Chiropractic and Pregnancy
Updated: Feb 18
We get asked all the time if chiropractic adjustments can help during pregnancy and that is something we specialize in here at our office. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, drug free, and gentle approach to help women throughout the entire pregnancy process. The ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) recommends pregnant women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to achieve pelvic balance, giving babies a better chance of moving into a correct position for birth. Optimal baby position at the time of birth can also result in an easier labor and therefore safer delivery for both mother and baby.
During the course of your pregnancy, there are so many changes happening with your body, not only on the outside but also on the inside. Your body is changing and preparing for the birth of your baby. The obvious changes can be seen on the outside. As your belly grows, the center of gravity moves anteriorly, increasing the curve of your low back and potentially can cause extra strain and force through the lumbar spine. With this change in posture, sometimes walking (gait) becomes wide, creating a variation in skeletal joints and muscle mobility. This can lead to pain in the pelvic joints, hip joints and sciatic nerves. When the baby begins to grow and there is an increase in fetal movement, it can cause expansion of the lower rib cage which can be aggravating to the joints in the mid back that connect the ribs to the spine. Altered posture throughout the shoulders offset change in the center of gravity causing loss of cervical curve and can lead to headaches. The hormone relaxin is also being released throughout pregnancy, preparing for the birth of your baby. Relaxin loosens joints, increasing mobility and decreasing stability which can amplify pelvic imbalances.
Chiropractic adjustments can address specific misalignments that can make the delivery process easier. If there are sacral misalignments, this can lead to disruptions in neurobiomechanics of the pelvic region which may contribute to dystocia (difficult labor). If there are pelvic misalignments, it can alter pelvic opening and creates tension through the soft tissues which support the uterus.
There are specific techniques known as the “Webster Technique,” which was created by Larry Webster, founder of the ICPA. This technique has been shown to allow for optimal pelvic alignment during pregnancy by corrections sacral/pelvic subluxations. A study showed a reported 92% of babies turning to a vertex position following use of the Webster Technique by a chiropractor. Chiropractors are not turning babes or assessing and managing any fetal conditions or positions directly, but rather ensuring balance in a pregnant women’s body which may result in the fetus achieving an ideal position for birth.
· Pelvic alignment and balance
· Reduced need for pain medication
· Less back pain
· Shorter labor times
If you are struggling with low back pain or your baby is breech, consider regular chiropractic care to help relieve that pain and achieve pelvic balance and giving the baby a better chance of moving into the correct position for birth. Schedule an appointment for a natural and safe method for both mom and baby. We want nothing more than for you to experience a health and natural labor and delivery experience.
Characteristics of Chiropractors Using the Webster Technique in the Care of Pregnant Patients. Joel Alcantara, DC, Ph.D. (c), Jeanne Ohm, DC and Joey Alcantara, DC.
The Webster Technique: Definition, Application and Implications. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health - Chiropractic. Ohm, J, & Alcantara, J.
Pistolese, R. “The Webster Technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetric implications.” Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy.” 2002 Jul-Aug; 25(6): E1-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12183701.