Chiropractic care is the maintenance of the spinal column and vertebrae by way of the adjustment of misaligned joints. It’s considered to be a type of physical therapy to reduce tension in the vertebrae and spinal nerve stress which has been shown to promote health throughout the body. During pregnancy, chiropractic care is believed to be safe and there are prenatal chiropractic providers who have been trained in the Webster technique, which is specific to pregnant patients. To adjust pregnant women, chiropractors use adjusting tables to accommodate growing bellies and often special pillows to aid in the adjustments of a pregnant patient. Chiropractors can also show you effective stretches for relieving tension and easing discomfort.
How can chiropractic care help during pregnancy?
There are many hormonal and physical changes you’ll experience during your pregnancy. Some of these will have an impact on your posture and overall comfort. As your baby becomes heavier, your center of gravity shifts, and your posture adjusts accordingly. These physical changes during your pregnancy can lead to a misaligned spine or joints. Other uncomfortable changes during pregnancy might include:
an increased curve of your back due to your growing abdomen
changes to your pelvis as your body begins to prepare for labor
adaptations to your posture
Looseness in the joints due to hormonal shifts and the hormone called relaxin
Regular visits to a chiropractor during your pregnancy can decrease some of these common issues. Adjustments that are designed to re-establish balance and alignment to your pelvis and spine will make you feel more comfortable during pregnancy while also preparing your body for labor.
How is chiropractic care beneficial for your baby?
A misaligned pelvis can pose issues during birth. When the pelvis is out of alignment, it can make it hard for your baby to move into the best position to be born, which is rear-facing, head down. In some cases, this could affect the ability to have a natural birth. An aligned pelvis also means your baby has a lower chance of moving into a breech or posterior position. When your baby is in a non-optimal birthing position, it can lead to a longer, more complicated birth. In addition, regular chiropractic care while you’re pregnant can offer the following benefits:
help you maintain a healthier, more comfortable pregnancy
relieving pain in the back, neck, hips, and joints
help to control symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, round ligament pain, and other general discomforts you might experience while pregnant.
If you’re experiencing back, hip, or joint pain in your pregnancy, and you’re considering chiropractic care, speak to your midwife or doctor first. They can make a recommendation about a qualified chiropractor in your area. They’ll also help you decide if chiropractic care is safe for you and your baby.