How do well-prepared parents sometimes end up with a birth very different than the one they planned? Chiropractic is often the answer to this question and the missing link when it comes to birth preparation.
Chiropractic care helps women to be as health as they can be during pregnancy and though it’s a key ingredient to a healthy birth for both mom and baby, it is frequently left out of good childbirth classes. More recently, however, the necessity of a balanced spine and pelvis in a healthy birth is becoming accepted as an integral part of birth preparation.
Having your spine checked by a chiropractor ensures that your pelvis is sitting correctly to allow optimum room for your baby to grow and move. Additionally, a well functioning nervous system allows a mother to easily combat many of the hurdles of pregnancy.
Often women learn to just accept pregnancy discomfort such as nausea, heartburn, shortness of breath, constipation, hemorrhoids, and frequent urination, when in fact they don’t need to.
Maintaining the integrity of the thoracic spine (mid back) with chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate mid back pain ( due to an increase in breast size), shortness of breath and heartburn.
Maintaining a thoracolumbar ( mid to low back) and lumbosacral (lower) spine free of subluxations ( aka. misalignments) can help with other unnecessary discomforts such as sciatica, lower back pain, symphysis pubic pain and pelvic pain.
As your pregnancy progresses, the weight on your baby can become a major load to bear and hormonal changes begin to relax the supporting tissues of the spine. It is vitally important that your spine maintains correct alignment.
A labor that stops and starts or just won’t get going can be caused by a subluxated mother and a baby that can’t get into optimal position because of it. Correct biomechanics of the spine and pelvis during birth allows your baby to apply even pressure onto your cervix with the head and enables your body to dilate effectively, resulting in shorter labor time, less pain and less trauma for mother and child.
A study conducted by Dr. Irvin Henderson MD ( a member of the American medical association board of trustees) demonstrated that, “Women who received chiropractic adjustments in their third trimester were able to carry and deliver their child with much comfort”.
Another study by Dr. Joan Fallon demonstrated that first time moms that received chiropractic care averaged a 24% shorter labor, while experienced mothers who also received chiropractic care had a 39% reduction in average labor time in a substantial percentage of births.
Increasing comfort for mom also means a lesser need for analgesics (pain medication) before and during birth. In another hospital study that incorporated chiropractic adjustments during the patient’s pregnancy, the results indicated that there was a 50% decrease in the need for painkillers during delivery, attributable to pre-delivery adjustments.
Maternal subluxations have also been implicated in fetal complaints and malposition of the baby. They interference with your baby’s presentation at birth, as seen in breech or posterior baby scenarios. Chiropractic is valuable for every pregnant woman, but for women with unique situations such as malpositioned babies or previous cesarean section, chiropractic can mean the difference between a vaginal and surgical birth.
Regular chiropractic care should be an integral part of maternity care for every pregnant woman to improve both physical and emotional health.