Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman’s life and the body goes through significant changes beyond the obvious growing “belly”. As a result there are a few things that every woman should know, so that she can not only have a safe birth but also be able to enjoy her pregnancy.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Good news for those of you who have had or fear long labors. Not only can chiropractic care ease symptoms during pregnancy, there is research that shows it can decrease labor time and pain as well. Researchers found that women who receive chiropractic care during pregnancy have approximately 6 fewer hours of labor than women who did not receive care. Women also tend to experience easier deliveries because the three bones of the pelvis are the doorway for the baby. When the pelvis is balanced and receiving proper nerve input the muscles stay relaxed and the door opens more completely. This means less stress on mom and as a result less stress for the baby. In fact, according to a study by Dr. Joan Fallon and Dr. Irvin Hendryson, "Visiting a chiropractor while pregnant can help the expectant mother deliver the baby with greater comfort." In addition chiropractic care can give expectant mothers a great deal of relief from many of the symptoms related to pregnancy.
Tables and Techniques
The most common question I get from people unfamiliar with chiropractic is “how can you adjust a pregnant woman, doesn’t their belly get in the way?” The answer is no. Their stomach size is not an issue because most of my tables are designed to accommodate a woman in any stage of pregnancy. The abdominal piece drops away so that they can fit comfortably. The second most common question I get asked is, “Is it safe to adjust a woman while she is pregnant?” If you read the "Benefits of Chiropractic" heading you know the answer already. Getting adjusted while pregnant can not only reduce your labor times but it has also been shown to help women have a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery. More importantly I can tell you that my wife was adjusted all the way through pregnancy and during labor and my children were adjusted right after birth. In fact my youngest patient that was not my own child was just a few minutes old. If you are wondering why a newborn would need adjusted please review the sections on Kids and Chiropractic or Subluxation Defined.
The Uterine Constraint Technique
This technique was developed by a pioneer in pediatric and pregnancy related chiropractic care, Dr. Larry Webster. He found that when Subluxation was present in the low back and pelvic region during pregnancy, children would often present in a breech position. Through years of evaluation and finally documented research, Dr. Webster developed a specific type of adjustment that impacted the function of the low back and pelvis in a way that allowed for a more normal range of motion and better muscle function. Consequently, over 80% of breech presentations during the study demonstrated the favorable outcome of the baby orienting in the normal head down position.