Pregnancy radically changes the body in a myriplethoraad of ways, some more obvious than others. Between the growing belly and the changes in hormone production, pregnancy can be both an incredible blessing and incredibly uncomfortable! Sciatica, joint pain, backaches - these are just a few of the discomforts many women put up with while preparing to welcome a new bundle of joy into the world. While all of these conditions can typically be treated by a chiropractor when your not expecting, can you get chiropractic adjustments while pregnant? The answer is yes.
Fortunately, prenatal chiropractic care not only helps alleviate discomfort and pain for the pregnant mother, but can also help promote an easier, healthier delivery. Because chiropractic care is safe and effective for all stages of pregnancy, it’s beneficial to seek treatment at the earliest sign of discomfort. For preventative measures, you may even begin sessions as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed! But how often should you see your chiropractor when pregnant?
Every pregnancy is different, so the specific needs of the mother-to-be and her baby may vary. It’s common to receive chiropractic adjustments about once a month in the first and second trimesters, and then increase visits as the due date approaches. However, complications in the pregnancy may cause you to see your chiropractor more or less often, depending. It’s important to consult your ob-gyn or health care practitioner for approval to create the best plan of care.
Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor While Pregnant?
Prenatal chiropractic treatments can help you ease discomfort and improve stability and mobility amidst your changing body. As the baby grows, your center of gravity shifts and the curvature of the spine increases. This can affect your posture and balance, it may also increase discomfort in the back as you carry additional weight from the baby. Hormones released to relax the pelvis and ligaments around the abdomen can cause hip and pelvic pain, instability, sacroiliac discomfort, and more. A qualified chiropractor can help keep proper spinal and joint alignment to ease aches and pains, relieve nerve discomfort and more.
Adjustment to the spine can also support the nervous system, helping to alleviate other prenatal conditions such as morning sickness, headaches, swelling, and sciatica. Promoting optimal function of the nervous system through spinal alignment can promote a healthier and more robust immune system and digestive system both for mother and baby. Gentle chiropractic adjustments while pregnant, along with stretching, heat and cold, and other alternative approaches can support an easier, healthier, and more enjoyable pregnancy.
Sciatica and Pregnancy
Sciatica is common during pregnancy, especially in later months. Pressure on the sciatic nerve from the growing baby can cause a sharp burning pain from your hip to your foot, weakness in the leg, tingling, and even numbness. This can making walking, sitting, and sleeping very uncomfortable. While some women may feel relief naturally as the body changes, most will benefit from the help of a chiropractor. Your chiro can develop a treatment plan that includes a series of adjustments and stretches to reduce pain and relieve pressure on the nerve.
Supporting the Baby-to-Be
In addition to easing discomfort for the mother-to-be, prenatal chiropractic care may also benefit the baby-to-be. If the pelvis is out of alignment, it can restrict the amount of space the baby has to grow and develop properly. It can also make it more difficult for the baby to get into the best position for delivery (rear-facing, head down). If the baby isn’t in the optimal position for delivery, it can lead to a more difficult labor or C-section delivery. Chiropractic techniques like the Webster Technique, can adjust for proper alignment of the pelvis, creating more space for the baby to grow and move into optimal positioning for delivery.
Risks of Prenatal Chiropractic Care
The American Pregnancy Association has deemed that there are no major concerns around seeing a chiropractor while pregnant. For many chiropractors, prenatal treatment is fairly common. Some are even trained specifically in applying specific prenatal treatments (like the Webster Technique). Nevertheless, it’s important to make sure your chiropractor is comfortable and educated in prenatal chiropractic care before seeking treatment. There are a few modifications and tools that your chiro may use to avoid putting undue pressure on the abdomen.
While risks are minimal in a healthy pregnancy, it is important to consult your ob-gyn or healthcare provider to get the go-ahead before treatment because some conditions may not benefit from chiropractic adjustments. For example, you shouldn’t see a chiropractor if you have placenta previa, vaginal bleeding, placental abruption, toxemia, or an ectopic pregnancy.
What to Expect From Pregnancy Chiropractic Visits?
Getting adjusted while pregnant is similar to receiving regular chiropractic treatment, except the practitioner may take a few extra factors into account. Your initial intake, assessment, and protocol for creating your plan of care will be similar, but the techniques and methods used will differ.
During treatment, your chiropractor may use a special table or maternity pillow to allow for adjustments while avoiding unneccessary pressure on the abdomen. Prenatal adjustments are typically more gentle, so as to avoid excessive force. Additionally, specialized techniques and stretches may help promote proper alignment and alleviate tension withing the abdomen, hips, and back.
As stated above, frequency of visits for prenatal care will depend on the specific needs of the patient. However, monthly chiropractic visits within the first trimester are the norm. This can increase to bi-weekly or 3 times a month until the last month of pregnancy. In the last month, you may see your chiropractor weekly to encourage optimal positioning of the baby for delivery.
Prenatal Chiropractic Care at Debole Chiropractic
An expectant mother can benefit from chiropractic treatment at every stage of her pregnancy, but the best results can occur when you seek help at the first sign of discomfort. Early treatment can help alleviate pain and prevent complications down the road. At Debole Chiropractic, our caring staff specialize in prenatal care and would love to help you relax and enjoy your pregnancy. If your pregnant in the Victor, NY area, our chiropractic team can help support you though a happy, healthy pregnancy, delivery and postnatal recovery. To learn more about our pregnancy chiropractic care, give us a call at 585-433-5680 or contact us today to set up an appointment.