Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time with the anticipated arrival of your bundle of joy. But everyone who is, or has been, pregnant knows that it isn’t always a walk in the park. The majority of pregnant women will experience pain and discomfort at some point in their pregnancy, and this can be much worse for some than it is for others. A visit with a chiropractor can help to relieve these pains (and can have lots of other health benefits in pregnancy besides) but some pregnant women worry about whether or not it is safe. Let’s take a look.
Is chiropractic care safe during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care is considered safe by the American Pregnancy Association, which indicates that there are “no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy”. And a review of all of the literature about chiropractic care in pregnancy concluded that it is a “safe and effective” method of relieving musculoskeletal symptoms in patients.
Based on all of the available evidence, there is no reason to think that chiropractic care wouldn’t be safe in pregnancy. And chiropractic management of pregnancy symptoms is common since many of them do involve musculoskeletal symptoms.
If you are experiencing a risky pregnancy, or if you are at all worried, it is always best to talk to the medical professionals who are helping with your pregnancy. Generally speaking, if you are experiencing any vaginal bleeding, placental abruption/placental previa, or moderate/severe pre-eclampsia, it isn’t recommended for you to receive chiropractic care.
Your chiropractor will be well-trained in how to help pregnant women and treating pregnancy-related symptoms is a standard part of chiropractic care. Some chiropractors choose to specialize in prenatal care so will have even more resources available to help you. Most chiropractors who treat pregnant women will have a special table that you can lie on without interfering with your bump and will use pregnancy-specific techniques that don’t put any undue pressure on your abdomen.
What are the benefits of chiropractic care in pregnancy?
Now we know that chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy, let’s take a look at why it might be a useful treatment for you in your pregnancy. It is common to experience musculoskeletal pains during pregnancy and one of the reasons for this is that your body releases a hormone called relaxin. This hormone helps to soften your ligaments in preparation for labor but it also softens the rest of the ligaments in your body. This can make you more prone to injuries and strains.
Your growing bump will also change the way that your spine curves which can put pressure on your lower back and cause pain, as can the changes in posture that go along with it. You might also find yourself dealing with sciatica if the baby finds itself lying on your sciatic nerve. Some women also experience SPD, which is a painful condition caused by your pelvic joints becoming stiff or uneven.
A chiropractor will be able to help you with all of these issues. They will use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, and other treatments such as massage and pregnancy-specific stretches and exercises. They can also give you advice on nutrition and relaxation to further help your pregnancy go smoothly.
Approximately 75% of patients report feeling relief from pain after receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy. It can also help to reduce the risk of experiencing “back labor”. This is when the baby is in a back-to-back position and labor pains are felt in the mother’s back instead of their front, and it can be extremely painful. A chiropractor could even help you with other pregnancy symptoms like heartburn and morning sickness.
Not only that, but by ensuring that your pelvis is relaxed enough for your baby to get in the correct position before birth, chiropractic care during pregnancy can result in shorter labor time and a reduction in the need for medical interventions, such as forceps or caesarian section. It can also put the baby under less risk of distress during its birth.
Getting the best care during your pregnancy can help you to have an easier time while you grow your baby, and it can also help you lay the groundwork for having a relaxed and trouble-free delivery. Regular visits with your chiropractor can help to reduce your pain and other pregnancy-related symptoms, and it can also help you have a shorter, less complicated labor.