Chiropractic is a branch of medicine which supports a normally functioning nervous system, especially the spine and the nerves extending from the spine to the entire body. Chiropractic care is therefore important for good health, and is extremely important for the pregnant mother. Seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy should be as important as the prenatal visits throughout the pregnancy because of the immense amount of changes happening in the mother’s body, such as:
*Increased weight gain which increases stress on spinal and pelvic ligaments, increases fatigue on spinal and pelvic muscles, and increases joint stress and thus occurrence of vertebral and sacroiliac joint misalignment.
*Changes in weight distribution which increases the demand on spinal and pelvic muscles, increases stress on spinal and pelvic ligaments, and increases joint stress and the occurrence of vertebral and sacroiliac joint misalignments.
These changes cause strain and sprain of pelvic and spinal structures, as well as alteration of the normal spinal curvatures and spinal bio-mechanics, leading to pain and discomfort. In a study (Bery G, Hammar M, Moller-Nielsen J et al. Obstet and Gynecol, 72:71-75, 1988), researchers identified the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis as being responsible for the majority of lower back pain issues in pregnancy, and seven out of ten women were relieved by chiropractic adjustments.
Even if you are not experiencing discomfort or complications with pregnancy, it is still vital for a woman to receive chiropractic care in pregnancy. Chiropractors uses very gentle, low force and safe techniques that are designed to deliver alignment, balance and deep relaxation which are all key elements for a good birth. Further, according to data complied by Fallon J. International Chiropractic Association (1994, Arlington, VA), there is a nearly 25% reduction in the average labor time in those receiving chiropractic care versus the average labor time. One of the leading causes of cesarean section is intrauterine constraint, which is the underlying cause of birth difficulties including fetal malpresentation, and cephalo-pelvic disproportion (Chiropractic and Pregnancy: Greater Comfort and safer births, Dr. Jeanne Om, DC).
Space for the developing baby is greatly limited when intrauterine constraint is present, and the baby’s optimal development and position for delivery will be compromised. Receiving chiropractic care will deliver alignment and balance to the mother’s nervous system in addition to her pelvis and ligaments. This promotes a relaxed environment which allows the baby to move into the optimum birth position free of intrauterine or pelvic restriction. Chiropractic reduces interference to the nervous system and allows the uterus to function at it’s maximize potential, both key elements for preventing a c-section. The Webster Technique is a widely practiced chiropractic procedure which addresses intrauterine constraint by releasing the sacrum and balancing the round ligament.