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The Connection Between Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

By Genevieve Cunningham

Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an incredible experience. It’s filled with brand new emotions and extreme highs and lows. It’s a special time in a woman’s life -- a time that really has no comparison. But for the sake of total honesty, it should also be noted that it’s really tough. It’s hard on both body and mind, and because of the many changes that happen in a short amount of time, it’s critical that pregnant women put their health and the health of their baby first. Fortunately, there are more options than ever before, and with some of those options -- such as chiropractic care -- women can relish in their ability to have a natural healthcare routine from start to finish.

How Can Chiropractic Help Pregnancy?

For many, the thought of adding chiropractic care to their prenatal routine simply hasn’t crossed their minds at all. However, the benefits of chiropractic care are many. According to the American Pregnancy Association, for a healthy pregnancy, chiropractic care may help with the following:

  • Postural changes that come with a changing body
  • Back pain that comes with growing bellies and a more pronounced curve in the back
  • Pelvic changes that come with an increase in the hormone called relaxin

These are some of the most basic ways in which chiropractic care during pregnancy might benefit overall health, but there are even more reasons to consider chiropractic adjustments.Where do we begin? With the many symptoms that come with these long nine months.

What Pregnancy Symptoms Can Be Reduced With Chiropractic?

Pregnancy comes with a long list of side effects and symptoms. They seem to begin almost right away and last even after you’ve welcomed your baby into your arms. By seeing the chiropractor during pregnancy, you may be able to reduce the following symptoms:

  • Aches and pains - Research suggests that at least 50 percent of pregnant women experience back pain. Chiropractic care may help reduce this pain and make daily life a little easier.
  • Pelvic weakness - As pregnancy progresses, hormones are released in order to loosen the pelvic joints. This is normal, but can also be painful. Regular care may help restore pelvic balance and reduce pain. This is often done using a safe and effective method called the Webster technique -- a gentle method that promotes optimal pelvic function and alignment for pregnant women.
  • Pregnancy headaches - Headaches during pregnancy can be caused by a swing in hormones, physical and mental stress, and tension on the spine. Regular chiropractic care may help realign the spine and remove pressure from spinal nerves that are causing both headaches and general pain.

What About Delivery?

Though pregnancy is riddled with uncomfortable symptoms, expectant moms tend to worry most about delivery. Luckily, this is an area where chiropractic care can help once again. Because chiropractic care helps to balance the pelvis, it may create room for the baby to move into an optimal birthing position. In fact, research suggests that women who receive care throughout pregnancy have shorter labor time by somewhere between 25 and 31 percent. If fear of delivery is troubling you, chiropractic care may be just what is needed to prepare the body and settle the mind.

Chiropractic Care and Hormones: A Healthy Connection

Hormones play a crucial role through your whole pregnancy. Surprisingly, chiropractic care might help improve hormone regulation. Hormones are released and regulated through a system in the body called the endocrine system. Though chiropractic care does not directly treat the nervous system, it does directly affect it. Why does this matter? Because these two systems communicate through the hypothalamus.

By improving the function of the spine and nervous system -- and thus the endocrine system by default -- chiropractic care may support pregnant women and their hormonal ups and downs. This could potentially lead to fewer symptoms caused by wildly fluctuating hormones that include morning sickness, general aches and pains, and frustrating mood swings.

When Is the Right Time for Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?

The number one question before getting any kind of healthcare, especially during pregnancy, is one of safety. Considering the health of two bodies is at stake, the mother must be confident and feel secure in her healthcare options. What does the research say?

Unless otherwise directed by your primary care physician, chiropractic care is considered a safe option for most pregnancies.

How late into a pregnancy can a person receive chiropractic adjustments? Regular care may be beneficial before pregnancy, throughout all nine months, and even after the baby is born.

Can chiropractic care fit into a post-birth recovery plan? Absolutely. Regular chiropractic care may help in the healing process by continuing to support hormone regulation, easing the spine into alignment and better health, reducing aches and pains, and helping the mother to feel valued and supported.

Pregnancy can be a magical and wonderful, but also difficult, journey. With the right care and support, such as regular care from chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic, pregnant women may feel healthy and strong during one of the most important times of their lives.

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