At Dody Chiropractic in Littleton, CO, we know that no other time in a woman’s life is the incredible adaptive capacity of the human body more evident than during pregnancy. The changes in body chemistry and function that accompany pregnancy are amazing. When a woman is pregnant, the hormones in her body changes, and she experiences different forms of pain. A lot of the pain experienced is due to the baby placing pressure on nerves, joints, and muscles. This pain can make it difficult to sleep, relax, or get through the day.
That is where a chiropractor can help. The International Pediatric Association states that chiropractic care is not only safe and effective during pregnancy, but there are benefits of chiropractic care that can help with labor and delivery.
What Happens During Pregnancy?
As pregnancy progresses, some of these changes can compromise the integrity of the mother’s spine and nervous system.
- Progesterone decreases smooth muscle tone, which alters the blood supply as well as the integrity of all joints of the body.
- Estrogen relaxes the joint capsules allowing for more movement in the joints, including those of the pelvis. This “relaxation” effect allows the pelvis to open sufficiently to allow the baby’s head and shoulders to pass through, also supported by the hormone Relaxin.
- Weight gain and the increase in the lumbar curve are also responsible for added stress on the mother’s spine as a unit and thus her nervous system.
- Different types of pelvis shapes can also exert various stresses during pregnancy.
- Other influences will also be the number of pregnancies, the pelvic muscles’ status, levels of exercise, and past trauma to the pelvis or coccyx.
- More pregnancies can often mean more susceptibility. With each successive pregnancy, the pelvic muscles and ligaments become more stretched and pre-dispose the pelvis to misalignment. However, at the same time, they are also easier misalignments to correct.
- Misalignments of the pelvis can occur in 3 separate places-each of the Sacro-Illiac joints and the symphysis pubis joint, all of which happens readily in pregnancy. Misalignments can cause stress and weakness to the supporting structures of the pelvis.
Why Do You Need Proper Alignment?
Proper Pelvic Alignment is of utmost importance during pregnancy since the uterus attaches directly to the pelvis by way of various ligaments.
Of most importance are:
The Round Ligaments – extend from the side of the uterus and attach into the labia and are affected by the alignment of the pubic bones. Prevent the uterus from moving posterior (backward). During pregnancy, the round ligaments undergo an increase in both size and diameter. Uneven tension will result in increased rotational stress leading to further off-center positioning of the uterus.
The Uterosacral Ligaments – gatherings of pelvis fascia connecting the cervix to the anterior (front) portion of the sacrum at S2 & S3 level. (Uterus to Sacrum as the name infers). Prevents the uterus from displacing forwards and downwards. A posteriorly rotated sacrum may result in torsion of the uterosacral ligament contributing to an imbalance in the uterus leading to intrauterine constraint.
Benefits Of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
As a woman moves further along in her pregnancy, tension builds up in the hips, spine, lower back, and other areas that may cause physical discomfort. The stress that builds up in these areas can make it difficult to walk or perform daily activities. With regular chiropractic treatment, the pressure placed on the back, hips, and joints will be alleviated, and stress on the spine and throughout the nerves will be reduced.
2. Pelvic Balance
As your baby grows, the need for space is crucial to the development of the baby. Chiropractic treatment during pregnancy helps maintain pelvic balance and prevent pelvic misalignment. The correct alignment of the pelvis will allow the baby to have more space to move as he or she grows, helping the baby get in the proper position for birth. Your developing baby needs room to move around. When the pelvis is misaligned, it prevents normal movements, which can lead to congenital disabilities. Regular chiropractic care can help minimize the risk by balancing the pelvis.
3. Shortens Labor And Delivery Times
When the pelvis is balanced, and there is room for the baby to get in the proper birthing position, this helps shorten labor and delivery times. Ensuring the pelvis is in the correct position reduces the need for medical interventions such as cesarean delivery due to the baby being in a breech position.
4. Decreased Need For Pain Medication
According to some research studies, approximately 50% of women who received chiropractic care during pregnancy had a higher pain threshold. Less pain reduces the need for pain medication during labor and delivery and helps the process go smoother. Not to mention less chemical stress during the delivery process.
5. Faster Recovery After Labor
Giving birth can place additional stress on ligaments, nerves, and emotions. Regular chiropractic care helps eliminate these stresses and stimulates endorphins that can positively impact a person’s mood. Reduced stress means a lower chance of developing postpartum depression, as well as having tension on the nerves and muscles. Therefore, it is recommended to see a chiropractor during pregnancy and after childbirth to restore your body to its pre-pregnancy condition.
6. Optimizes Function Levels In Nervous System
During pregnancy, when your spine is misaligned, it affects your muscles and joints, and it can prevent the nervous system’s optimal functioning. Regular chiropractic care during pregnancy will help keep your spine properly aligned, which will prevent your nervous system from being affected negatively.
Gentle, Effective Chiropractic Technique for Pregnancy
While it is safe to see a chiropractor during pregnancy, the technique that is used is essential. Chiropractors should use a gentle style that does not put pressure on the abdomen. One method that can be used is known as the Koren Specific Technique, or KST for short.
This technique is a gentle technique that provides long-lasting and efficient results. It was discovered by a chiropractor, Dr. Tedd Koren, in 2003. According to Dr. Koren, this technique “is the perfect way to ask the body what needs correction.”
The technique involves using an adjustment tool, an Arthrostim, or the hands to perform assessments and adjustments. KST is a gentle style and safe chiropractic method for pregnancy because there is no twisting, cracking, or popping involved.
There are many benefits of chiropractic care for a woman who is pregnant. As a chiropractor in Littleton, CO, Dr. Dody is familiar with the gentle and safe techniques used to help women during their pregnancy and birthing process. He uses the KST technique with pregnant women, and it is a beneficial form of chiropractic care in individuals of all ages, from newborns to the elderly.
If you are a pregnant woman experiencing pain or issues with your muscles, joints, back, or hips, then chiropractic care can be an option. No surgeries or drugs are involved, just safe physical therapy that will help relieve tension and ease discomfort. Contact our Littleton chiropractic clinic online today, and our friendly staff will reach out to you as soon as possible.