Chiropractic can and should be used in all stages of pregnancy. That's why every day pregnant women are receiving chiropractic care worldwide. During pregnancy chiropractic focuses on balancing joint and muscular dysfunction in the body to relieve pressure off the nervous system. Treatment has been shown to not only make pregnancy more enjoyable but also aids in an easier delivery.
One of the most common initial reasons why pregnant women first come to our office is because of back pain. Two out of every three women experience back pain during pregnancy. There are two main reasons for this.
Firstly, as your baby grows the extra weight causes your centre of gravity to shift forward which in turn forces your pelvis to tilt forward and lower back to bend back, thus increases the arch in your lower back. This results in a lot of pressure on your spine and on the pelvic muscles and ligaments. This leads to varying degrees of pain and discomfort in your back, groin, abdomen and legs. Also, we are designed in such a way that everything in the abdomen fits in nice and snugly. As your baby grows and the abdominal muscles are stretched, your internal organs are pushed out of the way to accommodate the increasing bulk. The shift in posture which happens as your abdomen grows larger frequently leads to pain and discomfort in the middle back and neck, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, leg cramps and even nausea. All of which may be alleviated by chiropractic care.
Secondly, during pregnancy a hormone called Relaxin is released. This hormone makes your ligaments relax to allow for the expansion of your pelvis so that the baby has room to pass through the birth canal during birth. Unfortunately, it is not just your pelvic ligaments that go floppy, it's ligaments everywhere in your body. This can lead to abnormal movement in any joint and also often causes exacerbation of any problems you might have had prior to becoming pregnant. Imagine a tower with an uneven foundation and then coming along and loosening the supporting scaffolding. Not an ideal situation.
On a more positive note, due to the special hormone levels during pregnancy and the decreased tone in your ligaments, you can get excellent results with very gentle techniques and specific alterations made to your exact cases. This is one of the reasons why specific chiropractic care is so safe for both mother and baby during all stages of pregnancy.
Another common reason why women seek chiropractic care during pregnancy is to increase the chances of an easier labour. If the joints in your pelvis are out of alignment it puts extra tension on the ligaments that attach your uterus to your pelvis. The strain may reduce the space available for the developing baby making it difficult for the baby to manoeuvre into the best position for delivery. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint and such positions tend to lead to longer more painful deliveries often with increased use of medical intervention.
Women who choose chiropractic care during their pregnancy report easier less painful deliveries with less need for medical intervention and less need for medication. There has been been several studies done that support this. Women receiving chiropractic care have 24% shorter labours if it is their first child and 39% shorter labours with subsequent children.
Research has shown that chiropractic care during pregnancy:
- Reduces back pain during pregnancy
- Reduces the need for medication during pregnancy
- Helps you remain active during pregnancy
- Helps with mid-back pain, neck pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, leg cramps and even nausea during pregnancy
- Is safe for both mother and baby
- Can reduce labour time, back pain and pain medication during labour
- Can help with your baby's position
- Allows for a generally more comfortable delivery.
Come along to our Chiropractic and Pregnancy Workshop, Wednesday 30th October, 6pm. To reserve a seat or for more information Call 09 378 0069.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!