At first you might think that pregnancy would be a time when nature is best left to her own methods, and that you should stop seeing your chiropractor, but almost the opposite is proving to be true. Not only is chiropractic care during pregnancy possible, but also it is highly beneficial to both the expectant mother and soon to be born baby. Seeing your chiropractor is completely safe, and offers life long benefits for both the pregnant mother and her child.
The visible biomechanical changes that a woman goes through during pregnancy are fairly extreme. Clearly, as the baby grows in the womb, it has profound effects on the mother's posture and weight; and changes how she does almost all of her activities. The classic image of a pregnant woman late in her pregnancy waddling along - with an almost side to side gait with her hand propped against her lower back for support - is a very telling portrait of how significant the impact is on her body. The pressure of the baby is very great on the mother's pelvis, hips, legs and back. The location of the baby, in the front abdomen area, and breast enlargement significantly changes the mother's center of gravity so her upper body has to lean back to compensate. This puts lots of stress on the entire spine of a pregnant woman and, in fact, the largest complaint by women during pregnancy is lower back pain.
No only are these visible physical changes impacting the mother's life, but hormonal and neurological changes are also causing profound physical effects. The increased flow of estrogen causes the ligaments to soften and joints to become more flexible. This makes the entire skeletal structure less supportive, causing even more muscle and joint pain.
So how can a chiropractor help make all of this less traumatic for the mother and baby? Clearly the areas of physical stress on a pregnant mother, namely the lower back, pelvis and hips, are areas of expertise for your chiropractor. So it would stand to reason that a chiropractor could help a lot. However, the normal everyday chiropractic methods have to be modified somewhat to accommodate the unique physical condition of pregnant mothers. Because the ligaments in a pregnant woman are softer, the chiropractor has to use less force in his manipulations. A special chiropractic method called the Webster Technique has even been developed to maintain optimum pelvic balance, help reduce stress and pressure to ensure an easier and safer delivery.
The statistics, which chiropractors have collected supporting chiropractic care during pregnancy, are very convincing. More than 80 percent of pregnant women have reported that seeing a chiropractor for spinal alignment during pregnancy, significantly eased back pain. Extensive studies also show that pregnant women who utilize chiropractor back care during pregnancy have almost a 30 percent shorter labor time. If you are a mother giving birth, the shortened time can make a huge difference; not only reducing the pain and trauma of birth for both the mother and baby, but also significantly reducing the recovery time after giving birth. More than 60 percent of women who report high levels of back pain during pregnancy also have recurring back pain after the pregnancy. Therefore, seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy can have life long benefits.