Pregnancy is full of beautiful and unbelievable changes. Watching your belly swell with life and feeling the little kicks of your baby is exciting! However, most women will tell you that these blessings often come with a few discomforts.
Every woman, baby, and pregnancy is different and therefore, not all mothers-to-be will experience the same discomforts as her pregnant sisters. For women who seek a wellness-centered, non-medicinal relief from their discomforts, Modern Midwifery highly recommends chiropractic care during pregnancy. Here is why:
1. Maintain a healthy spine.
The spinal cord is an extension of the brain and plays an important role in maintaining balance (both structurally and hormonally) in the body. Strain on the spine can cause any one of the 24 mobile vertebrae to shift from their normal position causing subluxation. Subluxations can alter the normal nerve impulses that travel along the spine causing interference. This may lead to an imbalance of the finely tuned hormones balance in your body. Pregnancy is accompanied by unique hormonal shifts that prepare your body for one of the most important jobs it will ever have. Ensuring your spine is healthy is an excellent way to aid your body in supporting a healthy pregnancy.
2. Relieve pregnancy discomforts.
Did you know that as many as 50% of women experience back pain in pregnancy? Your body goes through many structural changes to accommodate your growing baby and these changes can lead to increased back and hip pain. The changes in your lower spine can have a ripple effect resulting in changes at the top of the spine which, in some women, can lead to rib pain and headaches. Additionally, as your uterus grows and applies pressure to or stretches the surrounding tissues and organs, you may experience something called referred pain- pain felt somewhere other than where the painful stimulus originates. Often these varied pains are assumed to be an inevitable discomfort of pregnancy. However, a chiropractor who focuses on gentle adjustments of the spine and manipulation of the soft tissue (muscles and ligaments) that support your growing body can significantly increase your comfort throughout pregnancy. Evidence suggests that as many as 75% of women who receive prenatal chiropractic care will have a reduction in pregnancy related back discomfort .
3. Align your pelvis for an optimal birth.
Maximizing space allows your baby to more easily navigate his or her descent through the pelvis. Releasing tight ligaments and muscles allows for the bones to become more mobile in late pregnancy, the way they were intended. A mobile pelvis and soft supple ligaments decrease the likelihood of breech presentation and allow your baby more room to roll into the optimal birth position, rear facing (or baby spine to your belly) and headfirst.
4. Decrease labor times.
Childbirth, although a wonderful, beautiful event, is intense and some women equate it to running a marathon. A well aligned body and balanced pelvis encourages your baby to enter the pelvis in the most optimal position. Good positioning will ease your baby’s navigation of the pelvis as you move through labor. A review of chiropractic statistics reveals that first-time mothers who receive chiropractic care during pregnancy had an average of 25% shorter labors. Mothers who had a history of giving birth at least once vaginally and received chiropractic care during pregnancy averaged 31% shorter labors .
These are only a few of the benefits of ongoing chiropractic care during pregnancy. We recommend working with a licensed chiropractor – someone who is not only certified in the Webster technique and listed in the ICPA directory but also someone who uses the technique regularly and is an experienced clinician.