When to See a Chiropractor During Pregnancy
A lot of women see a chiropractor during pregnancy because they are in pain. This is not an exclusive reason to see a chiropractor, but for those women who are experiencing physical discomfort during a time when pill-popping could lead to disastrous side effects, chiropractic care can be the answer.
Given this common association of pain relief during pregnancy, a lot of newly-pregnant moms will recognize (or hear from friends, family, or care providers) that a call to the chiropractor is necessary if something hurts. While that is true, I often treat women throughout their pregnancies who are NOT experiencing pain. To answer the oft-asked question of “why should I see a chiropractor during pregnancy?”, I will list a few things to consider.
Your spinal position alters throughout pregnancy. Changes in the spine occur in all different areas throughout the entirety of pregnancy. The thoracic kyphosis and the lumbar lordosis (normal spinal curves) increase. The rib cage expands. The pelvis opens. If the spine is fixated (not moving) in any area, the changes will not occur as easily.
Your baby's position is affected by your posture. Posture is more than just standing up straight. Sitting, walking, and sleeping postures can all impact baby's position. Often, posture is a result of repetition as well as compensation. If you don't feel comfortable in a neutral position (due to fixations in the spine), then you'll adopt a more comfortable - and less suitable - posture. Poor posture can lead to a baby's inability to settle nicely into the pelvis.
Tension in the spine leads to tension elsewhere. This can include ligaments associated with the uterus (specifically the round ligaments). Tension in the uterus can lead to malposition of the baby. For this reason, many women seek chiropractic care for breech position babies. Ensuring that the pelvis and all ligaments associated with the uterus are freely moving allows baby to achieve optimal positioning.
Maintaining activity levels throughout pregnancy is crucial for the health of mom and baby. You're familiar with this great organization called BIRTHFIT, right? ;) If your body can't move well, it can be hard to move in general! A chiropractor will help mom move better so that she can keep on moving.
There are countless reasons to visit a chiropractor during pregnancy, but one of the most intriguing ones is that it could lead to a shorter labor (1). There is a possible relationship between back pain throughout pregnancy and longer labors. This is not surprising, as relaxation is the key to an easier labor (ask any HypnoBirthing mama!). If you're in pain, you can't relax, which would lengthen labor.
Don't wait until something hurts. Get your body and your baby ready for your best birth with regular chiropractic care throughout pregnancy! Not sure who to see? BIRTHFIT Affiliates are across the US and ready/willing to help you build your community!
BIRTHFIT Regional Director
- Borggren, Cara. J Chiropr Med. 2007 Spring; 6(2): 70–74. Published online 2007. doi: 10.1016/j.jcme.2007.04.004