Chiropractic care is the health maintenance of the spinal column, discs, related nerves and bone geometry without drugs or surgery. Chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy when provided by a chiropractor that has been trained in the physical changes that occur within a pregnant woman's body.
It involves the art and science of adjusting misaligned joints of the body, especially of the spine, to promote health throughout the body.
Is chiropractic care safe during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy when provided by a chiropractor that has been trained in the physical changes that occur within a pregnant woman's body. Chiropractors that have been trained to work with pregnant women will use tables that adjust for a pregnant woman's body and they will use techniques that avoid unneeded pressure on the abdomen.
The most important point is to make sure that you are receiving chiropractic care from a chiropractor who is well trained in dealing with pregnant women. A chiropractor who is versed in the needs of women who are pregnant will also provide you with exercises and stretches that are safe to use during pregnancy and compliment any adjustments made to your spine.
Why should I have chiropractic care during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby. The following changes could result in a misaligned spine or joint:
- Protruding abdomen and increased back curve
- Pelvis changes
- Uterus enlarges and expands forward
- Posture changes
Establishing balance and alignment with the pelvis is another reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery.
The nervous system is the communication system to the reproductive cycle along with all the other parts of the body. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively.
Are their any benefits to chiropractic care during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care during pregnancy may provide benefits for some women who are pregnant. Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:
- Maintaining the pregnancy
- Controlling vomiting
- Increased likelihood of full-term delivery
- Reduction in the time of labor and delivery
- Relief of back, neck or joint pain
- Prevent a potential cesarean section or vaginal breech delivery
What about chiropractic care and breech deliveries?
The late Larry Webster, D.C., of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, developed a technique which enabled chiropractors to release stress on the pregnant woman's pelvis and cause relaxation to the uterus and surrounding ligaments. The relaxed uterus would make it easier for a breech baby to turn naturally. The technique is known as the Webster Breech Technique.
Approximately 13% of all pregnancies result in a breech presentation. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue that 82% of doctors using the Webster Technique reported success. Further, the results from the study suggest that it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique in the 8th month of pregnancy.
Breech presentations are common early in pregnancy. Most physicians are not concerned with breech presentations until a patient is 37 weeks along. Breech babies are known to turn themselves, even late in pregnancy. Chiropractic adjustments may aid in that process, but it is uncertain to know for sure.
Talk to Your Physician:
If you are pregnant with a breech baby or have a history of breech complications talk to your physician about potential chiropractic care. Your physician will know if there are any concerns about obtaining chiropractic treatment in your situation.
Even if chiropractic care is not the right answer for you, the most important thing is to make sure that you and your baby are safe.
Reprinted with permission from American Pregnancy Association