Chiropractor During Pregnancy – Overview
A woman’s body undergoes many changes during and after pregnancy. As the body prepares to create the right environment for the developing baby, certain physiological and endocrinological changes take place. As the pregnancy advances, these changes include:
- Protruding abdomen (this leads to an increased curve of the back)
- Pelvic changes (this occurs as the body begins to prepare for labour)
- Postural adaptations (caused by the baby becoming heavier and the shift in the mother’s centre of gravity)
These physical changes during pregnancy can lead to a misaligned spine or joints. Many pregnant women experience aches and pains in the lower back and hips. Approximately 50% of pregnant women reportedly experience back pain at some point before they deliver.
Chiropractic care helps relieve pain associated with the changing body. It is the health maintenance of the spinal column, discs, related nerves and bone geometry without the use of drugs or surgery. Misaligned joints of the body, especially of the spine, are adjusted. This reduces spinal nerve stress and promotes health throughout the body.
Why Chiropractic Care?
Prenatal chiropractic care is gentle and safe. Prenatal chiropractic treatment helps ease delivery and speed up recovery during pregnancy. Chiropractic care helps relieve pain associated with a woman’s changing body during and after pregnancy.
Some common symptoms that a chiropractor for pregnant women helps with include:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Sciatica/Hip Pain
- Round Ligament Pain
10 Ways – Explanation
There are several potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy…
- Maintaining a healthier pregnancy – Regular care by a chiropractor for pregnant women helps maintain a healthier, more comfortable pregnancy.
- Helps ease stress on the spinal column – As the body gets close to labour, it produces a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin loosens the joints and ligaments ensuring the body can deliver a baby. However, this can impact stability and balance and cause lower back pain. As the pregnancy develops, some women may also adapt their posture to compensate for the weight of the body on the front side. Treatment from a chiropractor during pregnancy can help ease back pain associated with both these issues, improving stability all the way through delivery.
- Alleviating pain – A chiropractor in pregnancy will work on spine alignment, muscles, joints and ligaments to create better functioning and stability of the pelvic region. According to certain studies, around 75% of women who receive care from a chiropractor for pregnant women report feeling relief about two to four days after a session.
- Controlling symptoms of nausea – A prenatal chiropractor works on the spinal cord and spinal nerves. These are part of the nervous system. Chiropractic care has the potential to improve the overall functioning of the nervous system, and thus may help with nausea.
- Establishing pelvic balance – The treatment can provide the baby with as much space as possible over the course of the pregnancy. This could be a result of better alignment in the pelvic region, which decreases intrauterine constraint.
- Reducing the time of labour and delivery – Chiropractic care can help reduce the length of time a woman is in labour. It has the potential to allow the baby to pass through the labour canal more easily. Some studies show that women who receive treatment from a prenatal chiropractor during pregnancy have 25% to 31% shorter labour times.
- Relieving back, neck or joint pain – Routine chiropractic care under a chiropractor during pregnancy can help manage pain in the back, hips and joints.
- Preventing a potential caesarean delivery – Chiropractic care is particularly helpful for women who plan on delivering naturally, as it has the potential to prepare the body for a smooth and efficient birthing experience.
- Helping reposition the baby – Chiropractic care can also help in case the baby is presenting in the breech position. It can work on pelvic alignment and the ligaments and muscles in the pelvic region to decrease any intrauterine constraint. This allows for a more optimal position for delivery. It can help move the head down and give the baby more space. In case of a breech position, seeing a chiropractor in pregnancy once a week during the eighth and ninth months of pregnancy can have benefits.
- Helping with postpartum pain – Some women continue going to the chiropractor even after the baby arrives. Chiropractic care helps with middle back and neck pain many women experience due to their sustained posture when breastfeeding. This helps ease body aches.
Chiropractic care can provide effective treatment for the management of pregnancy-related pain and musculoskeletal stress. It is a safe and drug-free alternative to traditional pain management strategies. Receiving treatment from a chiropractor during pregnancy can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and improved birth outcomes.
Disclaimer: Chiropractic care is safe for most pregnancies, except in case of vaginal bleeding for unknown reasons, preeclampsia, or risk of premature labour. Before seeing a chiropractor in pregnancy, do check with your obstetrician.