There are countless ways a woman’s body changes through pregnancy. One of the most obvious changes is that of a woman’s posture. I remember the day my husband said to me “ooh, you started walking like a pregnant woman today!” As a chiropractor, you’d think I would have noticed as I slowly started standing and walking differently. I didn’t – all of a sudden one day, it just magically seemed to show up! Like every other woman out there, as my baby grew, the rest of my body made necessary modifications and compensations to keep everything in balance. Well – as much balance as is possible when you’re center of gravity starts shifting!
I’m grateful to have been under great quality chiropractic care for the last 10 years. Not a week has gone by that I haven’t been checked, and adjusted when necessary. I have the added bonus of being married to a chiropractor – and I’m not going to lie – there were many nights throughout my pregnancy when I’d ask for an adjustment in the middle of the night, to help me stay more comfortable and sleep a little better. But not every woman knows how important chiropractic care is before becoming pregnant – and many women don’t know it’s long list of benefits until symptoms start to appear, and they’re searching for ways to alleviate their discomfort and make it through the remainder of those nine months!
More Than A Pain in the Butt
One of the most common reasons a pregnant woman schedules an appointment in our office for the first time is due to “sciatica” or some other type of low back pain condition. As the baby grows, the curve in a woman’s low back increases to compensate for this shift in her center of gravity. If the low back isn’t moving well to begin with, the nerves in that area of her spine can become irritated. These nerves are responsible for many functions, and when irritated, often result in muscle spasms or shooting pain in the low back or down the leg. Even more importantly than that, however, those nerves are responsible for sending message between the brain and the reproductive organs! While the pain can be intense and even debilitating, the more concerning aspect is the fact that irritated nerves in this area result in less than optimal growth and development signals being sent toward the baby and its environment.
Chiropractic doesn’t “treat” any condition – but rather optimizes the body’s health level and healing potential. It’s no different for a woman expecting a child – but perhaps even more important during this stage at life, because there’s even more to gain from an optimally- functioning neurological system because the baby benefits as its grows! As a mother, I know that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t have done to create the best possible environment in which my growing baby could thrive – and love helping other women accomplish the same thing. Adjustments are gentle and specific. In our office, we utilize a technique designed for pregnancy – the Webster Technique – to check for optimal alignment of the pelvis throughout pregnancy. Not only does this keep the mother more comfortable, but often facilitates proper positioning of the baby for labor and delivery.
There are so many additional ways a properly functioning nerve system benefits a pregnant mother. Patients report less nausea and morning sickness, heartburn, shortness of breath, constipation, and hemorrhoids, as well as improved quality of sleep and energy throughout the day.
Being under regular chiropractic care before pregnancy helps to create an optimum environment for a baby to be conceived, as well as the woman’s body to respond well to all the changes soon to come. While most women know to take a pre-natal vitamin, often times their awareness of ways they can prepare for a healthy pregnancy – and give their growing baby every health advantage possible, stops there. Additional considerations to discuss with your trusted health advocate include: proper work-station set-up (maybe even changing the chair you sit in), sleep requirements, exercise modifications and goals, and ways to minimize stress and maximize relaxation and a positive mind-set and ease about labor, delivery and beyond.