Chiropractic and Pregnancy
Over the past several weeks, we have had several questions about pregnancy and chiropractic care.
- Can you work on pregnant women?
- Why should pregnant patients consider chiropractic care?
- Is it safe for the growing baby?
- Is it safe for the expected mother?
- What about x-rays?
- Why didn’t I hear about this when I was pregnant?
The list of questions can go on but those were the most common, with some variation of course.
During pregnancy, the body is constantly changing and growing to accommodate for the new life being created. The center of gravity is shifting, ligaments are softening, postures are changing and hormones are modifying to create life. With all those changes pregnant women often experience a myriad of symptoms. In fact, studies show more than 35% of pregnant woman experience moderate to severe lower back pain, with the onset typically being between the fifth and seventh month of pregnancy, but some experience as soon as the 8th week. In a study done in 2016, outcomes improved under chiropractic care, such as decrease in symptoms related to pregnancy, getting in and out of a car, sitting, standing and walking. Another study showed that women who received chiropractic care during pregnancy had improvements at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. So, pregnant women that receive care benefit both during their pregnancy and after the baby is born.
Other studies have shown that patients may benefit beyond lower back pain. These studies suggest chiropractic can help maintain a healthier pregnancy, reduce the need for pain medications, control symptoms of nausea, reduce/relieve neck and midback pain, potentially reduce labor time and improve the immunity of both the mother and the baby.
“Is Chiropractic Safe for a growing baby and an expected mother?” According to AmericanPregancy.org, a non-profit organization promotion health and wellness for mothers and babies, “There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant.” Chiropractic is safe and effective for pregnancy because chiropractors are trained to detect and correct imbalances in the spine and pelvis. Upper Cervical Chiropractic (like we practice here at Intelligent Balance) is a light gentle approach to restore proper biomechanics of the spine. In an article published in 2014, chiropractic is the preferred referral for some of the common ailments experienced during pregnancy. So, if other medical providers are referring to chiropractors and outside sources are independently promoting chiropractic during pregnancy it can be assumed that chiropractic is safe. The question about x-rays comes up often as well, because it is commonly known that radiation exposure should be limited during pregnancy. We do not have to take x-rays on pregnant women, and that can be further discussed on an individual basis. For more information, please do not hesitate to ask us for more information.
Finally, WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS WHEN I WAS PREGNANT? This is a question we not only get around pregnancy but a fair amount of other conditions. Chiropractic is one of the best kept secrets and we encourage you to share with someone who might be experiences some of the symptoms mentioned above!
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Chiropr Man Therap. 2014; 22: 15.