Reasons to use Chiropractic care during pregnancy
There are many hormonal and physical changes you’ll experience during your pregnancy. Some of these will have an impact on your posture and comfort. As your baby becomes heavier, your center of gravity shifts, and your posture adjusts accordingly.These physical changes during your pregnancy can lead to a misaligned spine or joints.Other uncomfortable changes during pregnancy might include:
- a protruding abdomen resulting in an increased curve of your back
- changes to your pelvis as your body begins to prepare for labour
- adaptations to your posture
Regular visits to a chiropractor during your pregnancy can address these issues. One collaborative chiropractic and medical study revealed that 75 percent of pregnant chiropractic care patients reported pain relief. Plus, adjustments designed to re-establish balance and alignment to your pelvis and spine will do more than just make you feel better. Chiropractic care can be beneficial for your baby, too.
- Back Pain Relief
Designed to keep your spine in alignment, chiropractic care can help prevent and relieve back pain associated with pregnancy. Pregnancy is tough on the body’s skeletal structure, especially as baby grows and gets heavier! The weight of your expanding belly changes your posture and spinal curvature. Chiropractic can help correct posture problems and help your spine keep its intended curve.
- Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby
A pelvis that’s out of alignment can restrict the amount of space available to your developing baby. When an external force obstructs your growing baby’s normal movements, it’s known as intrauterine constraint. This can lead to birth defects.
- Better positioning of the baby and easier labour
Another complication that a misaligned pelvis may pose relates to delivery. When the pelvis is out of alignment, it can make it hard for your baby to move into the best position to be born, which is rear-facing, head down. In some cases, this could affect a woman’s ability to have a natural and non-invasive birth. A balanced pelvis also means your baby has a lower chance of moving into a breech or posterior position. When your baby is in a nonoptimal birthing position, it can lead to a longer, more complicated delivery. Other evidence points to improved outcomes in labour and delivery for women who’ve received chiropractic care during their pregnancy. In fact, it may help reduce the length of time you’re in labour.
- Prevention of Potential Symptoms
Most women find it to be very helpful to visit a chiropractor early on in their pregnancy instead of waiting until their 3rd trimester. Consistency with chiropractic care helps to prevent potential discomfort that can normally arise during the later months. For instance, stabilizing and properly positioning the pelvis prior to the added extra weight and postural changes that come with the growing baby can help to prevent low back pain, hip pain, and sciatica.
What Changes Happen During Pregnancy?
- The pelvis tilts forward, which will put strain on the lower back. Depending on where the baby sits, this may cause sciatica, lower back and hip pain.
- The breasts will increase in size, then pulling the shoulders forward and putting stress on the neck, mid-back, and the rib cage. This can cause pain, numbness and tingling in the arms and hands.
- The center of gravity shifts forward and down which changes your posture that can result in intrauterine constraint
- The pelvis opens up due to the hormone relaxin, which can cause gait changes, otherwise known as the pregnant waddle.
- The uterus will increase to more than 300 times its normal size, which can create compression and flaring of the rib cage, diaphragm, pelvis, and abdominal muscles resulting in difficulty breathing, heartburn, and pain.
- The hormone relaxin will also aggravate any previous joint injuries which can cause more pain and posture distortion.
- If a second pregnancy occurs within 5 years, the body will respond much faster, and any issues that happened in the first pregnancy, may occur earlier in the next pregnancy.
But, is chiropractic safe for pregnant women?
Yes! Chiropractic is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment that has a very low risk association. We are trained to work with pregnant women and we use gentle adjustment techniques in a supportive and safe environment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral misalignment and SI joint dysfunction. In doing so, neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is facilitated.
Common issues during pregnancy
- Low back pain
- Pelvic pain
- Neck, shoulder and mid back pain
- Symphysis Pubis Pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Arm pain and numbness
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Round ligament pain
- Digestion issues
- Gait issues
Pregnancy wellness care
- First trimester benefits include ease of morning sickness, less lower back pain, less pelvic pain, etc.
- Second trimester benefits include less lower back pain, less pelvic pain, less symphysis pubis pain, relief of sciatica, etc.
- Third trimester benefits include improved pelvic function to assist in fetal positioning, lower back pain relief, relief from sleeping issues, headaches, digestion issues, etc.
- Post-natal benefits include relief from back pain, neck, shoulder and mid-back pain that may result from labor and delivery, breastfeeding and carrying the baby, etc
Post-Partum Care - What happens after?
After the baby is born, moms face a host of new changes that can affect their spinal health. Their bodies are adjusting back to their pre-pregnancy state, but they may still be carrying some extra baby weight, which can strain the lower back. In the meantime, milk has come in, which can strain the upper back. To top it all off, they are carrying a baby and a baby carrier around, are probably on their feet more than they were pre-pregnancy and are bending over more to pick up the baby or change diapers. The amount of lifting a woman does once she has a baby increases dramatically and her body may have trouble adjusting to these demands on its own. This is where chiropractic care can help. Chiropractors routinely treat new moms for neck, upper and mid-back pain, and discomfort. The best time to have an adjustment is within 6 weeks of giving birth, but adjustments can help at any time. The relaxant hormones that loosened the body up for pregnancy and childbirth wear off after 6 weeks postpartum. Getting adjusted before the hormones disappear allows chiropractors to take advantage of the more relaxed muscle state when the body is more flexible and pliable, making it more open to adjustment.
If you have specific questions about your health history and chiropractic, please reach out and I would be glad to answer any questions. If I can help, I will let you know, if I can’t I will let you know too. :-)