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Chiropractic Care While Pregnant

Benefits And Safety Of Chiropractic Care While Pregnant

Chiropractic care involves maintaining the health of the spinal column and discs along with related bone geometry and nerves without the use of surgery or drugs.  Misaligned body joints are adjusted, particularly those of the spine, which reduce spinal nerve stress.  This helps to promote health throughout the entire body.

Is it safe to have chiropractic care performed while pregnant?

There are not any known contraindications for chiropractic care to be practiced on a woman who is pregnant.  Chiropractors are all trained to work with pregnant women.  Investing in the pregnancy and fertility wellness of pregnant women or women who are attempting to conceive represents routine care for a majority of chiropractors.

There are some chiropractors who have a specific interest in postnatal and prenatal care and have sought out additional training.  The following represent chiropractor designations for those who have taken the advanced steps necessary to work with pregnancy and infertility wellness.

  • Webster-certified: trained to specifically work with pelvic balance during pregnancy
  • ICPA member: reflects special interest
  • CACCP: Certified with the ICPA and reflects advanced training
  • DACCP: Diplomate with ICPA and reflects highest advanced training level

Smiling pregnant woman stretching leg on the flooChiropractors who have been trained for working on women who are pregnant might use tables that can be adjusted to work with a pregnant woman’s body.  Techniques will be used that avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the woman’s abdomen.

A chiropractor who has received training in the needs of pregnant women also will provide stretches and exercises that are safe to use while pregnant.

Why should I undergo chiropractic care while I am pregnant?

When you are pregnant, several endocrinological and physiological changes take place to prepare for the creation of a suitable environment for a developing baby.

These changes below can result in your spine or joints becoming misaligned:

  • Postural adaptations
  • Pelvic changes
  • Increased back curve and protruding abdomen

Establishing alignment and pelvic balance is another reason why chiropractic care should be obtained when you are pregnant.

Whenever the pelvis is misaligned it might reduce how much room is available for your developing baby.  The restriction is referred to as intrauterine constraint.

Having a misaligned pelvis might also make it hard for the infant to get into the best position possible for delivery.  That can affect the mother being able to have a natural and non-invasive birth.  Posterior and breech positions may interfere with natural labor ease and might lead to interventions like a c-section being necessary.

The nervous system is the reproductive system’s and all other body systems’ master communication system.  When the spine is kept aligned it helps the whole body work much more effectively.

What benefits can be derived from having chiropractic care while pregnant?

Chiropractic care for pregnant women can provide them with many different benefits.

Potential chiropractic care benefits for pregnant women include the following:

  • Help to prevent potential cesarean delivery
  • Relieve joint, neck or back pain
  • Reduce labor and delivery times
  • Control nausea symptoms
  • Maintain healthier pregnancy

What about breech deliveries and chiropractic care?

A specific chiropractic adjustment and analysis was developed by the late Larry Webster, D.C., who founded the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA).  It allows chiropractors to establish balance within the pelvis of a pregnant woman and reduce unnecessary stress placed on the supporting ligaments as well as the uterus.

NX_fetus_inside-wombIt has been clinically shown that the pelvis having a balanced state allows for an optimal fetal position. This technique is called the Webster Technique.

Some consider it normal for breech to be presented by a baby up to the third trimester.  A majority of birth practitioners aren’t concerned with a breech presentation until after the 37th week of pregnancy.  A breech presentation results in approximately 4% of pregnancies.

In the July/August 2002 issues of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics it was reported that doctors of chiropractic using the Webster Technique had an 82% success rate of getting babies turned to vertex.  The results of the study also suggest that performing the Webster Technique might be beneficial as early as the 8th month of pregnancy if a breech presentation is shown.

The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) currently recommends that pregnant women have chiropractic care throughout their entire pregnancy in order to achieve pelvic balance as well as optimize room for the baby to develop.

When the pelvis is balanced, the baby has a higher chance of moving into the proper position for birth.  Also it is possible to completely avoid the worry and crisis that is associated with posterior and breech presentations.

When the baby is in an optimal position at time of birth this also helps to eliminate possible difficult labor (dystocia), which results in a safer and easier delivery for both the baby and mother.

Pregnancy And Chiropractors: Speak To Your Health Care Provider

With an increasing number of women seeking out the benefits that chiropractic care can provide them throughout their pregnancies, an increasing number of health care providers are looking for trained doctors of chiropractic within their communities who they can refer pregnant patients to.  You should consult with your health care provider and discuss what options are available to you.  If they not familiar with chiropractic care for pregnant women, request that they learn more about the many benefits that it provides.

Most importantly, look for options that will support the natural abilities of your body to function and look for providers who respect your choices.