The following is a student blog post by Colette Schultz
Benefits of Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy
There are many self-care rituals a pregnant woman should have, and visiting the chiropractor should be at the top of the list. During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through many changes, some of which can cause a misaligned spine or joints. Think pelvic changes, a protruding abdomen, increased back curve, and postural adaptations. Visiting a chiropractor can help relieve pain arising from multiple sources.
According to americanpregnancy.org, chiropractic care is health maintenance of the spinal column, discs, related nerves and bone geometry without drugs or surgery. It involves the art and science of adjusting misaligned joints of the body, especially of the spine, which reduces spinal nerve stress and therefore promotes health throughout the body. There are some chiropractors that take a special interest in pregnancy, and often have special tables and will provide exercises and stretches that are safe to use throughout the pregnancy.
It has been reported that about 50% of all pregnant women experience back pain during their pregnancy and 50% to 75% of women experience back pain during labor (3-5). This makes complete sense when thinking about all of the stretching, moving, and compressing of organs, the added weight of a growing fetus, and the increase in progesterone, estrogen, and relaxin that takes place throughout gestation and labor. Shaw (6) reports the results of a study indicating that 75% of pregnant patients who received chiropractic care during their pregnancies said that they found relief from this pain. Chiropractors believe that many painful conditions of the body are a product of misalignment of the body, specifically the spine. Once there is an area that is not aligned properly, pressure is displaced on to other parts of the body to make up for the misalignment. This can show up as hip pain, neck and shoulder pain, and even headaches. Pressure is even more intense while pregnant. A quick trip to see a chiropractor could save the mama-to-be months of pain and could be the difference in a happy pregnancy experience and one full of unnecessary ailments.
Visiting the chiropractor while pregnant can ensure pelvic balance and alignment. A misaligned pelvis can cause intrauterine constraint (external force restraining movement of the fetus), and can make it tricky for baby to get into a good position for delivery (2). Breech and posterior positions have a tendency to be connected with long labors. These positions can interfere with a natural birth and sometimes lead to c-sections. There is a specific chiropractic adjustment, called the Webster Technique, focused on a woman in her eighth month of pregnancy with breech presentation, which has been recognized to remedy the intrauterine constraint (2). This is being proactive – doing some body work before labor, in order to help facilitate an easier, faster labor.
Being in the know about chiropractic care is a great advantage. This is especially true for a pregnant woman who wants to stay as comfortable as possible while her body works hard to create life inside of her. It can lead to faster labors, and to be relaxed while sitting down, not to have hip or back pain every time you stand, walk, or lie down can be game changer. It’s important to prioritize your own health and well-being while pregnant.
Colette grew up in Southern Maryland, where she was very active in sports, and other various activities. She worked as a pharmacy technician and coach, of all-star cheerleading and gymnastics, while she attended high school and college. Shortly after she obtained a BS from the University Of Maryland, Colette entered the work force in an administrative, managerial roll. Three years later, she and her husband started a family, and made the choice for her to stay at home with their children. Within the first two years of motherhood, Colette started providing childcare for another infant during the work-week, and had her second child. In addition to providing childcare, she currently serves as president on the board for a local, Rockville MOMS Club, and organizes multiple local events for the club. Her aspiration to become a birth doula grew organically from her natural desire to assist others, and the passion she has for sharing knowledge and comforting people.
- Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy/
- Pistolese R.A. The Webster Technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetric implications. J Manip Physiol Ther. 2002;25(6):e1–e9. [PubMed]
- Phillips C.J., Meyer J.J. Chiropractic care, including craniosacral therapy, during pregnancy: a static-group comparison of obstetric interventions during labor and delivery. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1995;18(8):525–529. [PubMed]
- Diakow P.R.P., Gadsby T.A., Gadsby J.B., Gleddie J.G., Leprich D.J., Scales A.M. Back pain during pregnancy and labor. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1991;14(2):116–118. [PubMed]
- Berg G., Hammer M., Moller-Nielsen J., Linden U., Thorblad J. Low back pain in pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol.1988;71:71–75. [PubMed]
6. Shaw G. When to adjust: chiropractic and pregnancy. J Am Chiropr Assoc. 2003;40(11):8–16.
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