Everyone knows that pregnancy brings change. In fact there are millions of different hormonal and chemical reactions in both mom and baby, all of which are controlled and coordinated through the nervous system. Pregnancy is a time that requires a nervous system that can adequately respond to all the changes in the body. Now more than ever is the time to maintain a healthy nervous system!
Often women will accept pregnancy discomforts such as heartburn, constipation, headaches, nausea, when they can be helped with chiropractic care.
With increasing weight gain in the abdominal region, there is also an increasing pull of the lower spine. Additionally breast size increasing can cause upper back problems. This can change your gait and center of gravity which can be the perfect storm for neck and back pain.
As you get closer to labor the body also secretes a hormone called Relaxin, which loosens ligaments. This effect can exaggerate spinal problems. Rib pain can also happen more frequently during pregnancy as the baby moves and grows causing the lower ribcage to expand and shift.
Recent studies show that chiropractic care during pregnancy allows for increased comfort during pregnancy and delivery as well as a decreased need for pain medication. In one study, Dr. Joan Fallon found women under chiropractic care had a 24% reduced labor time with their first pregnancy and 39% reduced time in labor with second or third pregnancy. Another study showed a 50% reduced need for pain medications during labor. The risk of back labor, sharp pain and contractions in the low back, is significantly less when chiropractic care is received throughout pregnancy.
Also, a study by Dr. Irvin Henderson MD (AMA Board of Trustees) was able to show that “Women who received chiropractic adjustments in their third trimester were able to carry and deliver their child with much more comfort.”
This is exciting!!!
Spinal Care Tips During Pregnancy
- Refrain from wearing high-heels
- Avoid lifting heavy objects
- Avoid standing with your hands on your hops and pushing your belly forward
- Rather than sitting up from a lying position using your abdominal muscles, turn to your side and push yourself up with your arm
- Allow other young children to walk whenever possible rather than carrying them
- Perform regular moderate exercise and gently stretch your body daily
- Strengthen the pelvic floor before, during, and after pregnancy
- Use Cat and Camel type stretching for pelvic rocking
- Squatting helps prepare for labor
- Have your spine checked by a chiropractor regularly
Along with your spine, It is also to prepare you mind for birth. Childbirth is instinctual and inherently safe and uncomplicated. Chiropractic care is a great way to promote balance between mind and body.
Correcting misalignments in the spine releases chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins which increase our sense of well-being. Studies show that those who receive chiropractic care are less affected by stress, have more energy, think more clearly and have a greater quality of life.
During labor, body position is important. When the mother is on her back the apex of the sacrum can close off crucial space needed for the baby to get through the pelvis. This position is the main reason why so many births are traumatic, labor is slowed, the mom becomes fatigued and overcome with pain, so the use of epidurals, forceps, episiotomies, vacuum extraction and caesarean increases.
The preferred position is squatting which allows gravity to help and keeps the pelvic outlet open better.
Continuing chiropractic care post pregnancy is also beneficial. Chiropractic care has also been shown not only to help new moms produce more milk, but it also reduces the chance of postpartum depression.
We are not always aware of spinal misalignments or nerve dysfunctions, and they can exist like irritating noise in the background of our lives which affects our moods and well-being. Left unresolved, it can result in sickness and disease.
At Relief Plus Chiropractic in Minnetonka MN, we have adjusting tables designed for comfortably treating pregnant patients. Dr. Sara Hillesheim also has been certified in Webster Technique, which helps the baby lie in optimal position for delivery.