Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy
Are you currently pregnant or thinking about having a baby soon? If you answered yes to either question, hopefully you are also seeing a chiropractor. A woman’s body goes through countless changes while pregnant. From hormonal changes to posture and bio-mechanics. Low back pain is almost guaranteed during pregnancy. Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive, safe form of care to help alleviate pain and make having a baby easier.
Changes to your body
When pregnant, your body goes through changes to prepare to carry and nourish your baby. Your center of gravity shifts forward as the baby grows, the pelvis tilts forward causing the muscles in the lower back to become shortened and tightened. However, the hamstrings and gluteal muscles become stretched and weakened. The curves in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) regions are increased. This places extra stress in the lower back and neck. The round ligaments attach to the uterus, are stretched and placed under a lot of stress while pregnant, and can be the cause of significant amounts of pain both in the abdomen and lower back. The psoas, tensor fascia lata (TFL), quadratus lumborum, and piriformis muscles are also placed under new loads when pregnant, causing pain, tightness and imbalances. Hormonal changes throughout pregnancy cause ligaments to become looser, and therefore causing the joints to become less stable, especially the sacroiliac joints and pubic symphysis. Chiropractors use gentle, soft tissue techniques to help relax the tight ligaments and eliminate or reduce pain.
Safe pain relief
Diversified chiropractic adjustments are safe for mom and baby throughout the duration of the pregnancy. Special tables and pillows are used so pregnant women can lie in the prone (face down) position while being treated. Chiropractic adjustments help put motion into joints that are not moving as well as they should be; the same goes for the joint in the front of the pelvis, which is placed under an enormous amount of stress throughout pregnancy. Symphysis dysfunction and diastasis can happen during pregnancy; referred pain from the broad and round ligaments can cause intense pain often mimicking diastasis. Soft tissue techniques can be applied to relax tension in the round ligaments. Wedge-shaped blocks can also be used to help the pelvis return to a normal position and ease pain. Chiropractic care offers a variety of safe forms for pain relief without the use of invasive procedures or prescription drugs. Chiropractic appointments should be scheduled at the same intervals as OB/GYN appointments, or more frequently if necessary.
Have a more pleasant pregnancy, the natural way
Women who receive chiropractic care report easier and faster deliveries. Many chiropractors are also specially trained in the Webster Breech Technique. This hands-on technique helps to reduce uterine torsion so the baby can turn itself into the proper position for a safe, less painful delivery. No one likes to be in pain; pain can also cause a great deal of anxiety and stress, neither of which are good for mom or baby. Getting adjusted regularly while pregnant can help ease or eliminate pain and make the process of having a baby much easier.
With pregnancy comes many joys as you prepare for the arrival of your newest little bundle of joy. However, sometimes it comes with pain as well—specifically, back pain. Fortunately, studies find that chiropractic care is an excellent way to relieve back pain during pregnancy. And the positive effects occur not only during pregnancy, but long after you’ve delivered!
If you’re expecting and you have back pain, natural chiropractic care can help ease your symptoms.