Is Chiropractic Safe During Pregnancy?
Chiropractic is not only safe when you are pregnant, pregnancy may be one of the best times to receive chiropractic care. The changes that take place within the pregnant woman’s body are profound, and take place in a relatively short period of time. The additional stress placed on the body by the baby, combined with an average weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds, can result in considerable discomfort; studies have shown that at least half of expectant mothers develop back pain during their pregnancies. Also, during pregnancy the physiological and hormonal changes that occur can result in symptoms of spinal or joint misalignment and problems such as protruding abdomen, increased back curvature, pelvic changes, and postural abnormalities.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can thus provide many benefits for pregnant women, including:
- Maintaining a healthier body during pregnancy
- Relieving back, neck or joint pain
- Helping to control nausea and allowing more activity during pregnancy
- Reducing the need for pain medication, during both pregnancy and delivery
- Shortening the time of labor and delivery
- Creating optimal fetal positioning
- Preventing potential cesarean delivery
All chiropractors receive training in how to work with pregnant women. Some use tables that can be adjusted to accommodate a pregnant woman’s changing body, and utilize techniques designed to avoid unnecessary pressure on the abdomen. Some chiropractors seek additional training in prenatal and postnatal care, and become certified with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) as a DACCP, CACCP, or as Webster Certified to work specifically with pelvic balance during pregnancy. Chiropractors can also provide you with exercises and stretching routines that are safe to use during pregnancy.
It is important during pregnancy to maintain a strong body and mind. A healthy pregnancy requires a balanced spine, hips and pelvis, and internal organs free from postural or nerve stress. This is even more important in late pregnancy, as the baby’s head presses down on the mother’s back and legs, potentially irritating the sciatic nerve. If you already suffer from low-back pain, these problems can become even worse. Safe, effective chiropractic care helps you to ensure that all your bodily systems continue to function properly during your pregnancy.
There are no known contraindications to chiropractic treatment during pregnancy. In addition, chiropractic care during the actual labor and birth process itself has been found in studies to shorten labor time by 25 to 60 percent, reduce the amount of pain medication required, and help make the whole delivery process more comfortable.