Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through many changes to accommodate a growing baby. When you are pregnant, the hormone relaxin is released, which relaxes the joints and eases labor and delivery. But sometimes, the ligaments get so loose that they become structurally unstable, and it creates pain. Chiropractic care during pregnancy keeps the spine aligned, so it can be helpful for pregnant women who are experiencing pain and discomfort.
With a growing belly and changes in connective tissue health due to hormones, it is no wonder that so many pregnant women are uncomfortable. Other factors that can lead to spine misalignment and pain during pregnancy:
• You are typically carrying 25 to 30 extra pounds
• The abdominal muscles weaken
• The curve in your lower back becomes accentuated
For many pregnant women, aches and pains in the lower back and hips are part of the experience. In fact, approximately 50 percent of pregnant women will experience back pain at some point before they deliver.
Luckily, relief may be just a chiropractor’s visit away. While not all of the underlying causes of back and pelvis pain can be prevented during pregnancy, relief and better symptom management are possible with chiropractic care. Sometimes, midwives and obstetricians recommend chiropractic care to their patients.
What To Expect From Chiropractic Care When You’re Pregnant
In many ways, chiropractic care during pregnancy looks a lot like the chiropractic care you receive when you are not expectant. If you are new to the practice, you will be asked to fill out important patient forms detailing your medical history, your pregnancy due date, and any specific concerns you would like to address, such as sciatica or hip pain. This is also a good time to review your insurance benefits to see what is covered and what isn’t.
This is what will happen during your visit to a chiropractor:
- First, your chiropractor will conduct a physical assessment to determine your overall mobility and identify areas of misalignment or dysfunction.
- Your chiropractor will take the results of that assessment combined with your medical history and formulate a customized treatment plan that may include other modalities and adjustments deemed safe for pregnancy.
- You will have a chance to look over that treatment plan, ask questions, and seek clarification.
- Now it is time for your adjustment! This is the best part, as it is what will help you start feeling better. You will get comfortable face down on a special table or maternity cushion while your chiropractor makes calculated, gentle adjustments. This is not a jerk-and-snap approach to patient care. The health and safety of you and your baby are of the utmost importance, and it is not necessary to use a great amount of force to achieve positive results.
After your adjustment, it is vital you drink plenty of water to support healthy levels of hydration and give your body the fuel it needs to heal. Staying hydrated can also help with blood flow, lymphatic draining and swelling, supporting your chiropractor’s work, and facilitating a happier, healthier pregnancy.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe During Pregnancy?
A lot of women are skeptical about chiropractic therapy sessions, questioning whether it’s safe or unsafe for their babies.
Well, we can tell you that going for chiropractic care during pregnancy is not only safe but is also recommended. Your spine is the primary avenue of your nervous system since it communicates with the rest of the body. Chiropractors are trained to address the stress and pain on your spine during pregnancies.
Keep in mind that any type of treatment during pregnancy should be approached with caution. However, the non-invasive approach of chiropractic care is considered safe for healthy low-risk pregnancies (even some higher-risk ones if cleared by your doctor first).
Since pregnant women can’t take most medications or undergo other more invasive treatment options for pain, this often makes chiropractic care a perfect choice for effective pain management.
Chiropractic care is the health maintenance of the spinal column and the adjustment of misaligned joints. It does not involve drugs or surgery. Instead, it is a kind of physical therapy to reduce spinal nerve stress and promote health throughout the body.
More than 1 million chiropractic adjustments are given every day, all over the world. Complications are rare. During pregnancy, chiropractic care is believed to be safe. But there are certain circumstances where chiropractic care may not be a good idea.
Always consult your doctor to get his/her approval before seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy. Chiropractic care isn’t typically recommended if you are experiencing the following:
- vaginal bleeding
- ectopic pregnancy
- placenta previa or placenta abruption
- moderate to severe toxemia
While all licensed chiropractors receive training related to pregnancy, some chiropractors specialize in prenatal care. Ask if they specialize in chiropractic care for pregnant women, or get a referral from your doctor.
To perform adjustments for pregnant women, chiropractors will use adjusting tables to accommodate their growing bellies. All chiropractors should use techniques that won’t put pressure on the abdomen.
Chiropractors can also show you effective stretches for relieving tension and easing discomfort.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help During Pregnancy?
There are many hormonal and physical changes you will experience during your pregnancy. Some of these will have an impact on your posture and comfort. As your baby grows and becomes heavier, your center of gravity shifts and your posture adjusts accordingly.
These physical changes during your pregnancy can lead to a misaligned spine or joints. Other uncomfortable changes during pregnancy might include:
- changes to your pelvis as your body begins to prepare for labor
- a protruding abdomen resulting in an increased curve of your back
- adaptations to your posture
Regular visits to a chiropractor during your pregnancy can address these issues. One collaborative chiropractic and medical study revealed that 75 percent of pregnant chiropractic care patients reported pain relief.
Moreover, adjustments designed to re-establish balance and alignment to your pelvis and spine will do more than just make you feel better. Chiropractic care during pregnancy can be beneficial for your baby, too.
Is Chiropractic Care Beneficial For Your Baby-To-Be?
A pelvis that is out of alignment can restrict the amount of space available to your developing baby. When an external force obstructs your growing baby’s normal movements, it is known as intrauterine constraint. This can lead to birth defects.
Another complication that a misaligned pelvis may pose relates to delivery. When the pelvis is out of alignment, it can make it hard for your baby to move into the best position to be born, which is rear-facing, head down.
In some cases, this could affect a woman’s ability to have a natural and noninvasive birth. A balanced pelvis also means your baby has a lower chance of moving into a breech or posterior position. When your baby is in a nonoptimal birthing position, it can lead to a longer, more complicated delivery.
Other evidence points to improved outcomes in labor and delivery for women who have received chiropractic care during pregnancy. In fact, it may help reduce the length of time you are in labor.
In addition, regular chiropractic care while you are pregnant can offer the following benefits:
- help you maintain a healthier, more comfortable pregnancy
- help to control symptoms of nausea
- relieving pain in the back, neck, hips, and joints
Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
As your belly grows, so does your spinal curvature. The placenta will also start to secrete increasing amounts of a hormone called relaxin that will eventually help the cervix dilate. Before labor, the relaxin hormone helps loosen your ligaments, allowing the pelvis to soften, so it can accommodate a vaginal birth. All those loose ligaments can lead to hip pain, pelvic pain, and sacroiliac dysfunction.
Chiropractic care can help realign the spine and joints affected by pregnancy. By combining regular adjustments and supportive modalities, such as stretching, acupuncture, and hot and cold therapy, you may find relief from your aches, pains, and muscle tension.
Since musculoskeletal adjustments affect the nervous system, you may also experience additional benefits, such as:
- Fewer headaches
- Reduced nausea
- Reduced sciatic pain
- Less edema (swelling)
- More restful sleep
- Faster, less complicated labor and delivery
How Often to See a Chiropractor During Pregnancy
Your chiropractor’s treatment plan will indicate how often you should schedule your office visits, but that plan may evolve as your pregnancy progresses. New aches and pains or waning discomfort could lead to more adjustments or far fewer.
That said, many mothers-to-be schedule more frequent adjustments as they near their due date to help get their bodies in tip-top shape before the onset of labor.
Generally speaking, it is not unusual to see your chiropractor once a month during your first trimester and then every two or three weeks until you hit the last month of your pregnancy, when you may schedule weekly visits until delivery.
Which Week of Pregnancy Should I Stop Chiropractic?
Not only is there no reason to go for chiropractic care during pregnancy as long as you remain healthy overall, but you will likely benefit from adjustments even more as you navigate your third trimester.
The final few months of pregnancy are often marked by a burst of weight gain as your baby fills out, and those extra pounds combine with loosened ligaments and a widening pelvis to throw everything from your gait to your posture out of whack.
Rather than toughing it out and waiting until your baby is born to get help, allow your chiropractor to step in and correct your alignment, so you can have the comfortable pregnancy you deserve.
If you are experiencing back, hip, or joint pain during your pregnancy, and you are considering chiropractic care, speak to your doctor first. He/she can make a recommendation about a qualified chiropractor in your area. The doctor can also help you decide if chiropractic care is safe for you and your baby-to-be.
If your doctor gives you the green light and you are ready for chiropractic care for pain relief during your pregnancy, you can try these online resources to find a chiropractor in your area:
Chiropractic care is usually a safe, effective practice during pregnancy. Not only can routine chiropractic care help manage pain in your back, hips, and joints, but it can also establish pelvic balance. That can provide your baby with as much space as possible throughout your pregnancy. This may lead to faster, easier labor and delivery.
Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
If you are looking for a qualified chiropractor to offer you chiropractic care during your pregnancy, contact Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc today. Dr. Kal, our top Woodstock chiropractor, can offer quality, safe, and effective chiropractic care during pregnancy, which can be quite beneficial to pregnant women and their babies.
Call us today at (770) 926-9495 or contact us online to schedule an appointment/consultation.