Why Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?

by Dr. Allyson

All too commonly I hear the statement, “I wish I would have known about this for my first pregnancy.” This statement holds an incredible amount of weight as it can mean the difference between pain and suffering versus ease, vitality, and joy. As a chiropractor, I have dedicated my career to specializing in pregnancy and pediatric care, providing woman and children with the possibility of the latter: ease, vitality, and joy. We can only make the best decision for us with the information we know, so let’s get into why chiropractic care during pregnancy may be the best choice for you and your baby.

1.It’s all about the hips

The hips, scientifically termed ‘the pelvis’ are created by a set of three bones: the sacrum (sometimes referred to as the tailbone) and two iliums (the hip bones). These three bones are held together by a combination of muscles and ligaments. It is the job of these muscles and ligaments, along with their respective joints to allow movement in the pelvis. Movement such as walking, running, dancing, squatting, and bending. The pelvis also contains the pelvic outlet, the space where baby will exit through. In order for baby to pass through this outlet with ease, the bones, muscles, and ligaments must all be in balance with each other, working together to allow an opening for baby to travel safely through.

The most common reason that pregnant women come in to my office is because of a misalignment within the pelvic area. This can present as low back pain, hip pain, sciatica, round ligament pain, rib pain, difficulty moving from sitting to standing, premature contractions, heart burn, and groin pain. What causes these misalignments to happen? Old or recent car accidents, slips, falls, repetitive trauma such as prolonged sitting or crossing of the legs. These misalignments cause stress and ultimately dysfunction to the pelvic joints, muscles, and ligaments. Chiropractors will assess the structures of the pelvis, and through specific adjustments and soft tissue work will restore balance back to the pelvis creating more ease, less pain, and an open outlet for baby to travel through.

2. The optimal position for baby

Connected to the pelvis are 3 major ligaments (broad, round, uterosacral) attaching to the uterus. These ligaments work together to support the position of the uterus and allow space for baby to grow. When the pelvis is out of balance, the uterus will shift its position creating tension, torsion, and intrauterine constraint. This intrauterine constraint decreases the amount of space for baby to move into an optimal position for birth. Another major component of pelvic balance are the psoas muscles, also known as hip flexor muscles. These muscles attach from the lumbar (lower) spine, travel across the front of the pelvis and attach to the femur bones (leg bone) and account for how easily your baby can position itself in the uterus. Our hip flexor muscles can contract on either one side or both depending on the imbalance of the pelvis, creating less room for your baby to move. The technique pregnancy chiropractors are trained and certified in, called the Webster Technique, analyzes these ligaments and muscles and restores balance back to the pelvis

3. The communication highway

When people hear the word Chiropractic, most associate it with neck and back pain. Although chiropractors are excellent at decreasing pain in the body, this is only one tiny subset of what chiropractic care provides. Our nervous system (the system chiropractors work with) is comprised of your brain, spinal cord, and nerves and is protected by your skull and spine. This system allows your body to send and receive direct messages from your brain to your body and your body to your brain. It’s how we are able to digest food, recover after a workout, sleep, wake up, move, and communicate with each other. This nervous system is the key player in allowing you to become pregnant, stay pregnant, birth, produce breast milk, and so much more. Not only will balancing your pelvis allow for an easier pregnancy and birth, but having your entire spine assessed will allow this critical brain/body communication system to work as best as it can for you!

From restoring balance to your hips, increasing comfort, ensuring optimal baby position and providing clear communication between all of the systems in the body, chiropractic care has an important place during pregnancy. Chiropractors are here to support pregnant women during this monumental journey into motherhood. If you are looking for a natural and holistic support system during your pregnancy, give chiropractic a try.

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