bones put pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal nerves causing malfunction in any part of the body.

One such malfunction may be the tightening of pelvic muscles and ligaments producing uterine constraint.  It is these tense muscles and ligaments and their constraining effect on the uterus which prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the vertex (head first) position.  The Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment used to correct subluxations in the pregnant mother’s sacrum and pelvis.  This relaxes the mother’s muscles and ligaments, providing the physiological environment necessary for normal baby positioning.

Dr. Larry Webster, Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association developed this technique as a safe means to restore proper pelvic structure and function for pregnant mothers.  In expectant mothers presenting breech, there has been a 75-95% success rate of the baby turning to the normal vertex position.  Most commonly known for its success in turning breech babies, any position of the baby other than vertex may indicate the presence of subluxation and in-utero constraint.  It has been strongly recommended by Doctors trained in this technique, that the specific analysis portion of this technique be used throughout pregnancy, to detect subluxations and prevent in-utero constraint.

Because of the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions, all pregnant mothers should have their spines checked regularly throughout pregnancy, optimizing health potential for themselves and their developing baby.  Yes, chiropractic care from conception and continued after birth for both mother and child has given many families an opportunity for greater health.