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Why a Chiropractor Could Help During Pregnancy

From back pain to breeched baby, here’s 5 reasons to see a chiropractor while pregnant.

Why a Chiropractor Could Help During Pregnancy

The thought of seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy may cause a sideways glance from some, but ask any woman who has had back pain, sciatica, or tried everything under the sun to flip a breeched baby and they will tell you that their chiropractor saved their life.

Just like how it takes a village to raise a child, I believe it takes a team to support a mama to be through her pregnancy -- and that can include midwives, doulas, OBGYNs, acupuncturists, massage therapists, nutritionists and, yes, chiropractors. Passing an 8 pound human through a very small space is no small feat and you want to be prepared mentally and physically.

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Here’s 5 essential reasons why every pregnant woman might want to consider a great chiropractor.

  1. Get relief from your low back pain. A growing baby bump and swaying back can cause compression in the lumbar spine and sacroiliaic joints of the pelvis. Pregnancy brings many firsts but back pain that won’t go away is not one of the better ones. A good chiropractor will perform a thorough history, physical exam and movement analysis. A chiropractor can also perform an adjustment, which brings movement and alignment to the joints. They can adjust the pelvis, low back, and massage the surrounding tissue to help balance the pelvis, reducing stress around the uterus and ligaments specifically the sacrotuberous and round ligament. Not only does this bring relief low back and pelvic discomfort, but it also helps the baby descend into the best position for delivery.
  2. Stabilize and Align the Pelvis. During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone, relaxin, which loosens your ligaments to prepare the body for your baby’s head to fit through the pelvis. This relaxing of the joints brings instability to the joints and causes debilitating pain with walking, moving from sit to stand, and rolling over in bed. Chiropractors can provide exercises, stretches and an adjustment to optimize the alignment of the spine and pelvis to stabilize this area.
  3. Prevent sciatica. Do you feeling sharp shooting pain in the your leg with every step? Feeling numbness and tingling down the back of your leg to the foot? A growing belly, a misaligned pelvis, a growing uterus, and even the baby’s head in the third trimester can place extra pressure on the sciatic nerve causing these symptoms. A chiropractic adjustment can help relieve sciatica for an easier pregnancy and delivery.
  4. Prepare the baby for the best position during delivery. Labor can be painful unless you are in the 1% that may experience an orgasmic labor, and that was not my experience unfortunately. When you are pregnant, women love to tell you about her terrible back pain during labor or just a difficult labor (known as dystocia), which can be caused by a misaligned pelvis. A torqued pelvis can reduce the amount of space for the developing baby to sit comfortable, and lead to a less than optimal position when labor begins. Chiropractic adjustments to the pelvis and low back can help align the pelvis for optimal baby positioning leading to an easier and safer delivery for the baby and mama.
  5. Flip a Breeched Baby. With a balanced pelvis, babies have the best chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the worry of a breeched and posterior-facing baby can be avoided. Only 3-4% of full term babies sit in the stubborn breeched position and some may turn head down in those last weeks, some waiting til right before labor. If you do have a breeched baby and are looking to deliver naturally in New York City, good luck finding an OBGYN or a midwife that is willing to touch that with a 10-foot pole. I found two doctors in the tristate area that will do a vaginal breeched birth at $14,000, but most other OBGYNs will default to a C-section. As a mama with a breeched baby at week 38 who was committed to having a homebirth, flipping that baby was on my mind every minute of every day. Our chiropractors at Urban Wellness Clinic are trained in Webster Technique, a series of adjustments and soft tissue massage to align mama’s pelvis to allow the baby sit properly and with a high success rate to turn the baby head down. In fact, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning head down when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.

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    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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