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Chiropractic during pregnancy is an essential part of prenatal care.
Regrettably, not enough women realize the benefits of chiropractic care for themselves, but also for their unborn baby. A woman’s body undergoes an amazing amount of transformations during pregnancy. A women’s musculoskeletal system adjusts accordingly to accommodate the growing baby and uterus to prepare for delivery. With the help of Chiropractic care, a woman's body can be helped to stay aligned and her nervous system can continue to function optimally.
It is common to experience low back pain, hip pain, and pubic symphysis during pregnancy. These aches and pains are a side effect of the stress put on the body by the rapid growth of the baby and the transformation the body must endure to accommodate those adjustments. A woman’s center of gravity changes as her belly grows. It is difficult for the low back and pelvis to adjust to the rapid change. This causes stress in those areas which can result in misalignments(or subluxations) which can then lead to pain and dysfunction. It is even harder for her low back and pelvis to adjust to the pregnancy if her body was already out of alignment prior to the pregnancy. If the pelvis is misaligned it affects the uterus and the position of the baby.
The pelvis and uterus are connected by ligaments: the broad ligament, the uterosacral ligaments, and the round ligaments. Like a hot air balloon tethered to the ground, these ligaments work to keep the uterus in the optimal place in the pelvis and allow support as the uterus grows to accommodate the developing baby. If the pelvis is misaligned, these ligaments can become torqued. When the ligaments are affected, they directly affect the position of the uterus which can result in the baby not being in an optimal position. This type of situation may result in a breech position or a transverse (sideways) position.
The goal of the chiropractor is to correct the subluxations in the pelvis to help balance the uterus and allow the baby to get into a better position. Chiropractic adjustments for a pregnant woman are specific, gentle, and safe. Some chiropractors are certified in the Webster Technique which is a technique that is used to relieve dystocia (difficult labor for the mother). Dystocia is caused by inadequqate uterine function, pelvic contraction and baby mal-position. Webster certified chiropractors adjust the pelvis and also feel for and relieve tension in the round ligaments. Dr. Jennifer Prax is certified in the Webster Technique.
Besides increasing a pregnant woman’s comfort level, an aligned pelvis can result in a quicker, safer, and easier birth. When a baby is in breech or transverse position a cesarean section is almost always performed. Because they are so common, many people forget that a c-section is a major abdominal surgery and can be potentially risky. Helping the baby to get into a proper head-down position by stabilizing the pelvis and ligaments helps to avoid c-sections due to baby positioning. Other divergences in baby position such as a tilted head or a “sunny side up” baby (face up during delivery) can also be caused by pelvic imbalance and may result in a grueling, painful, and longer labor and delivery.