Did you know chiropractic has many benefits before, during and after pregnancy?
BEFORE you become pregnant, your doctor of chiropractic can detect any imbalances in the pelvis or elsewhere in your body that could contribute to pregnancy discomfort or possible neuromusculoskeletal problems after childbirth.
Chiropractic may even help with infertility issues. The nerves that regulate and control your reproductive system exit from the spine. If there is any type of distortion or interference in those nerves that keeps them from working properly, infertility may result. A study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research looked at the effectiveness of chiropractic for infertility. It followed 15 women who ranged in age from 22 – 65 with a history of infertility. 14 of the 15 subjects became pregnant within 2 – 20 months of starting chiropractic care. The 65-year-old did not get pregnant, but after a lifetime with no menstrual periods, she began menstruating 4 weeks after beginning chiropractic adjustments.
DURING PREGNANCY many pregnant women have found that chiropractic adjustments provide relief from the increased low-back pain brought on by pregnancy. Chiropractic adjustments are extremely safe for mum and baby and can be especially helpful when trying to avoid medications in treating back pain. Another goal is to help prepare the body for birth by releasing the soft tissues around the pelvis which can restrict the baby’s position. The Webster technique can also help encourage a breech baby to turn into the correct position.
According to recent studies, chiropractic care may result in easier pregnancy including increased comfort during the third trimester and delivery and reduced need for analgesics (pain medication). In one study, women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% reduction in labour times and subjects giving birth for the second or third time reported 39% reduction in shorter labour times. In another study, the need for analgesics was reduced by 50% in the patients who received adjustments. In addition, 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with chiropractic care. When women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy, the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis function better. As a result, there is significantly less likelihood of back labour (contractions and sharp pain felt in the lower back during labour). Chiropractic care has helped new mothers become more comfortable breastfeeding (posture-wise) as well as to produce more milk.
AFTER BIRTH it’s also important to get yourself checked within 8 weeks of giving to avoid developing problems in the future. This is due to the effects of relaxin, the hormone which is released to allow your joints to relax so you can give birth more easily. Over the 6-8 weeks following birth your relaxin levels return to normal and your joints stiffen up again. This is why it’s important to make sure your body is in the correct alignment as often over time joints that have stiffened in the wrong place lead to lower back pain and problems in the future.