Chiropractic Care for Better Pregnancy and Birth Experience
May 05, 2015 11:25PM
● By Risa Sloves
Discovering the wonderful news of a pregnancy is both a time of joy and anxiety. The body will begin to undergo many profound transformations ranging from hormonal, biomechanical and increased nutritional demands to physical and psychological changes. Unfortunately, there may often be some unpleasant, uncomfortable changes that go along with it – whether it is morning sickness, fatigue, low back pain, sciatica, headaches or carpal tunnel syndrome. Many pregnant women think twice about taking any medication to help alleviate these discomforts. Chiropractic care can be used as a powerful, safe, drug-free solution for these pregnancy-related conditions. There are chiropractic physicians who have advanced training, including a three-year post-doctorate degree to specialize in maternity and pediatric care. This degree is known as a Diplomate of the International Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics (DICCP).
How can chiropractic care impact pregnancy? It is important for the nervous system to operate at 100 percent for optimal health as the brain and nervous system control the function of every cell, tissue and organ of the mother’s body. The spine protects the spinal cord; when a spinal bone shifts out of normal alignment, it may produce abnormal motion and damaging pressure on spinal nerves. This condition is known as vertebral subluxation; if present, it may interrupt the vital nerve flow within the mother’s body and, subsequently, to the unborn baby.
Chiropractic care corrects subluxations which interfere with normal body function. Subluxations are an inherent part of pregnancy as the dynamics of the spine and pelvis change dramatically and the potential for damage to the musculoskeletal system is great. When a woman is pregnant, her growing uterus produces a shift in her center of gravity. Along with the hormonal changes that occur, her posture becomes unstable and, as a result, stresses her joints, nerves, muscles, and connective tissue.
Not only has chiropractic care been proven effective in eliminating pregnancy-related symptoms, but expectant mothers who receive chiropractic care are less likely to suffer from back pain during labor. Chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy have also been shown to lessen labor pain; shorten the duration of labor; reduce the number of breach presentations,
cesarean section rates and labor interventions, such as induction; and promote a quicker recovery.
As important as it is to detect and correct spinal subluxations during pregnancy, it is just as important to continue to focus on prevention during the postpartum period. After the birth, improvement in spinal function and structure is generally attributed to the loss of weight and recovery of ligaments and muscle to their normal tensile strength. Several months may elapse before these fibrous structures recover; if the bones these ligaments and muscles support are still misaligned, subluxation may be a long-lasting problem.
To avoid postpartum back pain, prevent subluxations with chiropractic checkups. Learn rehabilitative spinal and abdominal strengthening exercises and proper back-safe baby lifting and carrying techniques from a chiropractor. It is also important to ensure that the mother is positioned properly while nursing her newborn to avoid putting unnecessary stress on the spine.
Risa Sloves, DC is one of a small group of chiropractic physicians in Connecticut who is board certified in chiropractic pediatrics and maternity care. She practices with her husband, Dr. Mark Joachim, at their office, Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care, P.C., 156 East Ave, Norwalk. Sloves can be reached at 203-838-1555. CTChiropractic.com. See ad, page 21.