Chiropractic care provides many benefits such as maintaining a healthier pregnancy, controlling symptoms of nausea, reducing length of labor, easing delivery, relieves back, neck and joint pain, prevents cesarean section and assists new mothers back to prepartum health. It can eliminate many of the discomforts of pregnancy and make the birth process and postpartum experience easier for mother and baby.
According to The American Pregnancy Association: “There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant. Investing in the fertility and pregnancy wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive is a routine treatment for most chiropractors.”
“In one study, women receiving Chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% shorter labor times than the group not receiving Chiropractic, and multiparous subjects reported 39% shorter labor times. Thirty-nine percent-that’s a massive difference. In addition, 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with Chiropractic care. Because the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis function better, there is significant less likelihood of back labor when receiving Chiropractic care through pregnancy.” (“Pregnancy and Chiropractic” By Martha Collins, D.C., Planet Chiropractic website)
Common Complaints of Pregnancy
The nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine aligned helps the nervous system and thus the entire body work more effectively. During pregnancy, there are many changes that occur to a woman’s body that may result in a misaligned spine or joints which affects the nervous system, joints, muscles, organs and functioning of all of the systems of the body.
Increased curve in low back: This is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. Back pain is uncomfortable and frustrating, especially when your medical doctor tells you that it’s “normal.” From “Low Back Pain During Pregnancy,” in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology: 862 pregnant women participated in a study in the community of Linkoping, Sweden answered detailed questionnaires in the 20th, 30th, and 35th week of pregnancy. All women had symptoms of low back pain. Seventy-nine had such severe pain that they were unable to continue work, and were referred to an orthopedic surgeon for …examination.”
Neuromuscular and Biochemical Changes: During pregnancy, most women experience a number of neuromuscular and biochemical related complaints which respond well to chiropractic care including: the release of the hormones affecting the elasticity of muscles and ligaments may cause joints to more easily misalign, therefore lifting is not recommended and posture is crucial during pregnancy. Chiropractic care will keep the joints healthy and in proper alignment.
Increased weight gain puts an increased demand on spinal and pelvic muscles causing fatigue which is a common complaint. In addition there is increased stress on spinal and pelvic ligaments, changes in the normal curvature of the spine in the mid and low back, increased joint stress and the occurrence of vertebral and sacroiliac joint misalignments.
These changes primarily affect the pelvic and spinal ligaments, muscles, joints and other supportive soft tissues and may cause sprain/strains of pelvic and spinal structures, as well as alteration of the normal spinal curvatures and spinal biomechanics. The result is an increased stress on the body leading to pain and discomfort.
Pelvic changes: When the pelvis is misaligned it reduces the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery.
Changes in posture: Joints and ligaments in the woman’s pelvis loosen and become more flexible making room for the enlarging uterus and in preparation for delivery. As her center of gravity changes it alters weight bearing on the joints throughout pregnancy. This added stress and changes in posture can make pregnancy uncomfortable for many women as well as creating misalignments.
Chiropractic care helps during pregnancy and labor and helps the mother and baby after the birth. “In the eight weeks following labor and delivery, the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten up again. Ideally, joint problems brought on during pregnancy from improper lifting or reaching should be treated before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state-to prevent muscle tension, headaches, rib discomfort, and shoulder problems. “ (American Chiropractic Association website, “Chiropractic Advice for Moms-to-Be”)
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association recommends that “women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy. With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether. Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and therefore results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.”
Health Care is a Choice
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