A woman’s body goes through incredible transformations during pregnancy. Unfortunately, some of these changes can cause discomfort. About 50% of pregnant women experience some kind of back or hip pain during pregnancy. Nausea caused by hormonal changes is also common. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Chiropractic care and massage can help alleviate pregnancy discomfort and have several other benefits for both the mother and the baby. Here are four reasons to seek chiropractic care during pregnancy.
1. To Feel Better
As your baby grows, the curve in your lower back has to become more pronounced to accommodate the extra weight. The expansion of the belly during pregnancy also weakens abdominal muscles that usually help to support the back. These changes can cause back and hip pain during the later stages of pregnancy. Chiropractic adjustment is a safe way for pregnant women to relieve this pain. Chiropractors are trained in gentle methods of adjustment that are appropriate for pregnant women. Regular adjustments during pregnancy can effectively treat sciatica, round ligament pain, pelvic girdle pain, and low back pain. Your chiropractor can also help you to adjust your posture to prevent neck and low back pain.
Nausea can be one of the most miserable pregnancy symptoms. Regular chiropractic care has been shown to reduce pregnancy-related nausea because spinal adjustment allows your nervous system to function better and regulates your hormones. Adjustments can also help with other digestive symptoms such as heartburn and constipation.
2. For a Safer Delivery
Breech positioning is one of the most common reasons for difficult labor and cesarean sections. Most babies present as breech until about 37 weeks into the pregnancy. If you are more than 37 weeks along and have been told that your baby is breech, ask your chiropractor about the Weber method. The Weber method is a special adjustment that has been proven to correct breech positioning in 90% of cases. This adjustment works by restoring proper pelvic alignment allowing the baby more free space within the womb to assume a proper birthing position.
Misalignment of the pelvis during pregnancy can also cause fetal development problems by restricting the baby’s space to move and grow. Regular adjustment to keep the pelvis in proper alignment can prevent these fetal development problems and lead to easier labor and delivery.
During labor, the nervous system is responsible for dilation and contractions. The nervous system, uterus, and pelvic muscles work together to deliver the baby. If these systems are not functioning well together, delivery can be more difficult and dangerous. A properly aligned pelvis and optimally functioning nervous system lead to easier, healthier deliveries.
Women who receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can expect to have their time in labor decreased by 25-31%. They also have less chance of difficult labor and the use of forceps during delivery. This is important because traumatic labor and delivery have been shown to have long term health consequences for both the mother and child.
3. A Healthier Pregnancy
Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to strengthen the immune system and encourage healthy circulation. These benefits are especially important during pregnancy. The better your immune system is, the better your baby’s immunity will be right after birth. Recent studies have linked healthy immune function during pregnancy to lower chances of miscarriage and premature births.
Less pain during pregnancy also encourages expectant mothers to be more active. This is important because exercise during pregnancy can lead to better sleep, improved mood, less digestive discomfort, and a decreased risk of gestational diabetes. Chiropractic care is one more thing you can do to ensure a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby.
Massage during and after pregnancy can also improve circulation, lift the mood, and reduce anxiety. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a woman can begin massage at any point during pregnancy. Tell your massage therapist that you are pregnant so they can use appropriate techniques.
4. An Easier Recovery
Your core strength after pregnancy will be significantly weakened due to the stretching of the abdominal wall. Weak core muscles don’t create adequate support for your lower back, and sometimes this can lead to low back pain and even injury. In addition to this, long feeding sessions with the baby can encourage you to roll your shoulders forward and tilt your head down, causing neck and upper back pain.
Postpartum chiropractic care can help your body through these adjustments and make the transition more comfortable. As your body’s hormones readjust, some of your joints may still be looser than normal for a while. Your chiropractor can let you know if this is the case and give you guidance on how to exercise safely during your postpartum period.
Women who receive regular chiropractic care during and after pregnancy have been shown to have healthier pregnancies, easier deliveries, and quicker recovery periods. They are able to get back to exercise and other activities sooner than mothers who did not have chiropractic adjustments.