We are often asked about whether or not chiropractic care is good for women who are pregnant. The short answer to that question is a resounding yes!
As pregnancy progresses, there are biomechanical changes that occur in the mother. As the baby’s weight increases, so does the strain on a mother’s body. The first place we think of is her low back or lumbar spine. This is often the case, especially later in her term as the natural curve of her low back may increase to accommodate the weight increase from baby, amniotic fluid and placenta in general. This change can cause the muscles of the low back and pelvis to work harder to handle these changes. This can lead to some very uncomfortable days and nights for mom. Chiropractic care can restore mobility to any regions that are malpositioned or moving less than optimally.
The sacrum and pelvis of the mother are also an important region of focus when caring for our pregnant patients. Because weight changes and even swelling in the feet often force a change in the normal walking pattern of moms, their sacrum and pelvis can have decreased motion or become malpositioned as well. There is also an increase in the hormone called relaxin. While found in both men and women, in pregnant moms, this hormone can relax or soften some the ligaments of the pelvis and even the pubic symphysis in preparation for the child to move through the birth canal. This too can lead to some instability in their pelvis. Chiropractic care can restore the proper motion and position of the pelvic inlet, reducing pain for the mother during pregnancy and providing optimal conditions for the infant to move into proper birthing position.
Breech position – The baby’s position prior to birth is of utmost importance as he or she comes near full term. Optimally, babies should present head down with their faces toward mom’s spine. This is known as the vertex position. Sometimes a baby will have its bottom or feet furthest down. It may even lay in a transverse position where it is horizontal. If a baby does not turn to its proper vertex position, this can make for an incredibly difficult labor and often forces a cesarean section. The Webster Technique is a chiropractic technique which provides specific analysis and adjustment of the sacrum in order to restore proper function and thereby relieve uterine constraint. This may allow the baby to freely turn on its own. It is important to note that the Webster Technique does not include any manipulation or pressure to the child by attempting to turn it manually. It is imperative that you inform your chiropractor of any complications during your pregnancy. It’s also a good idea to speak candidly with your obstetrician and/or midwife about all care that you are receiving during the course of your pregnancy. This ensures a quality level of care for both mom and baby throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
Note: Dr. Julie Foster DC has been certified in the Webster Technique through the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association.