Chiropractic care is generally considered safe throughout pregnancy, and all chiropractors receive training in the care of pregnant women. Many chiropractors are actively involved in providing chiropractic care for pregnant women and for women who are trying to conceive.
Chiropractic care helps in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy from before the conception until after the delivery. During the first trimester, it can be used to alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness and nausea. As the pregnancy progresses and the expectant mother experiences weight gain, Chiropractic care can be useful in relieving pain in the back, neck and joints.
An estimated 4% of pregnancies result in a breech presentation. Research has shown that Chiropractic care can help to prevent a potential Cesarean delivery and contributes to lessening the time spent in labor and delivery. There is a particular analysis and adjustment used by Chiropractors to establish a pelvic balance in the pregnant mother. The adjustment reduces stress to the uterus and supporting ligaments, while allowing for preferential fetal positioning.
With the baby in the optimal position for the delivery, there is a reduction in the incidence of dystocia (difficult labor). The labor and delivery are therefore easier and safer for both mother and her baby.
Safety and Precautions
During the first three months of pregnancy, a woman may receive chiropractic care much like any other patient. Her abdomen is still at pre-pregnancy size, so she may be able to lie ‘face down’ on the treatment table without discomfort or harm to the fetus. As the pregnancy progresses, however, the Chiropractor will make allowances for her growing belly and switch to using gentle pressure when making adjustments. Before receiving Chiropractic care, expectant mothers should make the practitioner aware of their condition. This is so that certain contraindicated procedures may be avoided. This includes the use of X-rays as a diagnostic tool. Also intensive electrical muscle stimulation therapy to certain body areas such as abdomen or low back may be avoided as there is a potential risk of triggering premature contractions of the uterus. As with any form of alternative care, the advice of the primary health caregiver should be sought before treatment begins.
Related: Benefits of Prenatal Massage
There is no need for expectant mothers to “grin and bear it” as they deal with pregnancy related aches and discomforts. Regular Chiropractic adjustments can provide some much needed relief from physical stresses and strains which may take some of the joy out of carrying that little bundle of joy.