I am a chiropractor based in North Haven, CT, and I specialize in pregnancy. I have a wonderful wife, and three beautiful sons. My wife is actually the reason I work with pregnant women. She had fairly severe symphysis pubis disorder during each pregnancy, and her OB, while compassionate, didn’t have the knowledge to help her. Tylenol didn’t begin to cover the pain, and it was getting worse. I was in chiropractic school at the time and started looking for a chiropractor who specialized in pregnancy and found a huge void. So, with my wife as a guinea pig, I figured out what it took to relieve pelvic pain. I have helped a lot of pregnant women through the years in my own office, and through my blog I get to share the knowledge that I have with pregnant women around the world.
How does chiropractic help with pregnancy pains?
A large percentage of pregnant women experience back pain, sciatic pain, or pelvic pain during pregnancy. Some estimate it to be as high as 9 in 10 women. Although it is completely normal and natural for the body to be taxed by the rapid growth of a baby, it can cause a significant amount of pain and disruption in normal activities for the mother.
As the baby grows and the uterus expands, the mother is forced to make postural adjustments, which in turn can result in tight muscles, stressed joints, and compromised nerve function. The goal of the chiropractic adjustment is to eliminate the stresses on the spine, pelvis, and stomach. Most adjustments will also include round ligament release and gentle stretches. Not only will this eliminate pain, it can prevent future problem by allowing the body to adjust more easily to the stress of carrying a baby.
Comfort for your baby?
Your uterus grows to accommodate the rapid growth of your little one. When your pelvis is balanced, the uterine ligaments support the uterus and help it maintain its optimal shape. If a postural problem causes your pelvis to become misaligned, these ligaments can become taut on one side of the uterus and loose on the other side creating a constrained uterus.
Imagine that your uterus is like an inflated balloon. A constrained uterus is like pinching on either side of the balloon and pulling. It distorts the balloon, making it flatter and oblong. A constrained uterus limits the space available to your developing baby which can cause problems not only for development, but can keep a baby from moving into the optimal area for birth. It can cause posterior positioning and even a breech presentation. By balancing the pelvis and relieving the taut ligaments, then the uterus can return to its optimal shape much like releasing the balloon from your pinching.
Chiropractors can help relieve a constrained uterus thereby allowing the baby to be in optimal birthing position through a maneuver known as the Webster Technique.
Performance of the Webster Technique begins by analysis of the relationship of the bones of the pelvis. Upon finding a restriction, a light force chiropractic adjustment corrects the restriction. The chiropractor will then analyze abdominal muscle and ligament tension and work to relax this tension.
The Webster Technique is very effective. In my office, 90% of my patients are able to deliver without any medical intervention such as forceps, vacuum, or caesarian. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning head down when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique on breech presentation.
Not only are you less likely to have medical intervention with chiropractic care, but a shorter labor. A study done in 1990 showed that women who were under Chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy had reduced labor times. First time moms experienced 25% less time in labor and birth and experienced moms averaged 31% shorter labor times.
If your goal is a healthy, pain-free pregnancy and an uneventful labor, you should make friends with your local chiropractor. To find a chiropractor with a specialty in pregnancy visit the American Pregnancy Association at http://www.americanpregnancy.org/members/chiropractors