Celeste was expecting. She felt great and welcomed each miraculous change. The baby moved easily into to the head-down position. She walked comfortably with a steady confidence throughout her last trimester. The delivery was easy and beautiful. Her midwife commented on the joy of assisting in such a wonderful delivery experience. Her recovery quickly unfolded.
How close is your vision of a “normal” pregnancy and delivery to the above? First of all, IT IS POSSIBLE! With the right game plan, the odds of a perfect pregnancy and delivery can be greatly improved. The purpose of this article is to introduce the many, but often little known, benefits of chiropractic care for the expecting mother and developing fetus.
Chiropractic helps ensure proper nerve function that benefits mother and child!
Chiropractic focuses on detecting and correcting changes in the patient's spine and pelvis that affect the structure and function of her body. The bones in the spinal column house and protect a key component of the nervous system that extends down from the brain and is known as the spinal cord. If a bone in the pelvis, back or neck misaligns (called a subluxation in chiropractic), it will damage and alter the function of the nervous system. The organ, gland or muscle fed from the injured nerve will lose some or all function. Due to the physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy, expectant mothers are more prone to these misalignments. In addition to the negative consequences experienced as a symptom or change in internal function by the mother, the developing fetus may also be affected due to his or her dependence on the mother’s system for support.
Pain down the legs, back or pelvic pain and problems with the knees and/or ankles are typical symptoms seen in pregnant women that can be helped with chiropractic care.
Chiropractic helps insure proper pelvic alignment and balance for healthy fetal development!
Due to the supportive relationship of the pelvic bones to the uterus, any misalignment may change the shape and tensions of the uterus. The resulting loss of shape and symmetry (known as intrauterine constraint) hinders the ability of the uterus to grow and expand normally. According to the journal Neurosurgery, intrauterine constraint may cause developmental problems in the bones of the baby's face, skull and body.
Chiropractic helps insure proper pelvic alignment and balance for a healthy delivery!
Imagine the baby’s view of the pelvis. When the mother's bones are in proper alignment, and the muscles and ligaments have normal tone, the opening is optimized for his/ her descent. Common during pregnancy are abnormal shifts in the mother's spine, sacrum (tailbone), coccyx (tip of the tailbone) or hipbones that may alter and decrease the bony passageway. As stated in Williams Obstetrics, "Any contraction of the pelvic diameters that diminish the capacity of the pelvis can create dystocia (a slow or difficult labor or delivery)”. The text further explains how the opening of the woman's pelvis is decreased when the tailbone is displaced. The pelvic opening is increased when a chiropractor precisely examines and realigns the bones comprising its borders. All of these procedures are gently performed externally.
Webster Intrauterine Constraint Technique: One of chiropractic's greatest contributions!
Chiropractic can utilize the Webster Intrauterine Constraint Technique to help a baby move from a breech or transverse position into an optimal position for birth. This technique, discovered by Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), carefully addresses specific sacral misalignments and soft tissue tensions that may contribute to a breech or transverse position of the baby. When utilized, it is reported that in nearly 82% of cases, the child moves into the normal vertex position, eliminating the need for a Cesarean Section. This is not an obstetric “breech turning” technique, but a chiropractic method that primarily makes a gentle adjustment to the tailbone.
Proper spinal and pelvic biomechanics, nerve function, uterine position, flexibility and comfort during pregnancy help with normal fetal development and an easier birth for mother and child. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is comfortable, safe and drug-free. Such effective care is welcomed by thousands of women each day. Adding chiropractic care to your game plan can help make your pregnancy and delivery more celestial for you and your new family star!
Neurosurgery. 1980 Jan;6(1):39-44.
Cunningham FG et al, "Dystocia Due to Pelvic Contraction", Williams Obstetrics, Nineteenth Ed 1989
The Webster Technique: A chiropractic technique with obstetric implications. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 25, Issue 6, July 2002, Pages E1-E9