Whether this is your first or your fourth, expecting a newborn is an exciting time in your life! You absolutely want the best for your child and one way to do that is to take care of yourself while the child is growing inside you.
If you are a new mother-to-be, then you’ve probably heard some things about pregnancy that aren’t so wonderful; back pain, nausea, and long or difficult labor times. You can’t take any medications and you don’t want to do anything that would harm the baby, so what can you do to take care of yourself and still find relief from these temporary but annoying problems?
Chiropractic care can be one of the best tools in your “Mom to Be” toolbox. Your chiropractor should be thought of as a partner in your overall healthcare plan. There are lots of reasons to visit your chiropractor when you are pregnant, but first things first…
Get Your Doctor’s Approval
Chiropractic care in and of itself is very safe, however, there are a few circumstances when even this safe type of therapy should be avoided. Those who should avoid chiropractic include:
- Women experiencing spotting or vaginal bleeding
- Placenta previa
- Placenta abruption
- Ectopic pregnancies
- If you have moderate to severe toxemia
It’s always a good idea to get the approval of your doctor before you begin chiropractic care, just to be on the extra safe side.
It Really is Safe, Right?
Yes, it absolutely is. More than 1 million adjustments are done each year with virtually no side effects or complications. Even AmericanPregnancy.Org describes chiropractic as being completely safe during pregnancy.
Top 5 Benefits Chiropractic Offers During Pregnancy
Think of chiropractic care as health maintenance for your spinal column and the nerves. There are plenty of benefits chiropractic has to offer, with the most prominent reasons listed below.
Benefit #1 – Real Pain Relief
Perhaps the first thing most pregnant women experience is low back pain. This is due to not only the added weight of the child, but the shifting of the body’s center of gravity. Some studies have found that 90% of pregnant women experience some type of back pain during their pregnancy and about 77% complain of back pain even after birth. This is more than likely to a misalignment of the sacroiliac joints, which is something adjustments can restore to their proper position.
The body also produces a hormone appropriately called Relaxin, which loosens up the ligaments and joints in the pelvis in anticipation of childbirth. This can cause an instability in the lower back, causing pain. Studies show that a majority of women who have adjustments during their pregnancy have much lower rates of back pain.
A chiropractor can restore the proper position to the spine and pelvis, offering relief from back pain. Regular adjustments will correct the posture and keep the spinal curve in its proper position. Contrary to popular belief, adjustments do not hurt, and they won’t harm the baby in any way. In fact, adjustments actually add just a bit more space for the baby to move and grow.
Benefit #2 – Nausea Control
In the first trimester (but for some women during the entire pregnancy) most women experience nausea and vomiting. Certain smells, particular times of the day, and certain foods seem to bring it on, but many women find there is no set time or thing, nausea just happens.
It seems strange that chiropractic adjustments could somehow have anything to do with nausea, but it certainly does have an effect! Studies show that women experience much fewer episodes of vomiting and nausea when they receive adjustments regularly. Who doesn’t want more of that?!
Benefit #3 – Reducing Labor and Delivery Time
For those who are seeking an easier delivery and a shorter amount of time in hard labor, chiropractic has a lot to offer! No drugs, no devices to buy, and regular adjustments can cut the amount of time you spend in labor by as much as 24% for 1st time moms and a whopping 33% for second or third time mommies.
Benefit #4 – Optimal Position for Baby
No one likes to think about possible complications, but in fact, they do happen. Chiropractic has been shown to prevent a possible breach birth and/or a cesarean delivery.
While some women plan for a c-section, it is much more common for this to happen in times of risk or in an emergency. Having the baby be in the proper position just before you give birth makes the entire process much easier.
Your chiropractor will correctly align the pelvis and spine, as well as using a special manipulative maneuver, called the Webster technique, which helps the baby naturally move itself into the proper position, which is head down, of course!
Benefit #5 – A Better Pregnancy Overall
Studies have found that 79% of pregnant women who received chiropractic care had less heartburn, dizziness, insomnia, and headaches than the control group. Some women saw improvements after their first visit!
Imagine a pregnancy with fewer episodes of discomfort, pain, and a quicker delivery time? All it takes is a few visits to your favorite chiropractor — such as me, the favorite chiropractor in Wasilla, Alaska. Prenatal chiropractic care will result in improved health for both you and your growing baby. Who could ask for more?!
After Giving Birth
It is not uncommon for new mothers to complain about back and joint pain, even months after giving birth. It would be nice if a woman’s body snapped back into place like an elastic band, but this isn’t the case.
Take care of your body post-pregnancy as you did during pregnancy. Be kind to yourself and give your body the time it needs to heal and recover. Your chiropractor can help in this area as well, offering advice regarding nutrition, exercise programs, stretching routines, and more.
Let’s also remember that nearly all chiropractor’s offer massage therapy. This rejuvenating therapy is just what the doctor ordered, if you will, and can help you feel more like your old self again.
Your local chiropractor will help you both before, during, and after your pregnancy, so you can spend your time enjoying your little one and not dealing with back pain.
About the author: Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.