Chiropractic During Pregnancy
Studies show that many women experience back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Studies also show that chiropractic care is suitable and successful in helping manage these situations.
J Chiropr Med. 2007 Spring; 6(2): 70–74. Published online 2007.
According to recent studies, chiropractic care may result in easier pregnancy including increased comfort during the third trimester and delivery and reduced need for analgesics (pain medication). In one study, women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% reduction in labour times and subjects giving birth for the second or third time reported 39% reduction in shorter labour times. In another study, the need for analgesics was reduced by 50% in the patients who received adjustments. In addition, 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with chiropractic care. When women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy, the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis function better. As a result, there is significantly less likelihood of back labour (contractions and sharp pain felt in the lower back during labour). Chiropractic care has helped new mothers become more comfortable breastfeeding (posture-wise) as well as to produce more milk. Chiropractic care has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of postpartum depression. (source ICPA Pregnancy issue #20, Author Dr Stacey Rosenberg).
Why Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care is designed to allow your body to correct itself naturally. We all have an inbuilt intelligence that runs and controls our bodily functions. Your brain is the key part of this system as it possesses the unique ability to dictate physiological changes to help you thrive in any environment that you are in. Whether you are training for a marathon or indeed training to have a baby, whatever you need to function to your greatest capabilities, your brain organises the changes to happen in your body. For example, growth of your placenta, and little baby are prioritised by the brain and the changes in your uterus, hormone levels, joints of your pelvis are all brain driven changes.
The brain’s signals travel through the spine to reach the intended area of the body. The function of your spine influences the nerve signals and their ability to communicate vital messages correctly. Research into the safety of Chiropractic adjustments has repeatedly shown that Chiropractic adjustments are safe.
Todd A, Carroll M, Robinson A, Mitchell E, (2015), “Adverse Events Due to Chiropractic and Other Manual Therapies for Infants and Children: A Review of the Literature,” Journal Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Volume 38, Issue 9, November-December 2015, pp. 699-712, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016147541400178X
Todd A, Carroll M, Mitchell E, (2016), “Forces of Commonly Used Chiropractic Techniques for Children: a Review of the Literature,” Journal Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Vol 39, Issue 6, July-August 2016, Page 401-410 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161475416301087
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The Webster Technique
If you think of the uterus as a balloon with ligaments attached to the outside of the balloon anchoring the uterus to certain parts of the pelvis, this helps to visualise the webster technique
The technique which is also known as a uterine constraint technique is centred around assessing the pelvic joints for subluxation (Dysfunction) and gently correcting these issues. As the uterine ligaments attach to parts of the pelvis, the pelvic dysfunction often creates uneven uterine ligament tension. If the ligaments are tense and uneven, the shape of the uterus can change subtly. The shape change can prevent your baby from finding its most perfect position.
The webster technique involves both pelvic adjustment and gentle ligamentous massage.
Please note, the Webster technique is not a “turning the baby” procedure. It is designed to asssit the shape of your pelvis to be as suitable as possible to allow your baby to make its own way into its most perfect position.
Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy helps the pelvic joints to function well.
Our Guiding Principles for a Happy & Healthy Mother & Baby
There are 10 simple guidelines that enable a chiropractor to meet the goals of a happy and healthy mother and baby:
1. First, do no harm
First and foremost we take as much care as possible to ensure that you are safe. If we feel that we can not help you we will let you know as soon as possible. Also if we feel that we can help you but in conjunction with other practitioners then we are very happy to co-manage you towards the best possible outcome for your baby and for you.
2. Hormonal influences
As the body prepares for childbirth there are many hormonal changes taking place. Some of the hormonal changes make your joints more pliable and soft. therefore we alter our methods where necessary to work with your body rather than “forcing” any change. Our aim is for you to have the best results possible without using high levels of force.
3. History taking
We carefully take a full history with all our practice members and being pregnant is no exception. We cover various aspects of your health history paying close attention to three areas of influence.
The physical aspects of your life e.g. accidents, posture, sports etc
The chemical aspects of your life e.g. medications, diet, toxicities, allergies etc
The emotional aspects of your life e.g. Stress levels, anxiety etc.
A chiropractic examination during pregnancy covers neurological, orthopaedic, and chiropractic specific testing. During pregnancy X-Rays are not taken, however we still perform an in house spinal EMG computerised scan, which measures electrical activity of the tiny muscle fibres around the spine. These measurements form an important part of determining what needs to be done. The EMG is completely safe for use during pregnancy. Another key area of health measurement for the pregnant expecting mother is her stress response. HRV (heart rate variability) is a non-invasive, safe and highly accurate measurement of a person’s stress response. This test will be conducted during your initial consultation.
5. Let the mother decide
We are a friendly team dedicated to helping you and your baby have the best possible outcome. We are compassionate and not forceful in our communication or recommendations. We will take the time to explain our best recommendations for you. We aim for the mum to be to be in a good position to make an informed decision about her pregnancy care.
6. Providing a comfortable environment
At Vida we have a calm and friendly environment. We have chiropractic tables that accommodate pregnant bellies so that there is no pressure on mums belly at all. We also have specially designed pregnancy pillows if needed. We also stock a large variety of health based products that may be of interest.
There are many different chiropractic adjustment techniques used throughout the world. In pregnancy we use gentle hands on techniques working with your bodies natural healing capabilities. Adjustments are not usually painful at all. Whilst the most obvious physical changes take place around the pelvis region, our approach is to look at the whole spine, as the relationships between the different spinal regions is pivotal in providing the best outcome.
8. General advice
We can and often provide general advice regarding health and wellbeing. This advice often covers topics such as exercise, rest, stress management, optimal positions to reduce constraint to your baby. We also offer nutritional information to allow you to be at your best during pregnancy.
9. Exercise advice
Chiropractors often provide exercise, movement and posture advice. During pregnancy, exercises are often recommended to counteract the postural changes associated with pregnancy. We also can provide advice to help keep tone through the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor strength is helpful to prepare for the exertion of labour and also for recovery afterwards.
Chiropractors provide appropriate exercise advice according to the patient’s pre-existing health and condition.
10. Part of the team
Chiropractors and midwives have a great deal in common when it comes to care during pregnancy: both have a preference to work within the body’s normal function and natural healing abilities, as well as to provide support for a non-invasive birth. Midwives are on the frontline of pregnancy care and are often eager to find someone who can help with the maladies of pregnancy, most commonly back and pelvic pain. Chiropractors therefore have a place as an integral part of the pregnancy health care team.
Chiropractic care offers a gentle approach to help manage any aches and pains that may arise during pregnancy, but most importantly Chiropractic assists with having a well functioning spine and nervous system, which benefits the growth and development of your baby.
At Vida we are committed to helping mums to be have a great pregnancy. We pride ourselves on listening to exactly what you want and then we strive to provide a world class level of care for you and your growing family.
At Vida we are dedicated to mothers and their babies. Pregnancy is an enjoyable life experience, however, during pregnancy a woman’s body goes through enormous changes. Having your spine checked at any stage in your life ensures your nervous system is operating optimally. From a structural perspective, regular chiropractic care helps the pelvis remain mobile and well positioned to assist with the growing baby and to prepare for vaginal childbirth where possible.