” Chiropractic care is becoming an important and essential part of birth preparation for many pregnant women in Queretaro.”
In the USA, 69% of pregnant women suffer from low back pain. These women are realizing the benefits of regular chiropractic adjustments as they prepare for safer, easier birthing for both themselves and their babies. Chiropractors have actually cared for pregnant women for many years. Recently, however, with the increased interest in natural birthing, and in an effort to avoid having a C-section, a growing number of mothers have incorporated chiropractic into their prenatal care.
As a mother’s weight increases, her center of gravity shifts up and forward and her posture compensates accordingly, predisposing nerves, muscles, bones, and connective tissues to damage. In addition, hormones cause the ligament laxity necessary for birthing, which adds to instability in all of her joints, including her spine and pelvis.
Chiropractic care will create more stability and balance to the pelvis and spine. U One study showed “94% percent of pregnant women who had chiropractic care showed clinical improvement without side effects”. [i]
Here is a list of some of the symptoms that may be helped by chiropractic care:
- Back pain including sacroiliac and coccyx pain.
- Sciatica, buttock or leg pain.
- Neck pain.
- Poor mobility and flexibility.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pubic symphysis dysfunction.
- Preventing slow labor and delivery times.
- Preventing stress on your baby’s nervous system.
Changes During Pregnancy
These hormonal and structural changes can lead to spinal and pelvic misalignment and the lower back pain many women experience during pregnancy. Lower back pain may affect a woman’s daily function and quality of life.
However, the misalignment of the spine and pelvis have a far more crucial consequence to a mother and her developing baby. In chiropractic, these misalignments are called ‘subluxations’. These blockages cause stress overload to the mother’s nervous system, potentially impairing any of her vital systems, muscles and organs. During pregnancy, when a mother’s body systems are basically functioning for two, any interference to the nerve transmission supporting their function can be detrimental to her health and well-being, as well as the growing baby’s.
Perhaps the most noticeable condition is the stress of ‘intrauterine constraint’.
Intrauterine constraint and the effects on your baby.
“It has been shown that chiropractic adjustments can help reduce labour time by up to 24% in first time mothers and up to 39% for mothers who had a previous pregnancy”
To understand this condition, it is important to look at the mother’s pelvis and the various key ligaments attached that support her uterus. As the baby grows, their role becomes increasingly important. If her pelvis is balanced during pregnancy, the uterus will be supported symmetrically. This allows the baby optimal room for movement in utero and provides it the opportunity to develop free of constraint. Conversely, if the woman’s sacrum (the major triangular bone in her pelvis) is out of alignment, it will affect the alignment of her entire pelvis. Misalignment of the pelvis will create an uneven pulling effect on the uterine ligaments, which explains why some women feel sensitivity on one side more than the other. Intrauterine constraint can create torsion in the uterus, limiting available space for the developing baby. This can inhibit the development of the baby’s spine.
Intrauterine constraint not only compromises fetal positioning, but can also impair the future health of the baby by impairing his nervous system. The optimal position for birth is anterior vertex (rear-facing, head down). When a baby presents breech or posterior, it often is the result of an imbalance in the mother’s pelvis, forcing the baby to assume a compromised position.
Even if the baby is vertex, the head may be tilted off to one side, which is named “ascynclitic.” While this position may be less of a problem than breech or posterior, it could still result in a longer, less comfortable and more complicated birth. Ideally, the baby’s neck should be flexed forward without a tilt to either side.
The body’s intelligence wants the easiest route out for the baby. If mother’s biomechanics are compromised, obstetric interventions are more likely to be recommended and implemented, such as drugs. Each and every intervention has significant side effects for both mother and baby.
All obstetrical interventions increase the risk of subsequent and more serious procedures. For example, with any intervention (e.g. epidural anaesthesia, etc.), the risk of mechanical delivery (the use of forceps and vacuum extraction) and surgical delivery (C-section) multiplies substantially. These unnatural modes of delivery are risky and traumatic to both mother and baby. Proper prenatal chiropractic care, however, is a valuable tool to decrease the reliance on these invasive delivery procedures.
Medically classified birth trauma is when the baby has a fractured clavicle and humeral bones, neuromuscular damage such as Bell’s palsy, or severe spinal cord injury.
Chiropractic classification of birth trauma is much more specific and quite different. Evidence of birth trauma is when the baby has misalignments to their spine affecting nerve system function. These less obvious traumas can be detected by chiropractors as soon as a child is born. The unique expertise of chiropractors can detect and correct these misalignments with a gentle touch to the baby’s cranium and spine. When parents understand the importance of nerve system function and the potential trauma of birth, they recognize the importance of having their infants checked immediately after birth.
Fortunately, today’s parents are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the mother’s pelvic biomechanics throughout pregnancy. Giving it due attention will not only result in a more comfortable pregnancy, but will optimize the baby’s development and contribute toward a safer and easier birth for both mother and baby.
Giving it due attention will not only result in a more comfortable pregnancy, but will optimize the baby’s development and contribute toward a safer and easier birth for both mother and baby.
What should I expect when I visit the chiropractor?
Please click here to find out more about your first visit to the chiropractor.
The treatments used for pregnant mothers are extremely gentle and we aim to make the whole experience enjoyable and relaxing. To find out more about the treatments click here.
[ii] 2. Fallon, J. The effect of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: A comprehensive study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic. 1991, p24-31.