From time to time a patient will ask if its ok to continue their chiropractic treatment while pregnant. My answer is always yes.
Studies show chiropractic manipulation to be many times safer than taking over-the-counter medications. Special techniques to allow for comfort like the use of pregnancy pillows designed for the expectant mother and side posture adjusting. As a result of changes in the expectant mothers hormone profile, ligaments are more pliable often less force is needed for adjustments. A detailed history will reveal any other precautions that should be observed.
The benefits of having chiropractic care during pregnancy are two fold. First the benefits for the pregnant woman:
- Greater energy levels
- Improved posture
- Better balance
Less back and leg pain
- Less cramping
- Less headaches
- Improved immune function
- Lowered stress levels
- Shorter and less pain during labour
- Less medication for pain control
The other beneficiary is the developing baby. As a result of a healthier mum, the developing baby is more likely to enter the world in a healthy state. We know that the developing baby gets its nourishment from it’s mother via the placenta. Anything the mother eats, drinks and breathes (good and bad) may find its way into the placenta and eventually the baby. We also know that the mother’s level of stress has an impact on the baby too. It is thought that the nervous system of a baby developing with high levels of maternal stress is going to be more sensitive to stress when it’s born. This makes good sense as the baby will be prepared for the world it’s being born into. A stressed baby however is less likely to breastfeed easily and less likely to settle.
Poor spine and nervous system health will increase the mothers stress levels and impact on the baby.
Our top tips for health during pregnancy:
- Stay active – exercise keeps you fit and reduces the impact of your changing body shape.
- Educate yourself on the requirements for a healthy birth. Among all the books on pregnancy and childbirth we like:
- “Well Adjusted Babies” by Jennifer Barnham Floriani
- “The Gentle Birth Method”
- “Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering”
- Eat Well!
- See a Chiropractor regularly!
Ravi looking after one of our pregnant patients.