More and more pregnant women are seeking chiropractic care to combat the many aches and pain associated with pregnancy. Some of the most common pregnancy-related ailments chiropractors treat are back pain, headaches, pubic bone pain, rib misplacement and sacroiliac pain-pain that begins in the lower back and hip and radiates down the leg.
In most cases, the discomforts of pregnancy stem from a combination of hormonal and biomechanical changes. Hormones cause ligaments to relax and then biomechanical changes stemming from rapid, unevenly distributed weight gain cause joints to become misaligned. Chiropractic care can alleviate the source of misalignment and help to relieve the symptoms.
Treating pregnant women involves a softer touch. Prenatal chiropractic care involves gentle pressure and special cushions and tables that accommodate a pregnant woman are used.
Chiropractic care can help women deal with more than pain and discomfort. Often pregnant women will visit chiropractors in an effort to head off potential problems. In such cases, chiropractic care allows women to remain in balance and function as well as possible throughout their pregnancy.
One important advantage of chiropractic care during pregnancy is that it provides natural, drug-free pain relief at a time when women are hesitant to use things like over-the-counter painkillers or other drugs to ease pain and discomfort. What follows are some of the most common reasons women seek out chiropractic care when expecting:
- Pain relief. Chiropractic care can help to correct painful issues with posture and keep the spine in alignment at a time when the body’s skeletal structure can negatively impact posture and curvature of the spine.
- Nausea and vomiting. While there are many reasons for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, in some cases, morning sickness and nausea can be due in part to nerves being compressed by a vertebra that is out of place. If this is the cause of a woman’s nausea, it can be alleviated by adjustment.
- Position the baby correctly. If a woman’s hips and lower spine are out of place, this can cause a baby to turn breech, posterior or sideways. Since none of these positions are conducive to childbirth, a chiropractor will perform adjustments to ensure that there no vertebrae out of place. This can help to position the baby correctly for labor and childbirth.
- A smoother delivery. When a woman’s spine and hips are properly aligned, and no nerves are compressed, birth is likely to progress more easily. Labor also may be shortened.
The benefits of chiropractic care do not end once a baby is born. If any misalignments occurred during labor or childbirth, these can be corrected though chiropractic care. And when a woman’s body is properly aligned, she is able to heal faster and more completely. Finally, breastfeeding, bottle feeding and carrying a baby all day can lead to posture problems. A chiropractor can address these issues, as well.
In the end, chiropractic care benefits mother and baby since a healthy mother will help to ensure a healthy baby. After all, it is difficult for a new mother to be the best she can be if she is in constant pain or discomfort.