Chiropractic and Pregnancy
During pregnancy the body of the mother works for two people. It is essential that it works to its optimum. Thanks to good chiropractic care, the mother and her baby will be healthy before, during and after childbirth.
Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby
Pregnancy is almost always accompanied by the emergence of back problems or sciatica. In anticipation of childbirth, the body secretes hormones to soften the ligaments. This, together with the weight gain associated with pregnancy, can cause vertebral displacements and causes pain.
The impact on the fetus is significant. Any pain the mother feels, any interference in the nervous system, is transmitted directly to the baby, threatening its health. Since most medications are not advised during this period, the natural chiropractic approach is ideal.
Chiropractic care can also create a larger space in the uterus preventing the risk of intra-uterine closure and optimizing fetal growth. It can also prevent the need for a cesarean delivery.
Easier and shorter childbirth
The diameter of the pelvic opening or birth canal may be limited due to common problems such as vertebral displacement caused by, for example, an old fall. By correcting these problems, chiropractors ensure optimum dilation, which facilitates the passage of the baby.
Another important factor is the position of the baby just before delivery. Chiropractic has special techniques in order for the baby to present in the best possible position.
By facilitating delivery, chiropractic decreases the length of time in labor. This can not only shorten the suffering of the mother but also the baby.
Mother and baby in good shape
After delivery, chiropractic care can rebalance the spine and pelvis of the new mother. This will help you quickly recover your figure and will decrease the risk of postnatal depression, and will in particular, prevent back problems.
It is crucial to see a chiropractor before ligaments become less flexible (about a month after childbirth), that is before the body is set in the "bad" position taken before delivery. It is the last chance to take advantage of the extraordinary body flexibility and to get optimum results.
After birth, the baby should be examined by a chiropractor (as is the case in most western countries).
Any birth, even the one that seems the most straightforward, involves the risk of trauma (especially to the cervical area), and this risk increases even more if forceps or suction is used.
Vomiting, colic, unusual crying, lack of appetite, insomnia or otitis are often linked to underlying spinal problems. These disorders respond well to chiropractic treatment.
A successful first year
• For the mother
New mothers (and fathers too!) suffer fatigue as a result of accumulated nights of interrupted sleep and they often suffer pain in the shoulder blades. The reason for this is the protective instinct that makes us hunch our back when we take a baby in our arms. Chiropractic monitoring can avoid these discomforts.
• For the baby
The first year is a decisive step in the development of the baby. His/her spinal column will grow by 50% during this period, making it very vulnerable. Indeed, the head is huge compared to the rest of the body. To give you an idea, an adult equivalence would be able to withstand a head of about 40 kilos!
There are many mistakes which parents can make, and unfortunately, babies do not come with instructions! You need to know for example that it is best to avoid the premature use of walkers, as this can be the cause of scoliosis (spinal deformity).
Your chiropractor will be there to give you all the necessary advice and guide you through this difficult but exciting adventure of new parenthood.
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Hellstrom B, Sallmander U, "Prevention of Spinal Cord Injury in Hyperextension of the Fetal Head" JAMA; July 1968 Vol 204, No. 12.
Netter F, "Pelvic Viscera and Perineum" Atlas of Human Anatomy; 1994.
Tillement P, La Chiropractie, Connaissances et applications thérapeutiques, Ellébore Editions, 2003.
Towbin A, "Dystocia", "Brain Damage in the Newborn and its Neurologic Sequelle", Abraham Towbin, MD; 1998.