I can’t tell you how many women in my practice have asked me, “Can I get adjusted while I’m pregnant?” The answer is YES!
Even though your body is designed to do it, pregnancy changes everything! The most common complaints I hear about from pregnant women:
- lower back stiffness or pain
- hip and pelvis pain
- pain or stiffness between the shoulder blades
Most of these complaints are due to your body’s response to changes in weight and, more importantly, its distribution. Obviously as your baby grows your weight shifts forward and will affect your lower back and pelvis. The weight gain in general affects hips, knees, and ankles. The mid-back discomfort is usually attributed to enlargement of breast tissue. That is partially a result of Human Placental Lactogen (HPL). HPL helps to prepare the breasts for lactation; it is responsible for the secretion of colostrum. The hormone that most women are familiar with during pregnancy is Relaxin, which allows your pelvis to expand making delivery possible. The problem is it doesn’t just affect your pelvis. It’s a hormone; it affects everything! Relaxin relaxes the muscles, joint, and ligaments in your entire body. It’s also responsible for heartburn, various other digestive issues, and the “pregnancy waddle”.
Chiropractic care helps your body deal with the changes experienced during pregnancy. Many people have reported improvements, such as:
- nausea in the first trimester
- relief from neck or back pain
- improved breathing
- improved sleeping
- reduced labor and delivery time
- And many more!
Inevitably, people want to know about the chiropractic technique that helps with “turning” breech babies. The Webster Technique is for reducing intra-uterine constraint allowing the baby to turn on its own. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique. Further, the results from the study suggest that it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique as soon as the 8th month of pregnancy when a woman has a breech presentation.
I recommend chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to maintain a properly functioning nervous system as well as a balanced pelvis. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is pretty simple and usually very accommodating. We use special tables and pillows to allow a pregnant mom to lie on her stomach without putting pressure on the baby. The actual adjustment is usually very comfortable and easy to tolerate. The only exception to that is if you are having significant discomfort before your adjustment. Sometimes the adjustment can be a little uncomfortable, but that has very little to do with the doctor. The good news is that even those people that are uncomfortable notice almost immediate improvement!
My wife and I have three sons, who were all born at home and I have adjusted her throughout each of her pregnancies. Each of our children was checked and adjusted after birth as well. Based on my personal experience and that of the many pregnant moms I’ve seen in practice, I can tell you chiropractic has a great deal to offer during pregnancy. At The Joint in Myrtle Beach, we make routine chiropractic care convenient and affordable – even during pregnancy!