Pregnancy and birth are both miraculous things. But there’s no question that the process takes a heavy toll on a mother’s body. Women face various problems as their bodies adapt to satisfy the baby’s needs.
These problems include pains in joints, the back, the pelvis, and more. Other issues include improper alignment, which can be uncomfortable for the mother and may pose developmental risks for the baby.
Many women are weary of taking any medication (even pain medication) during pregnancy. So, they look to natural methods to deal with these problems. Chiropractic care is one of these methods.
Going to a chiropractor can be intimidating, especially if you’re pregnant. That’s why we’ll cover everything about chiropractic care when pregnant.
Will I Be Safe Getting Chiropractic Care During My Pregnancy?
Yes, it’s safe for you to get chiropractic adjustments during your pregnancy. They can help with maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Of course, you do have to let your chiropractor know you’re pregnant.
Afterward, if the chiropractor feels unsure about treating you, they will refer you to a prenatal chiropractor. It’s important to know that pregnancy chiropractic care is different from regular chiropractic care. The prenatal chiropractor will use gentler adjustment techniques and switch to adjustable tables that won’t press on your abdomen. If you’re still worried, talk to your OBGYN before going to a chiropractor.
When Should Pregnant Women Avoid Seeking Chiropractic Care?
In most cases, chiropractic care for pregnant patients is perfectly safe. However, exceptions exist. Avoid seeking chiropractic treatment if you have vaginal bleeding or an ectopic pregnancy.
Sometimes the placenta disconnects from the uterus, commonly known as placental abruption. It’s recommended not to see a chiropractor if you have this issue, the same goes for pre-eclampsia or toxemia.
In short, consult with your gynecologist before you go to a chiropractor. Even then, ensure your chiropractor is comfortable handling a pregnant woman’s body.
What Are the Benefits of Prenatal Chiropractic Care?
As your pregnancy progresses, your body undergoes multiple changes. Your abdomen protrudes, which puts pressure on your lower back and accentuates the spine curve.
As a result, you’ll most likely have joint pain and lower back problems. You may also experience discomfort in your pelvis.
Fortunately, chiropractic treatment can solve a lot of these issues.
During pregnancy, the body releases hormones that soften the joints. The relaxed and flexible joints are supposed to help with an easy delivery, but sometimes the hormones work too well.
They loosen the ligaments, which can cause aches. Combine that with the added stress of the fetus in your abdomen, and your spinal cord becomes misaligned. Plus, all the physical stress is hard on your legs, so you get leg cramps.
Chiropractors can keep your spine aligned, which helps with lower back pain. They also help relieve leg pain and sciatica. They can also adjust vertebral joints, hip joints, and more. Some can recommend stretches to help with the pain, and you can add those to your daily routine.
Your pelvis must adapt to accommodate your baby and, later, delivery. Pelvic misalignment is common in pregnant women because of body weight changes.
In severe cases, the misaligned pelvis leaves less space for your baby to develop, leading to complications and issues during delivery. Chiropractors can help you with pelvic balance.
Reduced Labor Time
Your baby will come out easier once the chiropractors ensure everything is aligned correctly. That’s because it’ll be in an optimal position and have maximum space for passing through the birth canal.
Studies have shown that women undergoing chiropractic treatments during pregnancy have shorter labors than others.
Increases Chances of Natural Delivery
Once it’s time for delivery, the baby’s head should be facing down towards the exit of the birth canal. Generally, babies rotate that way by themselves, but that’s not the case for some patients.
When babies turn by themselves, there could be a breech birth. This reduces the chances of a non-invasive birth, and the mother may need a c-section. Chiropractors can help prevent that by rotating the baby and repositioning it.
Sometimes they can also do this for low-lying fetuses. They can manipulate the baby’s position so that it rests higher up. These interventions during prenatal care can help prevent premature births.
Nausea and pregnancy seem to go hand-in-hand, especially during the first trimester. Morning sickness is highly uncomfortable and can ruin the whole experience.
Chiropractic care can’t completely eliminate nausea. However, it can help control the symptoms. The chiropractor will align your spine, which will help your nervous system. You’ll function better and be less likely to hurl your guts out.
Do Women Need Chiropractic Treatment After Giving Birth?
After birth, it takes a while for the body to recover from all it has been through during the pregnancy. Regular chiropractic appointments can help women keep up with their recovery. The chiropractor can address any back or shoulder pain.
If the mothers are breastfeeding their babies, they’ll have posture issues. That’s because they stay in the same position to feed the child for so long. Shoulder and neck pain isn’t uncommon in such situations. So, keep up with the chiropractic care to ensure everything stays well.
Finding the Best Chiropractor for You
If you’re already seeing a chiropractor, they may be able to help you during your pregnancy. But if that’s not the case, they may refer you to someone dealing with pregnancy-related issues.
If that’s no help, you can ask your gynecologist for a recommendation. They can usually refer you to a trusted individual who cares for you. If all else fails, you can always find a chiropractor near you through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
Remember, chiropractic care is perfectly safe during pregnancy. However, you should still consult your doctor before you do anything. Chiropractic adjustments can save you much pain and give you a better shot at recovery after birth.