Several of my practice members continue their chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy.
Others begin their chiropractic during pregnancy due to the many symptoms pregnant women tend to experience. Either way, chiropractic care through pregnancy is not only safe, it is essential.
From a biomechanical standpoint, the effects of pregnancy on the female frame are obvious. As weight is rapidly gained, posture rapidly changes. These changes in posture and increased pressure on the woman’s low back and pelvis often cause significant changes in spinal nerve function. These changes result in a whole host of symptoms such as low back pain, sciatic pain into the legs, hip pain, aches or numbness in the thighs and swelling in the legs to name a few. Chiropractic can be of great assistance in relieving many of these symptoms.
The effects of chiropractic however, are much greater than the mere relief of symptoms. The relief of pressure on the spinal nerves can also have a profound effect on the developing fetus. The messages carried within those spinal nerves control and direct the actual processes and reactions involved in creating a brand new life. Spinal restrictions can interfere with these messages and affect their transmission. There are also millions of hormonal changes occurring in the mother and developing baby, which must be coordinated by the central nervous system. The direction and coordination of these hormonal and chemical processes are essential for optimal functional development. Studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments result in easier pregnancy, significantly decrease mean labour time and can assist new mothers back to prepartum health. First time mothers had a 24% shorter labor time than the group not receiving chiropractic care. Mothers on their second or third pregnancy had a 39% shorter labour than the control group. In addition to relief of low back pain during pregnancy, properly functioning SI joints can significantly reduce the risk of back labour.
An easier labour and delivery reduces the need for epidurals, forceps or suction and episiotomies, all of which increase the chance of injury to mother and child. This is one of the rewarding parts of being a chiropractor, because a healthier pregnancy means an easier labour and delivery and a better transition for the baby into this life. A delivery with little or no stress to the child can have many benefits reaching far into the early development of a new life.