Your body goes through a lot of changes while you’re pregnant, including aches and pains. As your baby and uterus grows, its weight pulls forward and creates a lot of pressure on your lower back, spine, neck, and shoulders.
Fortunately, a chiropractor’s expertise in musculoskeletal care can treat many symptoms one experiences during pregnancy.
Read on to learn about prenatal chiropractic visits and what you can expect.
What is Prenatal Chiropractic Care?
Just like other practitioner professions, there are chiropractors who specialize in care for certain types of patients. In the case of prenatal chiropractors, they are trained and certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association (ICPA) to adjust pregnant women and infants.
During prenatal chiropractic care, chiropractors will apply different nonsurgical techniques on expecting patients that help relieve back and muscle aches and encourage joint flexibility.
Some prenatal chiropractic techniques you can expect are:
There is also a popular technique of prenatal chiropractors called the Webster Technique. This method is a specific analysis and adjustment used on patients during their last trimester of pregnancy to promote ease of labor and delivery.
Is It Safe to See a Chiropractor While Pregnant?
Yes! With chiropractic care, you can receive a noninvasive, holistic treatment that is safe and effective. Remember that during your pregnancy, certain medications, X-rays, and MRIs are dissuaded unless a severe trauma or emergency occurs.
For pregnant patients, certified chiropractors perform gentle work on ligaments and pelvic alignment to support symmetric growth of the uterus. Chiropractic adjustments also help the soft tissue around the pelvis to stay as flexible as possible.
There’s a misconception about chiropractic care that the method is dangerous, but this is false, as chiropractic is an evidence-based practice.
In any case, it's always a good idea to consult your primary doctor before visiting a chiropractor to ensure safety for you and your infant. Also be sure to research your chiropractor of choice to confirm they’re licensed and certified for prenatal care.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
While discomfort is expected during pregnancy, some of the physical and hormonal changes can lead to spinal misalignment and pain. Many women also develop carpal tunnel towards the end of pregnancy and into post-pregnancy while caring for the baby the first few months.
Thankfully, prenatal chiropractors specialize in relieving the pain associated with pregnancy as well as make the birthing process as smooth as possible.
Let’s dive into some advantages to receiving regular chiropractic treatment.
Relieves pregnancy symptoms
Swelling in the hands and feet, morning sickness and nausea, headaches, and nausea are few of several common symptoms experienced during pregnancy. Chiropractic adjustments such as spinal alignment and joint manipulation help relax the muscles, improving digestion, nerve pressure, and sleep.
Soothes low back and hip pain
As the uterus expands for the growing baby, the curve of the back increases to carry the weight. Your pelvis also begins to shift to prepare the body for labor. Both of these physical changes can cause aches and pain in the lower back and hip areas. Fortunately, assisted stretching and spinal alignment can help reset your posture and add some relief to those expanding muscles.
Eases labor and delivery pain
With methods like the Webster Technique and other musculoskeletal manipulation, studies have shown that chiropractic care during pregnancy has helped alleviate labor pain. Chiropractic sessions also help expecting patients with pelvic alignment, which aids in labor time.
When to seek Prenatal Care
Many expecting patients choose to see a chiropractor once they’ve started to experience pain or discomfort, but there is no restricted time frame. In other words, you can begin chiropractic care any time of your pregnancy!
DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice. Always be sure to consult your primary care doctor before starting any new type of treatment.