Pregnancy is extremely hard on the lower back as well as on the neck and shoulders. Examine the spine of an expectant mother from the side and it’s easy to understand why they’re in pain. Due to the increased development of the breast tissue, the shoulders are rounded forward, placing tremendous pressure on the neck and shoulders. The weight of the growing child places the lower back in a strenuous position.
The nine months of pregnancy brings many hormonal changes that relax the ligament stabilizing the lower back and pelvis. As the pelvis rotates down in the front, the muscles of the lower back become short and tight, causing an increase in pressure on the pain sensitive joint of the lower back, producing achy lower back pain.
Chiropractic care can help make this special time in a woman’s life as enjoyable as it was meant to be.
Studies have shown that women who received chiropractic treatments during pregnancy had labor time that was 25-31% shorter than those of women who had not. In addition, chiropractic care seemed to reduce the occurrence of ”back labor” during the delivery process (refers to the pain and discomfort that a laboring women experience in their lower back).
Between 32-37 weeks of pregnancy, a baby who has not turned will present in a breech position (buttocks first). When the baby maintains this position in delivery, the obstetrician will opt for delivery by C-section. The Webster chiropractic technique is specifically designed to help the baby reposition appropriately in the uterus by addressing the mom’s pelvic structures (sacrum, ligaments and thigh muscles). Studies have shown a high success rate for the Webster Technique, with timely management.
A chiropractor will never try to manipulate the fetus from the outside; Direct manipulation of the baby is called an ECV (External Cephalic Version) and is made in the hospital at 37-38 weeks of gestation by a physician.
In addition to being a safe approach for the mother and the baby, chiropractic care promotes the opening of the pelvis, helping with the turning of the baby in the uterus ideal for a natural birth.
The care you receive is tailored for your comfort and needs. A special table or pillow can be used to allow gentle adjustments and soft tissue therapy to be done without putting pressure on the belly. Some adjustments can also be administered in a seated position, specially in the late stages of pregnancy to assure the best comfort for the patient.
After birth, rehabilitation of the spine, pelvis, strengthening of the pelvic floor and core muscles may be needed. Gentle chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue release can be made by your chiropractor to ensure proper healing and restoration of the spine and pelvic structures.