Chiropractic care in pregnancy is an essential ingredient to your pre-natal care choices. Dr. Grantland, DC, FICPA has additional training in prenatal and pregnancy care through the ICPA, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and understands that there may be pre-existing unnoticed imbalances in your spine and pelvis and can cause these areas to become overtaxed during pregnancy.
The added stresses lead to discomfort and difficulty while performing routine, daily activities. During pregnancy, most women experience a number of neuromuscular and biomechanical problems that respond favorably to gentle, safe, non-invasive chiropractic care. There are four stages in which having a fully functional nervous system can help both mother and child.
Stage 1: Pre-Conception
Most women conceive without thinking about the structural support needed to nurture a growing fetus. Chiropractic is a viable, non-invasive, and safe method to help get the body prepared for conception. The body is controlled by the nervous system and many women have subluxations (misaligned vertebra) particularly in the low back and pelvic regions that do not allow for proper nerve flow to the end organs.
Stage 2: Pregnancy
In pregnancy the body undergoes a variety of changes each day. These changes can include: weight gain, fatigue of spinal and pelvic muscles and ligaments, increased joint stress especially in lower back, release of the hormone Relaxin, causing joints to become hypermobile and misalign more easily.
These changes primarily affect the pelvic and spinal ligaments, muscles, joints and other supportive soft tissues. Pelvic and spinal structures can be stressed, altering spinal biomechanics. The result is an increased stress on the body often leading to pain and discomfort. As a chiropractor Dr. Grantland, DC can help alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms arising from the muscular, ligamentous, and biomechanical stresses encountered during pregnancy while allowing optimum positioning of the baby. This is accomplished through the use of a number of highly specialized procedures and techniques, including the Webster Technique. The Webster Technique, discovered by Dr. Larry Webster, is a specific chiropractic adjustment aimed at assessing the pelvis, sacrum.
Stage 3: Labor & Birth
Labor and birth can be less taxing when the mother is under chiropractic care throughout pregnancy because she has addressed the structural aspects to optimize her body’s ability. Any baby position even slightly off during birth will slow down labor, adding pain to both the mother and baby. Many women have been told that their babies were too big, or labor “just slowed down” when it was really the baby’s presentation interfering with the normal labor process and progression. When the labor process is not optimal interventions may be implemented turning natural labor into an operation (c-section). Women under chiropractic care often report they experience less medical intervention, shorter births with less trauma and easier transitions during labor as the baby is coming down the birth canal. Chiropractic care is accomplished with proper alignment in the pelvis and sacrum allowing enough space for the baby to come down with less effort and trauma. Contractions are smoother and more consistent when the nervous system is functioning fully; in turn the hormone secretions and end organs are working efficiently.
Any contraction of the pelvic diameter that diminishes the capacity of the pelvis can create dystocia (difficulty) during labor. Furthermore, the diameter of the woman’s pelvis is decreased when the sacrum is displaced (subluxated). Chiropractors address these subluxations by delivering a gentle adjustment to realign the sacrum and thus reduce the chances of having dystocia (abnormal or difficult birth/labor).
During delivery, any birth position other than the ideal vertex position of the baby indicates the inhibiting effects of constraint. Such positions lead to longer, more painful labors with increased medical interventions during birth. Often C-sections are resorted to and both the mother and baby miss the many benefits of a natural vaginal birth. A Cesarean may also be performed if the baby is found to be in a breech position
Throughout pregnancy a woman should have chiropractic care to help eliminate the possibility of a breech presentation and this can be done with non-invasive, gentle adjusting techniques aimed at sacral analysis (Webster Technique) and soft tissue correction (Craniosacral Therapy). The Webster Technique, discovered by Dr. Larry Webster, is a specific chiropractic adjustment aimed at assessing the pelvis, sacrum and enhancing neurobiomechanics in all patients. Working to correct sacral subluxations, this technique balances pelvic muscles and ligaments in the woman’s pelvis, removes constraint and allows the baby to get into the best possible position for birth. This technique has a high success rate in balancing the pelvis and surrounding tissues.
Stage 4: Post Delivery
What an exciting time for new mothers! They soon forget the trauma their body underwent during the delivery. The internal anatomy is undergoing a reorganization that can be helped with continued chiropractic care and Craniosacral Therapy. Women find they are able to manage the changes, stress, fatigue, breastfeeding, discomfort and personal well-being better with chiropractic care.
The baby should be checked shortly after birth as well to make sure the cranium and spine are moving correctly, thus the nervous system is functioning properly. There are some signs to look for that could indicate the need for chiropractic care, such as difficulty in breast feeding either with their latch, suck or palate, not getting adequate sleep, infrequent or difficulty with bowel movements, behavior challenges such as colic, acid reflux, not gaining weight, torticollis and restricted range of motion or pain with certain motion to name a few. Dr. Grantland, DC, FICPA is Certified in Chiropractic Pediatrics (ICPA) and uses gentle techniques, unlike those used on adults, to help restore normal biomechanics to the cranium and spine.