Chiropractic care for pregnancy
Chiropractic care was and is an absolute staple in my prenatal health. It has kept me comfortable, it has assisted with my overall health, and as I learned with B, it was a huge asset to my preparation for birth. I made sure to use a chiropractor who specialized in Webster’s Technique, which is super gentle. This ensured that there were no contraindications during the 1st trimester for adjustments. I was a higher risk pregnancy with B and was on restricted activity, and I still was able to have adjustment safely through that. Some people are more comfortable waiting until the second trimester for treatment, which is totally okay, but especially on subsequent pregnancies, you may notice that the pregnancy discomfort sets in a little sooner than the first.
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One of the biggest reasons this care is so essential during pregnancy is due to the hormone, Relaxin, in the body. All the tendons that support the pelvis become a lot looser. A lot of times you have aches and pains before you are even pregnant. It is just the natural wear and tear of adult life. Then we add that hormone in and it will cause instability within the pelvis. It is important for good movement and good alignment of the pelvis during the pregnancy is to help moms be more comfortable, especially with sciatica, low back pain, hip pain, and shooting leg pain. I, first hand, can attest that chiropractic care also helped with my round ligament pain and also with lightning crotch and pelvic pressure. Adjustments can help to relieve so many of the pregnancy symptoms. Do not believe anyone for a second that you just have to suck it up and deal with it! Yes, those pains are normal but they do not have to be a constant.
If you are having pain in the 1st trimester, leg pain, or low back pain, these are important symptoms to seek adjustments for (immediately in my opinion). The earlier you go in for care (in the pregnancy) the more likely the end of the pregnancy will be much more comfortable.
How chiropractic affects the birthing process
Throughout the pregnancy, we have Relaxin pumping through our bodies helping our ligaments, tendons, and muscle to relax, so our hips can expand for birth. When my hips started to expand with B, I was constantly going in because I was having pain in my Sacrum. Chiropractic adjustments can assist with the movement of the sacrum. If the sacrum has good movement, it will move back and help the baby come down smoother, when the baby begins to descend and through labor.
How soon can you have chiropractic care after you have the baby
Most OBGYNs and Midwives will recommend at least one week. With Webster’s technique, it is very gentle, so the adjustment would consist of soft tissue work and gentle stretching. If Mom had a rough birth or cesarian birth, the chiropractor will be sure to discuss with you through the process to make sure they are able to provide care that you are comfortable with and that your body can handle. With C-Sections, there is generally a longer healing period. Talk with your chiropractor about when would be best to come in for care. When you start your adjustments, there should be nothing that will increase intra-abdominal pressure. The work will be kept extremely gentle, no excess pressure, and consist of soft tissue work and light stretching. Be sure to communicate with your chiropractor during the adjustment to help them know if the pressure at any point feels like it is too much. The care can vary per person.
Postnatal Chirporactic Care
After birth, the hormone Relaxin is going to still be high in the body. Your pelvis is likely not going to be aligned after delivery, it is very normal for the pelvis to be rotated and have tight muscles on one side. Every body is going to be different based upon the pregnancy and the delivery. There is not going to necessarily be a huge difference except there is not a baby in the body anymore and the body will need a tuneup alignment. When moms have alignments after birth, it will help the organs in your body go back to their correct location as well. These adjustments can also assist with the muscles in the pelvic floor.
When a baby is delivered cesarian, it does not necessarily mean that it is an easier birth for the baby. The baby is usually pulled out by their head which can be hard on their little necks. When babies are delivered vaginally, their bodies go through a lot as well. We can even go further than the delivery and note that these babies were crammed inside the womb for almost 10 months (not always the case). Though this is a natural process, chiropractic care can assist with their health and comfort following delivery.
Recommended with every birth would be to get your newborn seen by their chiropractor because that could be the difference of between favoring one side while they nurse, turning their head, only using one arm, having a good latch, etc. If there is anything out of whack creating pressure on nerves throughout the body, it will have affect function within the body. Newborns can be seen immediately after birth. B was seen at 4 days old.
If you notice that when your baby is in the car seat and they only lean their head a certain way, if they are favoring a side when laying down, if they are only nursing on one side, if they are colicky, if they cry all the time, if they are inconsolable, if they are having nursing issues, and if they are having reflux or digestion issues, please address these with your chiropractor. Sometimes a small adjustment is the fix of what could grow into a big problem!
Chiropractic care can assist with improvement of digestion by focusing on the part of the spine that houses the parasympathetic nervous system aka the Rest and Digest, and when the chiropractor works on that area it will relax those functions as the spine is adjusted. When the Rest and Digest is stimulated, you will a lot of times see a big increase in sleep and a lot of poop. Note -if the baby is having sleep issues, chiropractic care can assist with that too.
If you are having major nursing issues due to latch, some Chiropractors can identify tongue and lip ties. Sometimes chiropractic care (cranial work) can help correct the latch but there are other factors that will play into getting the tie revised. (Be sure to tune into the LIVE session for more information on lip and tongue ties! There is some in-depth information on this there).
Chiropractic care is a great resource for pregnancy, postnatal care, and for newborns and infants. It works right alongside of your care with your OBGYN/Midwife. Having chiropractic care is crucial to maintaining comfort during pregnancy, upkeeping yourself during the 4th trimester, and I truly believe it is one of the best types of care you can provide your newborn.
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Be sure to watch my interview with Dr. Julian Giles with True Vitality KC. This post is based on content within the interview but the video goes more in-depth on certain topics. To watch the full video with our Expert Speaker, you can sign up here and have it delivered to your inbox. Be sure to sign up for our emails to be the first to know about and have all Expert Speaker videos and posts sent straight to your email!
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