One study showed that women who were adjusted during pregnancy had 25% shorter labors than women who were not. This percentage went up to 36% in women who were delivering their second or third babies.
Is chiropractic care during pregnancy safe?
There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. Dr. Anastasia Akrivos is trained to work with women who are pregnant and is able to address health concerns from pre-conception to pregnancy, and on to post-partum care.
Although, Dr. Akrivos is not here to replace your obstetric specialist, she can act as your wellness and health partner to help you during this period in your life with concerns about nutrition, management of nausea and morning sickness, natural pain relief for conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, and sciatica, improving physical strength and stability, and birthing preparation.
Dr. Akrivos uses tables that adjust for a pregnant woman’s body, and performs techniques that avoid unnecessary pressure on the abdomen. She will also provide you with exercises and stretches that are safe to use during pregnancy.
Why should I have chiropractic care during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrine changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby. The following changes could result in misaligned spinal or pelvic joints:
- • Protruding abdomen and increased back curve
- • Pelvic changes
- • Postural adaptations from changing center of gravity
- • Abdominal muscle weakness
Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is another reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. This can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth. Breech and posterior positions can interfere with the natural ease of labor and lead to interventions such as c-sections.
In addition to a strong focus on lower back and pelvic alignment and strengthening, chiropractic care during pregnancy also focuses on stabilizing and strengthening the entire body. We often address issues with headaches, neck and upper back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, poor circulation and swelling, and plantar fasciitis and foot orthotic support.
Nutritional concerns are also very important for our pregnant patients. Dr. Akrivos is trained in helping women design healthy menu plans for optimal weight gain and preventing nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy and post-partum to support breastfeeding. High quality pre-natal supplementation is offered along with safe, natural alternatives for therapeutic herbal remedies.
What are the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can provide benefits for women who are pregnant. Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:
- • Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
- • Controlling symptoms of nausea
- • Reducing the time of labor and delivery
- • Relieving back, neck or joint pain
- • Prevent a potential cesarean delivery
- • Improving overall health of mother and developing baby through healthy lifestyle and diet
What about chiropractic care and breech deliveries?
The late Larry Webster, D.C., Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association(ICPA), developed a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment which enables chiropractors to establish balance in the pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments. This balanced state in the pelvis has been clinically shown to allow for optimal fetal positioning. The technique is known as the Webster Technique.
It is considered normal by some for a baby to present breech until the third trimester. Most birth practitioners are not concerned with breech presentations until a patient is 37 weeks along. Approximately 4% of all pregnancies result in a breech presentation.
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique. Further, the results from the study suggest that it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique as soon as the 8th month of pregnancy when a woman has a breech presentation.
Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends that women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy. With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether. Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and therefore results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.