by Willena C. Brooks, D.C.
"Prenatal care," by definition, is the care a woman receives during pregnancy by a doctor, midwife, or other health care professional. The goal of such care is to monitor the progress of both mother and baby, as well as to identify any potential problems early on. Ideally, both mother and child receives the care they both need to ensure an uncomplicated pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Depending on the health care professional chosen, this could very well be the case. Or, such care may be exclusively centered around providing the best possible environment for the baby only. Such an approach leaves "mommy-to-be" with only the satisfaction and joy of being able to provide the environment.
This idea of providing the "optimal environment for baby" has become so ingrained in our minds, that most women know all of the "do's and don't's of pregnancy" before ever becoming pregnant. Don't smoke, don't do drugs, and don't drink alcohol. Do eat a healthy diet, do take a good multi-vitamin or prenatal vitamin, and do your best to incorporate some level of physical activity into your daily routine.
While all of these behaviors or lifestyle modifications are great, during pregnancy and in general, they do not address the many physical changes that will occur during the pregnancy, such as: the protruding abdomen and changes in "mommy's" center of gravity; the postural changes; pelvic distortions; and spinal/joint misalignments secondary to weight gain.
Although by no means the majority, more and more women are becoming aware of the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy. Women, who have been shown to use the services of chiropractors more than any other population, are now turning to Doctors of Chiropractic during this special time in their life as well. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe for both mother and baby. In fact, most chiropractors have been trained in techniques that allow for the safe, gentle, and effective adjusting of pregnant women -- providing an alternative to over-the-counter medications to alleviate those aches and pains so common with pregnancy.
In addition to providing pain relief, chiropractic care may also help control morning sickness, help reduce the time and difficulty of labor and delivery, and, prevent the mother from having to experience a caesarean birth or breech delivery.
Most chiropractors are also willing to work with your primary physician. You may even be able to ask your primary doctor to recommend a chiropractor for you. If you're already a chiropractic patient, be sure to inform your chiropractor immediately should you become pregnant, so that they can make any necessary changes to your treatment plan.
Prenatal care, in its most traditional sense, combined with chiropractic, will offer mommy-to-be the opportunity to not only provide an "optimal environment for baby" but will also allow her a healthy, pain free, pleasant pregnancy.
Willena Brooks is an Ohio licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and the owner of Mommy & Me Chiropractic, Ltd. For more information on prenatal chiropractic care or to schedule an appointment visit www.mommynmeonline.com.
Copyright © Willena Brooks. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.