Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

The American Pregnancy Association addresses this issue.

Is chiropractic care during pregnancy safe?

Chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe when provided by a chiropractor that has been trained in the physical changes that occur within a pregnant woman’s body. Chiropractors that have been trained to work with pregnant women will use tables that adjust for a pregnant woman’s body and they will use techniques that avoid unneeded pressure on the abdomen.

For chiropractic care during pregnancy the most important point is to make sure that you are receiving care from a chiropractor who is well trained in dealing with pregnant women. A chiropractor who is versed in the needs of women who are pregnant will also provide you with exercises and stretches that are safe to use during pregnancy and compliment any adjustments made to your spine.

Why should I have chiropractic care during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby. The following changes could result in a misaligned spine or joint:

  • Protruding abdomen and increased back curve
  • Pelvis changes
  • Uterus enlarges and expands forward
  • Posture changes

Establishing balance and alignment with the pelvis is another reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery.

The nervous system is the communication system to the reproductive cycle along with all the other parts of the body. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively.

Are there any benefits to chiropractic care during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care during pregnancy may provide benefits for some women who are pregnant. Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:

  • Maintaining the pregnancy
  • Controlling vomiting
  • Increased likelihood of full-term delivery
  • Reduction in the time of labor and delivery
  • Relief of back, neck or joint pain
  • Prevent a potential cesarean section or vaginal breech delivery

Many people have asked about the Webster Technique, a chiropractic technique in which I am nationally certified to perfom.  The ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) explains it best on their website www.icpa4kids.org.

“The ICPA recognizes that in a theoretical and clinical framework of the Webster Technique in the care of pregnant women, sacral subluxation may contribute to difficult labor for the mother (i.e., dystocia).  Dystocia is caused by inadequate uterine function, pelvic contraction, and baby mal-presentation.32 The correction of sacral subluxation may have a positive effect on all of these causes of dystocia.

In this clinical and theoretical framework, it is proposed that sacral misalignment may contribute to these three primary causes of dystocia via uterine nerve interference, pelvic misalignment and the tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments.  The resulting tense muscles and ligaments and their aberrant effect on the uterus may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth.

In regards to pregnant mothers, Dr. Webster reported that when a mother sought care and her baby was in a breech position, the restoration of pelvic neuro-biomechanics with this adjustment also frequently facilitated optimal fetal positioning.  There are cases published in the chiropractic literature that support this theory. More research is needed and is currently underway by the ICPA.

The obstetric literature has determined that correct positioning of the baby in-utero affect birth outcome and decrease the potential for undue stress to the baby’s developing spine and nerve system. Obstetric literature has determined the importance of normal pelvic neuro-biomechanics including uterine function and pelvic alignment for the prevention of dystocia (difficult birth). It has also determined that correct positioning of the baby in-utero affects birth outcome and decreases the potential for undue stress to the baby’s developing spine and nerve system. Chiropractic literature has determined the significance of sacral adjustments in normalizing pelvic neuro-biomenchanics.”

If you have any questions or concerns on Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy, you may contact me for more information.