Prenatal Chiropractic: At Whittington Chiropractic, we believe in doing what we can to support you in having a natural, healthy term and delivery. Too often these days, pregnancy is treated as a disease, not a natural process. What could be more timeless and natural than pregnancy and childbirth?
And, it only makes sense to think that it can make for a better and safer pregnancy and delivery if the mother’s body is in proper alignment and her nervous system is functioning properly. Prenatal chiropractic care can play a vital role not just in feeling great during the pregnancy, but can be supportive of the mother and baby by helping achieve optimal natural function during the birth process.
Think about this for a moment, how many mothers do you know who have had a “pain free pregnancy?” Most people cannot even believe this could be possible. Yet, pain free pregnancies are a common thing in our office. Dr. Whittington is currently adjusting his third generation of families. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to be a doctor who is trusted to care for the children of patients you had seen when they were very young? We cannot think of a higher honor or compliment. Who would know better the benefits of gentle, expert chiropractic care during pregnancy and throughout growing up than those who have experienced it themselves.
We have assisted mothers who are in their first pregnancy to those who are in their fifth. The mother who came in for care for the first time during her fifth pregnancy commented, “I cannot believe I waited until number five to do this, it’s wonderful.”
Our goal is not only pain free pregnancy, but also healthier pregnancy and a less complicated birth process. It has been our clinical experience that pelvic torque and uneven pulling of the “round ligaments” that support the female viscera can cause the baby to be poorly positioned or not drop or turn properly when the time comes. This is where the Webster Technique comes in. The Webster Technique involves specific adjustments of the pelvis and round ligament release. Often a stuck baby will turn within hours of the application. Although, the purpose of the technique is not specifically to “turn” a baby, the relaxation of the ligaments and alignment of the pelvis that follow the procedure may allow a natural repositioning to occur. It is not so much a “doing” to get a specific outcome, as it is “allowing” by creating greater relaxation and alignment that may possibly assist in a more natural and healthy outcome.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can offer many benefits to the mother and child.Less pain during pregnancy
- More natural term with fewer medical interventions such as prescription painkillers that may affect the baby’s health.
- Potential for fewer complications during the birth process.
- Less pressure on mother’s joints and nerves allowing more optimal function of the natural processes that take place during term and delivery.
- Reduced stress for mother and baby.
- Increased functioning of the nerve system which has great control over many of the processes of development and delivery.
Of course we expect chiropractic to assist the mother and child with a more natural and comfortable term and birth process but let’s look at a few more detailed reasons and ways chiropractic can help.
In-Utero Functional Stress:
In-utero functional stress provides just reason for chiropractic care during pregnancy. “Functional Stress” relates to the mechanical stress of the fetus which can possibly lead to the vertebral subluxation complex* in the spine of the fetus. While it may be normal for the fetal position to be breech or in other non-optimal positions through the seventh month of pregnancy, after month 7 through the end of third trimester any position other than head down (vertex) with neck in flexion (bent slightly forward) is considered to cause fetal stress. There are many possible causes of in-utero stress. These may range from fetal size, placenta previa, multiple pregnancies and fetal anomalies.
From a chiropractic perspective, In-Utero stress may also be caused in some cases by sacral subluxation. This can also be referred to as sacral positional dyskinesia.** The sacral misalignment may have been caused by events prior to the pregnancy or conception. It can be caused by trauma or tearing during pregnancy or problems with pelvic malformation. The mechanism of sacral subluxation causing constraint, relates to how sacral rotation can cause torquing of the uterine ligaments. (broad and uterosacral ligaments). Also involved can be muscles that can alter the womb environment and make it difficult for the fetus to move easily.
So, when the third trimester fetus is trying to position itself into proper position and is unable to because of constraint of stress caused by the sacral subluxation and rotation, the chiropractic correction of the sacral malposition can be immensely helpful. With the adjustment, the structure and function of the uterus is improved. The fetus is more likely to be allowed to move or position itself in the proper vertex position.
The effects of in-utero stress may be serious and may involve:
- decreased labor efficiency
- longer, more difficult labor
- greater chance of decreased oxygen to the fetal brain
- fetal brain damage
- umbilical prolapse
- intrauterine death
- increased chance of general trauma to the newborn.
- increased chance of cranial molding
This makes it very clear that the chiropractic adjustment prior to, and during pregnancy, can make a real difference between a healthy delivery and a problematic, perhaps devastating one. The sacral adjustment alone and its effects on in-uterine stress can be far reaching for a healthy mom, baby and delivery. An evaluation for sacral misalignment alone should be a routine part of a healthy pregnancy screening by a qualified professional.
Here are just a few links to some respected sites and organizations on the subject.
This one from the government!
This one is a forum discussion on the topic of benefits of chiropractic while pregnant.
You might ask: Can I go to the chiropractor while pregnant? The answer? Definitely yes. Chiropractic is safe and natural and can go a long way towards making you feel much better and happier during pregnancy. Less pain, better movement, better alignment during birth. Remember, please get have the newborn’s spine checked as soon as possible, especially if there were any complications with the birth. Even if those complications seem mild.
Is it safe for a chiropractor to adjust a newborn baby? The answer is yes, as long as the chiropractor is properly trained in this field. Adjustments to newborns, babies and toddlers should be very gentle. Often the amount of pressure used is less than it would take to scratch an itchy eye. The proper, precise gentle pressure, often applied with a gentle rocking motion can easily adjust a young spine. It is wonderful to watch as the pressure is relieved and the baby changes mood right there on the spot.
Can chiropractic help colic? Chiropractic has been shown to be effective in reducing colic symptoms. Colic has responded in as little as two visits.
Do you have other questions? Feel free to email the doctor or post a comment on our page forum.
Contact the doctor about chiropractic during pregnancy. [email protected]
*Vertebral subluxation complex describes the combination of physical effects of spinal vertebrae that are mal or mis aligned. The misaligned vertebrae may have profound effects on the baby’s nervous system as well as the cartilage and early joint structures. This can precede spinal asymmetry or imbalance and further subluxation complex progression which can lead to life-long consequences.
** Pediatric Chiropractic by Claudia Anrig and Gregory Plaugher 2011