What can Prenatal Chiropractic Do for Me?
Gentle and effective care for a more comfortable pregnancy and an easier birth.
Growing a human being is a physiological phenomenon.
Accommodating and carrying said expanding being to term through daily activities, is very much a structural and neurological one.
During this time of adaptation and increased structural stress, mothers frequently develop low back pain, sciatica, numbness in hips or extremities, muscle pain, and foot, ankle, knee or hip pain.
Chiropractic has become a widely accepted in the mainstream as a safe and effective form of care for pregnant women, and can be helpful with treating these ailments and more.
Most commonly, Specialized Chiropractic care is routinely used to alleviate low back pain, pelvic and coccyx pain. It can also be very effective in cases of migraines, sciatic pain, pelvic instability, and foot, ankle, knee and hip pain. In our office we also treat several different types of headaches that can come on during pregnancy, and some wrist or arm pain that result in part from exploring new sleeping postures.
We at Synergic Health also use different myofascial techniques that can alleviate ligament tension and help resolve scar tissue in the abdominal and pelvic areas early in the pregnancy so that Mom’s body can expand to accommodate with fewer limitations and discomfort.
If you think about how much a woman’s entire body changes from conception to delivery (and afterwards!) I personally find it mind boggling, even after 11 years in specialized private practice. The sheer scope of it is nothing short of extraordinary.
While Chiropractic care is routinely very successful at treating these conditions, (without drugs or surgery) the overarching goal is to optimize the function of the nervous system, so that not only can the Mother carry confidently and comfortably, but the body is ready and capable of the executing the labor and delivery with as much ease and support as possible.
Most Chiropractors employ tailored, hands-on manual therapies to address bone, joint, muscle and connective tissue imbalances that can detract from a happy, glowing experience of being pregnant.
This is the primary role they can play as part of your Birth Team, optimizing position and function for the labor and delivery process.
If you think about it, a balanced and even pelvic outlet provides a much smoother passageway to exit than a crooked or twisted one.
Women (particularly athletes or any who’ve been in accidents, or have broken a leg when they were children) often have pelvic torsion that they are unaware of. Since pain is the only marker we tend to pay attention to, this torsion often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. As the ligaments of the area are receiving the normal hormonal input of ligament loosening to prepare the pelvis for opening, any old injuries often come to the fore, and can result in some very painful instability. Whether you count yourself among the lucky (pain-free) or the less lucky (previously injured, and least stable and therefore pained), getting evaluated by a specialist Chiropractor is a great way to know either way if your pelvis is well-aligned, and to help maximize your chances of having the birth most of us hope for.
What do Chiropractors do with pregnant moms?
Each Chiropractor is specially trained to assess the alignment, movement, and stability of your spine and pelvis. This is a very gentle procedure, and some Chiropractors have advanced training in Prenatal populations, and are certified in Webster Technique, and Cranial techniques, which enable them to tailor their treatments to each Mother’s body. Dr. Erin is Webster Certified, and Dr. West is pending his certification, & well into his prenatal training.
The Webster Technique is a procedure that balances the pelvis (sacrum, ilia, and coccyx) and the round ligaments, to maximize the symmetry and ‘space’ allowed for carriage and passage of the baby. It is best known for its favorable effects on breech presentations, though it is a pelvic adjustment, and not a direct baby-turning maneuver whatsoever. It makes mechanical sense that if there is any pelvic torsion (which may be causing intra-uterine constraint) that balancing the pelvis often results in the child turning on their own. We work with midwives and physicians to co-manage and have these Moms incorporate moderate and gentle inversions at home while they are also being adjusted regularly until the child goes head-down. (For more info on this technique, visit http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/Webster-Technique/)
Chiropractic care for Moms aims at taking as much stress off the nervous system possible, and thereby increase the entire body’s capacity to function at its optimal level during pregnancy, (balance, stability) labor (greater ease with less pain meds) and delivery (sufficient capacity to propel the baby out with fewer interventions).
In our office, Moms happily lay face-down on Tempurpedic pregnancy pillows to be assessed. They then have the indicated procedures performed while they are fully supported, either face down, face up, or side-lying; whichever is the most comfortable position for the Mother. They most often report less or no pain, greater stability and better range of motion in those daily activities that can be so challenging, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy. Other reports include increased depth and ease of breathing, better quality and volume of sleep, and feeling more alert during the day; all things that make pregnancy easier on everyone, yes? In our office we use respiratory, instrument, and gentle pressure adjustments to accomplish this. We also mix in different tailored stretches, bending and lifting technique and training (those baby carriers can be a significant load!). We additionally recommend yoga, different types of birthing education classes, and doula support as correlates best with each unique parental pair’s philosophies, desires and needs.