Why Pregnant Women Should Consider Chiropractic Treatment

May 14, 2013
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prenatal chiropracticsAs word spreads about the benefits of Chiropractic care, patients are seeking treatment to remedy a growing number of maladies. In some instances, Chiropractic is even used preventatively, to maintain a healthy status quo and stave off disease.

prenatal chiropracticsAs word spreads about the benefits of Chiropractic care, patients are seeking treatment to remedy a growing number of maladies. In some instances, Chiropractic is even used preventatively, to maintain a healthy status quo and stave off disease. This practice has led many women to seek treatment during pregnancy, in anticipation of the changes that occur in their bodies during this time—both physiological and hormonal. Not only has Chiropractic for pregnancy been deemed safe, research has shown that treatments can be advantageous for the mother’s overall health. Following are four reasons that expecting mothers should consider Chiropractic care.

Stay Healthy

To make it easier to understand exactly how treatments can influence a pregnancy, here’s a quick summary of what Chiropractic adjustments actually do. Each time you visit your doctor of Chiropractic, he or she relieves subluxations, or areas where spinal segments are putting undue pressure on the spinal cord. Wherever subluxation occurs, nerve function is impeded, and in turn, the organs that correspond to that portion of the spinal cord operate at less than maximum capacity. 

Never is it more important to be at a hundred percent than when a woman’s body is providing sanctuary to a new life. The millions of changes that occur in her body chemistry and endocrine levels are all coordinated by the nervous system. Making adjustments to subluxated areas of the spine provides freedom from interference of normal nerve function, enabling all the organs and most importantly, the reproductive system, to operate at optimal levels. Ensuring that the body is functioning at its best helps the mother feel better and stronger during her pregnancy term, and may go so far as to ease symptoms of morning sickness. Of course this also benefits the baby, who is able to grow and move with ease within the womb, and whose needs are being well supported by a healthy mother.

Reduce Time Spent in Labor 

During pregnancy your body produces hormones that relax your ligaments, making space for the baby. The hips expand, which helps stabilize you as your body acclimates to a new weight distribution. This lateral movement puts pressure on the sacro-illiac joints and alters the function of the pelvic joints, leading to low back pain—the number one complaint among pregnant women. Furthermore, as the muscles, cartilage and ligaments become soft and pliable, pelvic bones may slip and become more easily displaced.

Utilizing Chiropractic care to ensure that pelvic bones maintain proper alignment may reduce the time of labor and delivery, One study showed a 24 percent decrease in labor times for women receiving Chiropractic care throughout a first pregnancy, by an average of five hours less than the median labor times reported in obstetric literature; women in their second and third pregnancies saw a decrease of 39 percent. While more research is needed on the subject, these results certainly support the theory that Chiropractic care can ease the stress of labor, which benefits both mother and baby.

Prevent Breech Birthing

A misaligned pelvis can reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby, a condition known as intrauterine constraint. It may make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery, potentially resulting in a breech birthing position and adversely affecting the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth.

A type of adjustment known as the Webster Technique is used to reduce the effects of sacro-illiac joint dysfunction, improving neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis. This adjustment is used not only to prevent breech positions; it has also proven effective for converting a breech to optimal positioning instead. A doctor of Chiropractic may be using the Webster technique throughout a woman’s pregnancy term without her realizing it, but will undoubtedly begin employing the method right away if it’s discovered that a baby is breech. 

Relieve Pain

The weight gain and altered biomechanics that occur during pregnancy often cause back, neck and joint pain. In fact, about half of all moms-to-be will develop lower back pain at some point during their pregnancies. Symptoms often worsen late in the term as a result of the baby’s head putting pressure on the mother’s sciatic nerve. Because the most immediate and noticeable effect of a Chiropractic adjustment is pain relief, this is the number one reason expecting mothers find themselves in the Chiropractor’s office in the first place. While we certainly believe easing pain symptoms is reason enough to call your Chiropractor today, if you’re pregnant, it’s the benefits you may never have thought of that really sweeten the deal.

Resources:

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/chiropracticcare.html

http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=85

http://www.logan.edu/mm/files/LRC/Senior-Research/1994-Aug-16.pdf

(image: pregnancy and chiropractics / shutterstock)

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