Chiropractic for Pregnancy
At King Chiropractic we appreciate the demands of working in the City while pregnant or with a newborn. Chiropractic care in pregnancy is an essential ingredient to your natal care choices for the mother, father and new baby. A large percentage of pregnant women experience back discomfort due to the added pressure from the growing baby on their spinal nerves. When the spinal nerves become pressured then many types of dysfunctions may occur – the most common complaint at King Chiropractic being sciatic leg pain.
How can Chiropractic help me during pregnancy?
Pre-existing unnoticed imbalances in your spine and pelvis become overtaxed when pregnant. The added stresses lead to discomfort and difficulty while performing routine, daily activities. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can relieve and even prevent the common discomforts experienced in pregnancy. At King Chiropractic we give specific adjustments to eliminate the stresses in your spine, restore balance to your pelvis, which result in greater comfort and lifestyle improvements.
How can Chiropractic help my baby be more comfortable?
When the pelvis is in a balanced state the ligaments connected to the uterus maintain an equalised, supportive suspension for the uterus. If your pelvis is out of balance the ligaments become torqued and twisted, causing a condition known as ‘constraint’ to your uterus. This constraint limits the space of the developing baby and affects his or her optimal development. If the woman’s uterus is constrained as birth approaches, the baby is also prevented from getting into the best possible position for birth. Any baby position even slightly off during birth will slow down labour and add pain to both the mother and baby. Many women have been told that their babies were too big or labour “just slowed down” when it was really the baby’s presentation interfering with the normal process and progression. At King Chiropractic we work specifically with your pelvis throughout pregnancy restoring a state of balance and creating an environment for an easier, safer delivery.
When should I start seeing a Chiropractor?
Right now! The best time to start being adjusted is before you become pregnant so that your body, spine and nervous system are at their optimal best to conceive. Also, after the birth of your baby seeing a Chiropractor will help your body stay in alignment as you deal with the extra demands of a new baby. At King Chiropractic we want this to be a magical time and by gently checking and adjusting your body we strive to help you get your body back to its pre baby best. We will also give you guidelines of the best way to carry and lift your baby and also what exercises post birth are acceptable for your stage of recovery.
Breech babies and the Webster Technique
Your body is a self-healing, self-regulating, intelligent, vitalistic being. This is the philosophy of chiropractic. With this in mind, a baby in the breech presentation is a perfect adaptation to something occurring in the body. This is not a ‘pathological condition’. It is important to examine WHY a baby is breech. More often than not, the cause is due to a decrease nerve supply and misalignment of the pelvis. This creates tension in the uterus, which prevents the baby from being head down. A baby wants to be, and will always be in the most open and comfortable position possible.
Chiropractic is based on the principles of optimising human performance and potential by restoring and enhancing the body’s function.
Chiropractors work with the nervous system and the communication between the brain and the body. Primarily focusing on the cranium, spine, and pelvis, because this is where the nervous system is housed. When there are misalignments, imbalances and miscommunication of these structures, stress occurs in the surrounding muscles, ligaments and organs. Due to the rapid change in a woman’s anatomy and physiology while pregnant, chiropractic care is vital to mother and baby’s health, enhancing that ability to adapt and function.
Women who receive chiropractic care during their pregnancy have been shown to have the following potential benefits:
- Decreased low back pain
- Reduced labor time
- Successful VBAC’s (vaginal birth after cesarean)
- Reduction in obstetric intervention
- Greater overall comfort throughout pregnancy
- Decrease in back labor as well as preterm delivery
- Resolution of breech presentation through the maintenance of pelvic balance
- Faster postpartum recover
In addition, the infant experiences numerous benefits with Chiropractic care, while in-utero such as:
- Better development due to reduction of interference to the mother’s nervous system
- Greater room to grow without skeletal restrictions because of pelvic balance
- Optimum space to move in the best possible position for birth
All of these elements can reduce dystocia (difficult labor) and therefore a decrease in birth trauma due to unnecessary intervention.
Dystocia is defined as difficult or abnormal progress in labor. One of the primary causes of dystocia is a biomechanical and a physiological nature. According to William’s Obstetrics, this includes interference to the nervous system, misalignment of the pelvis, and tension or torsion of the specific pelvic and uterine muscles and ligaments. Specific chiropractic adjustments address each of these causes and can be an integral part of a pregnant woman’s care in optimising her pregnancy and birth experience.
The Webster’s Technique, developed by Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Paediatric Association, is a gentle and specific chiropractic analysis of the pelvis/sacrum. With the goal of reducing the effects of bio-neurological dysfunction. In doing so, neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is facilitated, which allows space for the baby to not only grow, but move into the optimum position for birth.
One particular focus in the Chiropractic adjustment is the Sacrum. Misalignment in the sacrum (the big triangular bone at the base of your spine) caused not only from a growing belly, but also from a lifetime of stress and trauma, decreases the diameter of the pelvis. Additionally, according to William’s Obstetrics, “any contraction of the pelvic diameters that diminishes the capacity of the pelvis can create dystocia (difficulty) during labor.” When a sacrum is displaced, it creates stress and tension in the ligaments surrounding the uterus and the ones connecting the uterus to the sacrum. This then creates a less than optimum environment for the developing fetus.
Many women in their third trimester seek the care of a chiropractor certified in the Webster Technique if their baby is in a breech presentation. Often these women are also experiencing other symptoms including but not limited to sciatica, low back pain, and an overall discomfort. It is important to note that chiropractors that utilise The Webster Technique are not turning babies. That is the job of obstetricians. Instead, chiropractors are restoring biomechanical and neurological function, which allows a pregnant woman’s body to do what it is supposed to do in order for the baby to innately turn vertex (head down).
Your body is not going to produce a baby that is too big for you! A woman’s body is designed to give birth. Pregnancy and birth are a natural process. Chiropractic care supports this process, not only in the third trimester but throughout the entire pregnancy.
Borggren CL, Pregnancy and chiropractic: A narrative review of the literature. J Chiropr Med 2007; 6(2):70-74.
Cunningham FG, et al. Dystocia due to pelvic contraction. Williams Obstetrics. 19th ed. 1989.
Ohm J. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association: Perinatal Care manual.
Ohm J, The Webster Technique in pregnancy for safer, easier births. The American Chiropractor Magazine 2005 Mar 15; 1-2
Ohm J. About the Webster Technique. 2011 [cited 2013 Feb 15].
My breech positioned baby flipped after two treatments, and I have also had great improvements in my neck and back pain.
I couldn’t imagine going through pregnancy without Chiropractic care. I wouldn’t miss my appointments for anything, they make me feel aligned, supported and strong – ready for labour.
I have been having Chiropractic care at King Chiropractic throughout my pregnancy (my first) and am confident this has helped me stay active and pain free as well as helping maintain my posture as my body changes. The Chiropractors are fantastic and I have complete confidence in them and my care.