Pregnancy And Prenatal Chiropractic

While experiencing the miracle of life is a magical thing, this is not to say that it is anywhere near as easy as magic. In fact, it’s far from it. During pregnancy, a woman’s body experiences a multitude of changes, from weight gain and pains, to an entire shift in gravity. And throughout these changes, sometimes the mom-to-be can be left feeling tired, sore, and uncomfortable. Well, did you know that prenatal chiropractic is a safe and healthy way to treat pain and discomfort during pregnancy? From conception to delivery, your prenatal chiropractor can help make the experience as painless as possible.

Chiropractic Care from Conception

Before a successful pregnancy, many women struggle with fertility issues. Conception can be difficult if the body is not working in harmony. Chiropractic works to maintain the health of the spinal column, discs, nerves, and connective tissues, without the use of drugs or surgery. Instead, chiropractic works to align the body such that no blockages occur to halt the flow of hormones and nerves necessary for optimal health.

Using skilled adjustments and a variety of noninvasive treatments, a prenatal chiropractor is able to correct misalignments and subluxations present in the body. These types of blockages interfere with the central nervous system and the endocrine system – the two systems necessary to successfully conceive.

A chiropractor can also help assess other issues that could be interfering with fertility, including:

  • Poor nutrition

  • High stress

  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits

What Happens to the Body During Pregnancy?

Once a woman has entered pregnancy, she may be surprised by the variety of changes her body begins to go through. These changes are both physical and endocrinological, as her body rapidly adjusts to create the ideal environment for the developing baby.

While pregnant, most women experience a shift in gravity. As they gain weight to accommodate the new life growing within them, and as their babies continue to grow, their bellies continue to expand. During this transition, women experience a stretching of the uterus as the body prepares for birth.
As the uterus stretches forward, as do the abdominal muscles. In fact, a growing baby essential stretches the abdominal muscles completely apart and pulls your lower spine forward.

For one, this explains the pain you feel in your lower spine during pregnancy. Secondly, as your spine pushed forward with the growth of your belly, your center of gravity also changed. Typically our center is, well, center. For pregnant women, their center pitches forward. This affects the posture of pregnant women greatly, as the way they typically carried themselves has quite literally been thrown off center.

Over the course of 9 months, carrying an improper posture can cause back problems long after pregnancy. Poor posture can lead to a visible spinal curve, poor digestion, varicose veins, and even increased chances of cardiovascular issues. Not to mention the back pain, tension, and spasms that can occur over time.

Likewise, as your body releases hormones like progesterone and relaxin during pregnancy to loosen the ligaments in preparation for birth, your pelvic bone is loosened as well. From postural adaptation, a protruding abdomen, an increased curved spinal, and pelvic changes, the body is highly susceptible to misaligned joints. What are the Benefits of Prenatal Chiropractic?

Chiropractic can provide a multitude of benefits for prenatal mothers. As we’ve mentioned, during pregnancy, the pelvis loosens and shifts. If the pelvis becomes misaligned while loosened, it can reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This condition is known as intrauterine constraint, and it is actually very common among pregnant women.

Likewise, a misaligned pelvis can also make it difficult for the baby to settle into the best possible position for delivery. Aside from causing the mother discomfort, this can also affect her ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth. If the baby settles into a position in which its feet or buttocks are facing the birth canal, also known as breaching, many times the delivery will result in a cesarean delivery (C-Section). Chiropractic helps to balance the pelvis, to safely avoid breaching as well as intrauterine constraint.

Moreover, chiropractic helps to reduce the pain and discomfort experienced during pregnancy. Potential benefits of prenatal chiropractic include:

  • Controlling symptoms of nausea

  • Relieving back pain

  • Alleviating neck and joint pain

  • Preventing a potential C-Section

  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery

  • Better time sleeping

  • Reduced headaches

Plus, a prenatal chiropractor can provide diet and exercise tips to help prenatal mothers remain healthy throughout pregnancy. Techniques Used During Pregnancy Chiropractic

Chiropractic effectively and safely balances the pelvis, while also reducing stress on the uterus and supporting ligaments. This technique is reserved especially for pregnant women, and is known as the Webster Technique. The technique was named after Larry Webster, D.C., Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). Dr. Webster developed a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment which allows chiropractors to reestablish balance in the pelvis and reduce stress.

When the pelvis is balanced, babies have a greater chance of shifting into the correct position for birth, and the potential worry over breech may be avoided. Additionally, getting the baby into optimal positioning before birth can eliminate the potential for dystocia, otherwise known as difficult labor.

A chiropractor will also use gentle manipulations to assure the stacked vertebrae of the spine are aligned and not tugging forward with the prenatal mother’s center of gravity. Gentle adjustments combined with manual therapy, and sometimes the inclusion of acupuncture can further reduce tension, pain, and discomfort safely during pregnancy. Is it Safe?

To date, there are no known contraindications to prenatal chiropractic care. As chiropractic is an all-natural, non-invasive treatment, no harmful hemicals or drugs will come into contact with the baby or mother. Instead, a prenatal chiropractor will use a light touch to effectively balance her body and remove subluxations that can be aggravating prenatal pain.

Recently, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

reported an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique. Meaning, 82% of mothers were able to avoid breaching with the help of chiropractic. Today, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize room available for the developing baby. Our Prenatal Chiropractic Treatment Locations

At JP Chiropractic of Charleston, our doctors use a gentle but effective approach to help prenatal mother’s feel their best during pregnancy. By putting mother’s and baby’s health first, their natural and holistic approach helps for a less stressful pregnancy. If you or someone you love is currently a prenatal mother, contact JP Chiropractic today to learn more about our prenatal services. Your body – and your baby – will thank you.

Prenatal chiropractic treatment is available these South Carolina locations:

Charleston, SC
Roughly 50 percent of all pregnant women experience back pain during their pregnancy, and up to 75 percent of women experience it during labor. However, only 21 percent of women seek consultation with their medical providers for their back pain, as most of them believe it is normal and expected during the course of their pregnancy.

But, in recent years, chiropractic care has been included as a safe and effective treatment for pregnant patients to help them have a comfortable pregnancy, to help facilitate delivery, and reduce labor complications. In fact, chiropractors have reported that 72 percent of pregnant women are likely to benefit from prenatal chiropractic care. Still, many women experiment first with other alternative treatments such as massage and yoga before they try chiropractic care.

At JP Chiropractic of Charleston, SC, our chiropractors practicing prenatal care can help women with back pain and other symptoms have a more pleasant experience. Our prenatal chiropractors also help make sure a woman's body is aligned for the welcoming of her baby. Keep reading to learn more about these surprising facts about prenatal chiropractic care.

#1 – Natural Pregnancy Care

During pregnancy, women start supplementing their diet with vitamins andminerals needed to support their health during this period. Nutritional needs change throughout the pregnancy, which means women also need to adjust their diets as well as their supplements. A prenatal chiropractor can help to provide guidance on how to adjust lifestyle activity and nutrition to match your body’s needs throughout the pregnancy.

Unlike other physicians, a chiropractor will never prescribe drugs to supplement or treat any symptoms. Instead, chiropractic care offers a drug-free, all-natural approach to pregnancy using chiropractic treatments, and complementary treatments such as massage therapy and essential oils. However, medical pregnancy treatment still needs to be directed by a skilled medical professional such as your OBGYN or your primary healthcare provider.

#2 – Control Pregnancy Symptoms

While pregnancy is a beautiful time for many women, it is also accompanied by many symptoms that can interfere with your quality of life. Symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, insomnia, constipation, urination urges, abdominal pressure, swelling, morning sickness, and so on can significantly impact your quality of life while pregnant.

The body goes through many changes as the baby grows. Pressure can displace internal organs, leading to constipation and frequent, urgent urination. Sleep is also affected. Muscles become strained when sleeping in unnatural positions, which can lead to potential misalignments that result in back and neck pain.

By aligning the spine, which also houses the central nervous system, chiropractic care can restore the body’s alignment and balance while easing many of these symptoms. Many of the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy aim at providing symptom-relief.

In addition to spinal adjustments, other chiropractic treatments such as laser therapy and even acupuncture can work together to help ease pregnancy symptoms.

#3 – Help with Childbirth

Throughout pregnancy, a woman's body adjusts to make room for the growing baby. However, when this happens, the hips, pelvis and the spine might shift out of place or become misaligned. These misalignments, coupled with a shift in a woman's center of gravity, can interfere with childbirth.

Chiropractic care can help to maintain the hips, pelvis, and spine in proper alignment to endure childbirth without applying additional force. With a balanced pelvis and aligned spine, babies have a greater chance of moving into the right position for birth, diminishing the possibilities of breech births.

After giving birth, chiropractic care can also help with the joint discomfort that often accompanies childbirth. By adjusting all misalignments and eliminating subluxations, women can experience relief from shoulder problems, pelvic pain, muscle tensions, rib discomfort, and more.

#4 – Optimal Baby Positioning

Even in a healthy pregnancy, most birth practitioners begin worrying about breaching by week 37. Roughly 4 percent of all pregnancies result in a breech birth. In these cases, prenatal chiropractors are called in often to perform the Webster Technique. The main purpose of this technique is to release tension that might be causing a misalignment in the hips and pelvis. This will allow the baby to move into the optimal position for birth. However, when women seek chiropractic care during their pregnancy, ongoing spinal adjustments may prevent breaching.

The Webster Technique can work on all different types of breech presentations including:

  • Frank Breech: When the baby’s buttocks present first, with legs and the feet near the head.

  • Complete Breech: When the baby buttocks present first, the knees are bent and the feet near the buttocks.

  • Footling Breech: When one or both feet of the baby present first.

#5 – Help Prevent Birth Defects

Not only can chiropractic care help with pregnancy, but it is also beneficial for your baby-to-be. When the pelvis is misaligned, it can restrict the space available to your developing baby. This is known as an intrauterine constraint, and can lead to birth defects.

Pelvis misalignment can also lead to various childbirth complications and increase your odds of requiring a cesarean section. How to Find a Chiropractor to Help with Your Pregnancy

There are no known contraindications to prenatal chiropractic care. In fact, most women who have visited a chiropractor during pregnancy report only positive effects. It is also important to know that all chiropractors are trained to work on pregnant women. However, some seek additional training and certifications including being Webster Certified to work specifically with pelvic balance during pregnancy.

At JP Chiropractic, our experienced and caring chiropractors are trained to work on pregnant women to help them maintain spinal and pelvic alignment while they wait for their newborns. If you are pregnant or recently had a baby, contact a JP Chiropractic of Charleston, SC facility today.

Our chiropractors will be eager to answer all your questions about chiropractic care during pregnancy and create a personalized wellness program to help you feel your best and enjoy this precious stage to its fullest.

JP Chiropractic, Dr. Jason Pero
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