More and more women are seeking out chiropractic care to help promote a healthy pregnancy. Chiropractic care is focused on restoring and enhancing the function of the nervous system. Our bodies undergo stress throughout our daily activities; however, during pregnancy a mother’s body undergoes tremendous transformation as it changes to accommodate for the growing infant.
What is Prenatal Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care during pregnancy is focused on balancing the bones, ligaments, and muscles of the pelvis for optimal delivery.
The changes in a pregnant woman’s body have a significant impact upon the spine and pelvis. The hormones of pregnancy, including relaxin, allow a woman’s pelvic bones to be more mobile to allow for birth. This also means that her pelvis is more likely to shift and settle into positions that are less than optimum for delivery. Women who are not already under the care of a chiropractic physician when they become pregnant are encouraged to get evaluated early in their pregnancy so that any pelvic traumas that may have happened earlier in life are resolved before the spine and pelvis have to accommodate to the pregnancy. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is focused on balancing the bones, ligaments, and muscles of the pelvis for optimal delivery.
The muscles and ligaments of the spine and pelvis are impacted by the changes in pregnancy. As the uterus grows, the muscles and ligaments that attach it to the pelvis and lumbar spine are likely to be directly impacted by the alignment of the pelvis. Unequal stresses through the ligaments and muscles of the pelvis can cause the uterus to undergo torque. Think of the uterus like a hot air balloon. When the tension is even among the ties, the balloon is perfectly shaped. If one of the ties is too tight, the shape of the balloon will be impacted. This can contribute to malposition of the baby (Breech, Transverse, Occiput Posterior presentations, etc).
The combination of bony and soft tissue changes in the pregnant mother can impact nervous system function, positioning, and comfort throughout the pregnancy. The Webster technique was specifically designed to address the unique changes in a pregnant woman’s body. Through analysis of the sacrum (tailbone), pelvic bones, pelvic muscles and ligaments, the Webster certified chiropractor can specifically target misalignments and restore optimum function to the pelvis. This helps to promote healthy pregnancy and good fetal positioning.
Prenatal chiropractic is especially beneficial for women who have positional changes in their babies. Often Dr. Samelak will find imbalances in the muscles and ligaments in addition to misalignments of the bones in the pelvises of these moms. Dr. Jeannie Ohm, President of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, says it best:
It is important to recognize that Doctors of Chiropractic do not turn breech babies—that is the practice of obstetrics. Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to adjust the spine and pelvis when indicated.
Misalignments of these bones may cause strain and uneven pulling of the attached pelvic muscles and ligaments. The adjustment facilitates a state of pelvic balance, decreasing torsion to the uterus, offering greater room. This gives the baby the opportunity to get into the best possible position for birth. The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic adjustment that facilitates this desired balance in the pelvis.- Jeannie Ohm, DC
Remember: structure determines function.
By balancing the pelvis, we enhance its function. According to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, “when a mother’s spine is realigned to proper position, a symphony of physiological responses happens immediately in response to the uninterrupted communication between the central nervous system and the rest of the body.”
It’s no wonder that many women who are under chiropractic care throughout their pregnancies have shorter, easier labor and experience fewer complications as a result. According to one study, women under chiropractic care experienced 25% shorter labor in their first pregnancy and 31% shorter labor for multiple pregnancies. Many birth providers now recommend Webster certified chiropractors as part of a birth team.
Who needs Prenatal Chiropractic Care?
Dr. Samelak recommends that every pregnant woman get checked by a Doctor of Chiropractic throughout her pregnancy. The hormonal and physical changes in the body during pregnancy stress the joints in ever-changing ways. Chiropractic care can greatly ease the aches and pains many women associate with pregnancy.
Why should I visit Seed of Life for Prenatal Chiropractic Care?
Dr. Samelak has been Webster Certified since 2011 and has worked with many pregnant women since then. Prenatal chiropractic patients at Seed of Life can expect safe, gentle, and effective spinal adjustments as well as soft tissue work to improve the balance of the body. Dr. Samelak provides home care exercises- including couple’s exercises which help your body maintain your adjustment and strengthen.
Chiropractic care in pregnancy pairs well with other birth workers and Dr. Samelak enjoys collaborating in care with your birth team to be sure that you are supported.
. Borggren, Cara L. “Pregnancy and Chiropractic: A Narrative Review of the Literature.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 6.2 (2007): 70-74. Web.