Most expectant mothers understand the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, and supplements during pregnancy, as well as avoiding alcohol, smoking and certain medications. However, many pregnant mothers may be unaware of the benefits chiropractic care can provide before, during and after pregnancy.
Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy
When trying to conceive, it is important to keep all the organs working properly, especially those pertaining to reproduction. Dads-to-be can benefit from chiropractic for this reason as well. Obviously maintaining a healthy diet and, if necessary, taking appropriate supplements are important when trying to conceive. But if any nerves leading to the reproductive organs are pinched at all, fertility will be negatively affected. (Read more in this post about how and why this works.) In this way chiropractic can help improve fertility and chances of becoming pregnant.
Chiropractic also helps prepare the mother's body for carrying a growing baby. A woman's body goes through myriad changes during pregnancy. Chiropractic care will keep her at optimum health by keeping her spine in alignment, and a healthy mother means a healthy baby.
Chiropractic will correct vertebral subluxations (out-of-place vertebrae) that often occur during pregnancy. This happens when the mother's lower back will get pulled forward as her abdomen grows. To compensate, the mid-back and shoulders pull back, and the neck and head tilt forward. All of this can mean backaches and headaches for the mother-to-be. Chiropractic care keeps the spine in place, relieving the mother of many aches and pains.
Regular adjustments can help decrease morning sickness, back pain associated with a growing belly, and keep mother and baby healthier. A healthy spine allows the immune system to function at its best, which means the baby's immune system (intimately connected with the mother's) will be stronger as well.
Chiropractic also often shortens labor time and can decrease amount of labor pain, since a pelvis which is properly aligned makes enough room for baby to grow and be delivered more easily.
Chiropractic care is so safe that it can continue up till the day of delivery, and the mother may choose to be adjusted during labor, according to the discretion of her doctor and chiropractor.
As the mother's belly returns to a normal position, chiropractic helps her spine return to its normal position. Adjustments can help curb back pain from nursing, carrying baby, and normal wear-and-tear from the work of caring for a newborn.
Keep baby healthy and make sure he or she gets adjusted too, as soon as possible after birth (see our post on Kids and Chiropractic).
Chiropractic care is for everyone, and that includes expectant mothers! If you received chiropractic care during pregnancy, please comment below with your experience. We'd love to hear your story!
French, Matt D.C. (2007). The Gonstead Difference: Pregnancy (pamphlet). Chirodesign, LLC.