Seeking treatment from a prenatal chiropractor helps many moms-to-be. Roughly 50 percent of all pregnant women experience back pain during their pregnancy, and up to 75 percent of women experience it during labor. However, only 21 percent of women seek consultation with their medical providers for their back pain, as most of them believe it is normal and expected during the course of their pregnancy.
But, in recent years, chiropractic care has been included as a safe and effective treatment for pregnant patients to help them have a comfortable pregnancy, to help facilitate delivery, and reduce labor complications. In fact, prenatal chiropractors have reported that 72 percent of pregnant women are likely to benefit from prenatal chiropractic care. Still, many women experiment first with other alternative treatments such as massage and yoga before they see a prenatal chiropractor.
At ChiroCare of Florida, our chiropractors practicing prenatal care can help women with back pain and other symptoms have a more pleasant experience. Our prenatal chiropractors also help make sure a woman's body is aligned for the welcoming of her baby. Keep reading to learn more about these surprising facts about prenatal chiropractic care.
#1 – Natural Pregnancy Care
During pregnancy, women start supplementing their diet with vitamins and minerals needed to support their health during this period. Nutritional needs change throughout the pregnancy, which means women also need to adjust their diets as well as their supplements. A prenatal chiropractor can help to provide guidance on how to adjust lifestyle activity and nutrition to match your body’s needs throughout the pregnancy.
Unlike other physicians, a chiropractor will never prescribe drugs to supplement or treat any symptoms. Instead, chiropractic care offers a drug-free, all-natural approach to pregnancy using chiropractic treatments, and complementary treatments such as massage therapy and essential oils. However, medical pregnancy treatment still needs to be directed by a skilled medical professional such as your OBGYN or your primary healthcare provider.
#2 – Control Pregnancy Symptoms
While pregnancy is a beautiful time for many women, it is also accompanied by many symptoms that can interfere with your quality of life. Symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, insomnia, constipation, urination urges, abdominal pressure, swelling, morning sickness, and so on can significantly impact your quality of life while pregnant.
The body goes through many changes as the baby grows. Pressure can displace internal organs, leading to constipation and frequent, urgent urination. Sleep is also affected. Muscles become strained when sleeping in unnatural positions, which can lead to potential misalignments that result in back and neck pain.
By aligning the spine, which also houses the central nervous system, chiropractic care can restore the body’s alignment and balance while easing many of these symptoms. Many of the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy aim at providing symptom-relief.
In addition to spinal adjustments, other treatments from a prenatal chiropractor, such as laser therapy and even acupuncture can work together to help ease pregnancy symptoms.
#3 – Help with Childbirth
Throughout pregnancy, a woman's body adjusts to make room for the growing baby. However, when this happens, the hips, pelvis and the spine might shift out of place or become misaligned. These misalignments, coupled with a shift in a woman's center of gravity, can interfere with childbirth.
Chiropractic care can help to maintain the hips, pelvis, and spine in proper alignment to endure childbirth without applying additional force. With a balanced pelvis and aligned spine, babies have a greater chance of moving into the right position for birth, diminishing the possibilities of breech births.
After giving birth, chiropractic care can also help with the joint discomfort that often accompanies childbirth. By adjusting all misalignments and eliminating subluxations, women can experience relief from shoulder problems, pelvic pain, muscle tensions, rib discomfort, and more.
#4 – Optimal Baby Positioning
Even in a healthy pregnancy, most birth practitioners begin worrying about breeching by week 37. Roughly 4 percent of all pregnancies result in a breech birth. In these cases, prenatal chiropractors are called in often to perform the Webster Technique. The main purpose of this technique is to release tension that might be causing a misalignment in the hips and pelvis. This will allow the baby to move into the optimal position for birth. However, when women seek chiropractic care during their pregnancy, ongoing spinal adjustments may prevent breeching.
The Webster Technique can work on all different types of breech presentations including:
- Frank Breech: When the baby’s buttocks present first, with legs and the feet near the head.
- Complete Breech: When the baby buttocks present first, the knees are bent and the feet near the buttocks.
- Footling Breech: When one or both feet of the baby present first.
#5 – Help Prevent Birth Defects
Not only can chiropractic care help with pregnancy, but it is also beneficial for your baby-to-be. When the pelvis is misaligned, it can restrict the space available to your developing baby. This is known as an intrauterine constraint, and can lead to birth defects.
Pelvis misalignment can also lead to various childbirth complications and increase your odds of requiring a cesarean section.
#6 – Reduce the Time of Labor and Delivery
Many women worry that their labor and delivery will be complicated and drawn out. Some births can take more than 24-hours in labor, leaving mom tired and in pain. The American Pregnancy Association states that seeking care from a prenatal chiropractor may help reduce the amount of time a woman spends in labor.
Extended time in labor may be caused by what is known as back labor, which occurs when a baby's head presses against the sacrum instead of the front of the pelvis as it should. With prenatal chiropractic care, a doctor can ensure that a woman's pelvis is properly aligned and supported, giving baby plenty of room and resulting in a quicker delivery.
#7 – Prevent the Need for Cesarean Section
For women looking to have a vaginal birth, receiving care from a prenatal chiropractor can help avoid the need for a cesarean section. Ensuring that the pelvis is properly aligned and that baby is able to move into the best position possible is crucial for having a vaginal birth.
By keeping the spine properly aligned, avoiding a breech or posterior position, and stabilizing the pelvis prior to labor and delivery, the chance of needing an emergency or unplanned c-section is significantly reduced.
What to Expect from Prenatal Chiropractic Care
Prenatal chiropractic care differs from traditional spine adjustments. All treatment is administered with the priority of keeping baby safe. Chiropractors may use special tables and techniques that avoid putting pressure on mom's growing belly. The Webster Technique is a common chiropractic treatment method for mothers-to-be. It uses gentle movements and manual therapy, with the occasional incorporation of acupuncture.
Additionally, a prenatal chiropractor will likely use gentle stretching techniques and provide you with exercises and a routine that you can continue at home between appointments to relieve pain and discomfort.
Additional Wellness Plans
In addition to providing chiropractic adjustments to support the spine and pelvis and introducing you to helpful stretches, a prenatal chiropractor may recommend other wellness techniques to improve pain and increase relaxation.
Your chiropractor may recommend that you see a prenatal massage therapist to help reduce muscle tension. You may also decide to try acupuncture, adjusting your diet using nutritional guidance from your chiropractor, or using items such as a pregnancy pillow to help stay in the correct position as you sleep. All of these things can help relieve discomfort and pain.
How to Find a Chiropractor to Help with Your Pregnancy
There are no known contraindications to prenatal chiropractic care. In fact, most women who have visited a chiropractor during pregnancy report only positive effects. It is also important to know that all chiropractors are trained to work on pregnant women. However, some seek additional training and certifications including being Webster Certified to work specifically with pelvic balance during pregnancy.
At ChiroCare of Florida, our experienced and caring chiropractors are trained to work on pregnant women to help them maintain spinal and pelvic alignment while they wait for their newborns. If you are pregnant or recently had a baby, contact a ChiroCare of Florida facility today.
Our chiropractors will be eager to answer all your questions about chiropractic care during pregnancy and create a personalized wellness program to help you feel your best and enjoy this precious stage to its fullest.