The Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
Pregnancy may be one of the most joyous times of your life, but it's often accompanied by a few aches and pains. Chiropractic treatment improves your comfort during pregnancy and also offers a few other advantages.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help You
The position of your bones and organs shifts as your body accommodates your growing fetus. In addition to causing an aching back, pelvic pain, or sciatica, these changes can also make labor and delivery a little more difficult.
Thanks to chiropractic treatment, you may experience:
- Fewer Aches and Pains During Pregnancy. Pain can occur if the vertebrae in your spine become misaligned. These misalignments, called subluxations, may also stress your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, or press on nerves, increasing your pain. Your chiropractor uses gentle, hands-on pressure or handheld device to realign your vertebrae. Seventy-three percent of pregnant women who receive chiropractic treatment reported an improvement in lower back and pelvic pain in a study reported in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
- Less Nausea. Chiropractic treatment helps keep your nerves, hormones, and organs functioning optimally. If the treatment is part of your pregnancy care plan, you may discover that morning sickness eases or disappears.
- Better Balance. A shifting center of balance during pregnancy can increase your risk of falls. When your spine and pelvis are properly aligned, you're less likely to experience issues with balance or gait (the way you walk).
- More Room for Growth. Keeping your pelvis properly aligned with chiropractic treatment ensures that your baby has plenty of room to grow. Treatments help keep pelvic ligaments and muscles balanced as the size of your uterus increases.
- Reduced Risk of Breech or Cesarean Birth. A properly aligned pelvis gives the fetus ample room to move into the head-down position before birth. Regular visits to the chiropractor just may lower your risk of a breech or Cesarean birth.
- Improvement of Hip and Round Ligament Pain. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy relax the joints that connect your pelvis to your spine. As these joints become more relaxed, hip pain can occur due to increased stress on the muscles and ligaments. Chiropractic care offers a simple solution for both hip and round ligament pain. Round ligament pain occurs when the ligaments that the uterus stretch later in pregnancy, causing sharp, stabbing pains in the lower abdomen and groin.
- Shorter Labor: According to a narrative review published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, first-time mothers who received chiropractic treatment during pregnancy had 25 percent shorter labors, while those who had had more than one child saw labor shortened by 31 percent.
- Fewer Headaches. Headaches don't stop just because you're pregnant. Unfortunately, you may not be able to use your usual pain reliever if you suffer from tension or migraine headaches. Spinal manipulation, massage, and other therapies can ease your pain and reduce the frequency of your headaches.
- Less Stress: Stress and anxiety tend to intensify pain. Massage therapy offered during your visit to the chiropractor triggers the release of serotonin. The hormone acts as a natural stress reliever and helps balance your moods.
Regular chiropractic care during pregnancy offers important benefits for your health and comfort. Contact our office to schedule your appointment.
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine: Pregnancy and Chiropractic: A Narrative Review of the Literature, 12/7/06
American Pregnancy Association: Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics: Outcome of Pregnancy-Related Lumbopelvic Pain Treated According to a Diagnosis-Based Decision Rule: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study, 10/1/09