Special Guest Blog by Dr. Nicole Kligo of Whole Life Chiropractic and Wellness.
Chiropractors are experts in body mechanics and many compliment spinal adjustments with exercises, nutritional assessments, additional therapies, and postural guidelines to help you optimize your care.
How can chiropractic care add comfort? Consider the following aspects of pregnancy: rapid increase/decrease in weight, postural changes, changes in sleep patterns & positions, altered appetite and eating habits, loosening of body ligaments to allow for growth/labor, or emotional changes (hormonal shifts/new family stress). All of these changes can lead to misalignments in the skeletal system and, in return, play a role in limiting room for baby to grow, increasing pain/discomfort and provide a less than an optimal state for labor & delivery.
Studies have found that about HALF of all expectant mothers will develop low-back pain at some point during their pregnancies. (Östgaard HC, et al. Prevalence of Back Pain in Pregnancy. Spine 1991;16:549-52 & Mantle MJ, et al. Backache in pregnancy. Rheumatology Rehabilitation 1977;16:95-101). Those who may have already had low-back pain report it getting worse during pregnancy.
Specific adjustments eliminate these imbalances in the spine, which leads to more sleep, better digestion, easier movements, less pain and more enjoyment during pregnancy.
What about the labor and delivery process? While reviewing obstetric texts, the reported reasons for dystocia (slow or difficult labor) are pelvic imbalance and its resulting effects on the uterus and baby’s position. Balance in pelvic muscles and ligaments create more space within the pelvis, and therefore lead to a safer and easier delivery. Published studies have indicated that chiropractic care does, in fact, reduce labor time, the need for pain medication and medical interventions.
Comfort for baby too! In addition, as a baby develops, the uterus enlarges to accommodate the rapid growth. So long as the pelvis is in a balanced state, the ligaments connected to the uterus remain equalized. If the pelvis is out of balance in any way, these ligaments become torqued and twisted, causing constraint. This constraint limits the space of the developing baby. Any compromised position will affect optimal development or ability to move into the ideal presentation for delivery. According to the American Pregnancy Association, approximately 4% of all pregnancies result in a breech presentation. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.