Most of us remember our first symptom of pregnancy. It might have been tender breasts, a late period, fatigue or nausea. For me, it was low back pain. Yup, that's right. As a chiropractic student, I was sitting for at least eight hours a day. Then when that pesky hormone, relaxin, kicked in (it does a great job at relaxing all your joints to prep for birth, which means your back lacks a ton of support), my low back became my weak point.
From that point on, I made it a priority to stick to my chiropractic visits throughout my pregnancy. I was amazed by the ease of my pregnancy and birth and felt it was my duty to share this with mothers so they, too, can experience the best possible pregnancy and transition into motherhood.
What is chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care is a vehicle to support the natural healing of the body. Your brain is the master controller of every single function and communicates through the spinal cord and nerves. Chiropractors locate areas of dysfunction in the spine and nervous system, and by addressing those areas, allow the body to heal.
Why is it important for women to get chiropractic care during pregnancy?
Your spine is the foundation of your posture and health. Women often come to their appointment with a significant arch in their lower back, which is made significantly better by the adjustment. This relieves pressure and provides pain relief.
Chiropractic care helps your body adapt to the changes it is undergoing while maintaining a stable posture.
What symptoms can chiropractic care help with during pregnancy?
First and foremost, it can help mamas get out of pain. Modern research teaches us that pain is in the brain. This means we know we feel pain because our brain is telling us that it is receiving a message from that area where something is going on.
The chiropractic adjustment actually resets the brain with a new message that it no longer receives the pain signal.
Aligning the pelvis will also make sure there is enough space for the baby to be in the best positioning for birth. Last but not least, anecdotally, moms who received care during their second, third, etc. pregnancy, tell me that they recovered faster from either a vaginal or cesarean birth.
How can chiropractic care assist moms during labor and birth?
Some chiropractors will also provide care during labor and birth. This is a wonderful opportunity for mothers to receive support during this sacred time. Since all your joints are so relaxed to help babe come out, it is easier for things to move in the wrong position too. Being adjusted during labor may assist in helping labor progress, and help your baby get into the best position to come earthside.
Is chiropractic care safe during pregnancy?
Deciding to partner with any practitioner during pregnancy requires your discernment, but research has found that chiropractic care does tend to be safe during pregnancy when done by a qualified professional with prenatal training.
Just remember, finding a chiropractor is like dating. You may have to try a few to find one that works best for you.
What happens during a prenatal chiropractic visit?
A prenatal chiropractor will have tables or pillows that allow you to lay face down comfortably without squishing the baby. Then the chiropractor will analyze your spine and nervous system to find the specific area to adjust in order to support healing.
The adjustment may be performed with the chiropractor's hands or chiropractor specific tool. Many mamas wonder if the adjustment hurts. In my practice, most women are quite surprised by how gentle and easy the adjustment is.
Keeping open communication between patient and chiropractor is key. If you go in with apprehension or anxiety, talk to your chiropractor first so that they can help put you at ease.
How should I choose a chiropractor for my pregnancy?
There are hundreds of different techniques within chiropractic. Pregnant women should look for a chiropractor who is Webster Certified. This technique is specific to pregnant women, that addressed the pelvis in a three dimensional way, checking the bones, muscles, and ligaments to make sure your pelvis is aligned, creating optimal space for babe to develop properly.
To find a Webster certified chiropractor, visit www.icpa4kids.org.