Pregnant women can benefit from seeing a chiropractor even more than anyone else! At Oaktree, we will help create the best possible environment for the physical development and delivery of your baby, as well as assisting in the relief of the pain and discomfort often associated with pregnancy.
The techniques we use help establish a balance in the pelvis while reducing stress to the uterus and supporting ligaments.
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Why should I have chiropractic care during pregnancy?
For many women, pregnancy can be an uncomfortable experience. First, there are the initial hormonal changes and next come the physical changes. As the baby develops and grows inside the womb, this is accompanied by an alteration in spinal and pelvic alignment. This structural alteration, or misalignment, is often uncomfortable and even painful as the pregnancy progresses. Even if there is no pain involved, it is important to ensure proper spinal adaptation to the new posture.
One of the hormones that increases through a pregnant mothers’s body is relaxin. Relaxin helps ligaments loosen up, especially those in the pelvic area, to accommodate the expansion of the growing baby and uterus. However, relaxin can also cause trouble. While it helps those bones shift in order to make way for the baby, the ligament laxity can make those pelvic bones very unstable in their position, allowing them to misalign.
The pelvis and sacrum are interconnected and often move as one. When one ilium has rocked back into a posterior misalignment, the opposite side is, by default, rocked forward. This can cause the sacrum to tilt posterior one way or the other, often causing pain and/or tightness in the opposite bum or leg. It can also often cause pain in the pubic symphysis area (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction). Because of all this tilting and torquing of the pelvic bones, the birth canal will narrow, possibly complicating the baby’s ability to birth naturally. This is what we want to avoid. Any combination of misalignments of these bones can set the stage for a longer, more painful birth and increase the chance or intervention (drugs, induction, c-section).
Proper chiropractic care is very beneficial for the pregnant mother. A properly aligned pelvis and sacrum will do wonders in avoiding unnecessary pain and intervention. Properly aligned pelvic bones help the pelvic muscles stay loose, allowing the network of nerves within the pelvic area to transmit important messages from the nervous system to their intended destinations without interference.
Is chiropractic care during pregnancy safe?
Chiropractic is very safe during the entire pregnancy. Some chiropractors take a specific interest in prenatal and postnatal care and seek additional training. Our chiropractors are certified through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (the ICPA) and certified for the Webster Technique (trained to work specifically with pelvic balance in pregnancy to help reduce in-utero constraint for breech babies).
Do I need to be in pain to see a chiropractor?
Not at all. Chiropractic can be used as a preventative measure. The ideal scenario is for someone to get checked before they actually feel a problem so we can prevent those issues from occurring. Every pregnant women (and really, every person) should be checked for spinal misalignments (vertebral subluxation) regardless of symptoms. If subluxations are present, they damage the connection from the brain to specific body parts and decrease their function. This is something everyone should have checked, especially if there is a developing baby needing all the connections possible!
Is it difficult to get adjusted while pregnant?
Our state-of-the-art techniques & instrumentation are gentle, safe, & effective throughout the entire pregnancy. We have special tables and pillows that adjust for a pregnant woman’s body, and use techniques that avoid unneeded pressure on the abdomen. We also provide you with exercises and stretches that are safe to use during pregnancy.
How late can I get adjusted in pregnancy?
You can get adjusted up to the birth, even in early labour. Depending on the mom, we may recommend an increased frequency of adjustments in the last month of pregnancy to ensure an easier opening of the pelvic bones and less chance for intervention in preparation for birth. We also tell our pregnant patients that if they are able to make it in at the first signs of labour, it is best! Dr. Emilie herself has been adjusted through her previous labours to help ensure easier, faster births with less chance of intervention. If you’re unable to come here, we will often come to you if possible during your labour for any check-ups and adjustments, especially if labour seems to be stalling. Our goal is for you to have the best birth possible!
What are the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care during pregnancy provides many benefits. There are so many worries that arise when a women is pregnant, from avoiding miscarriage to morning sickness, nausea, a healthy normal baby, back, neck and joint pain, the fear of a long difficult birth, avoiding intervention in birth and many more. The good news is chiropractic care has proven to help pregnant women with many of these worries and lead to easier, faster births with less intervention than without chiropractic care.
What about chiropractic care and breech deliveries?
The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment which establish balance in the pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments. This balanced state in the pelvis leads to optimal fetal position. About 4% of pregnancies result in a breech position, which uncorrected, usually lead to a c-section. Studies have reported 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.
Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends that women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy. With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether. Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and therefore results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.
For more information on the Webster Technique, please visit the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association website.
Can my infant get adjusted?
We tell our moms to come as soon as they can after birth to have the baby checked for subluxations (misalignments) that could have occurred right at birth. If an adjustment is needed, this will help ensure better function overall and can help with easier sleep, breastfeeding and digestion. Dr. Emilie’s babies each got checked within hours of birth (it helps of course that she can check them herself!)
For more information on pregnancy during chiropractic care, please see the ICPA’s chiropractic research page. To learn more about how chiropractic can help your infant or child, please visit our chiropractic for children page.