One of the most important times for a woman to be receiving chiropractic care is during pregnancy. From the moment of conception, her body goes through a series of remarkable changes. Some are easy to spot: a growing belly, changes in posture and changes in gait (pregnancy “waddle”). What we cannot see are the millions of different hormonal changes and chemical reactions occurring both in the mother and the developing baby, all of which are controlled through the nervous system.
Chiropractic care prior to conception promotes a more regular menstrual cycle and optimum uterine function. It prepares the body to be strong, flexible and as balanced as possible to carry pregnancy. Adjusting women through pregnancy is one of the most rewarding parts of our jobs as chiropractors because a healthier pregnancy means an easier labor and delivery.
Chiropractic care after delivery decreases strain on the joints and muscles that the mother may have from lifting her child and nursing. It also helps the body heal after any trauma the body may have gone through during labor.
According to recent studies, chiropractic care may result in an easier pregnancy, including increased comfort during the third trimester and delivery, and reduced need for analgesics.
In one study, women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24 percent shorter labor times and women giving birth for the second or third time reported 39 percent shorter labor times. In another study, the need for analgesics was reduced by 50 percent in the patients who had received adjustments.
In addition, 84 percent of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with chiropractic care. And because the joints of the pelvis function better, there is significantly less likelihood of back labor (contractions and sharp pain felt in the lower back/sacral area during labor) when receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy.
The Webster Technique is a specific sacral adjustment to help facilitate the mother’s pelvic alignment and nerve system function. This in turn balances pelvic muscles and ligaments, reduces torsion to the uterus and offers a greater potential for optimal fetal positioning. In addition, current research is revealing the benefits of receiving the Webster Technique throughout pregnancy for the prevention of dystocia.
For more information on Kids and Chiropractic, please visit The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s website at www.icpa4kids.org.