Our goal is to ensure you have a viable, healthy and comfortable pregnancy.
As a mother’s weight increases, her center of gravity shifts outward and her postural compensations respond accordingly. In addition, the ligament laxity necessary for birthing adds to instability in all of her joints, including her spine and pelvis. Chiropractic adjustments help maintain balance in the body and keep your pelvis mobile and open for birth. Our safe, effective and gentle spinal adjustments to the lower back and pelvis involve techniques that limit pressure on the abdomen. We usually follow along the OB-GYN/midwife schedule, unless you develop pain. We teach you how to prevent aches and pains with therapeutic exercises and proper ergonomics.
Chiropractic care is effective at easing pregnancy discomforts such as:
- Lower back pain
- Groin pain related to the round ligament
- Pain in the glutes
The goal of pre-natal chiropractic adjustments is not only to reduce the mother/baby discomfort but also to allow the baby to be in the best position for delivery. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room for the developing baby to be comfortable and they may seek out a less than optimal positioning for birth. “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.” Most expectant mothers state that they feel like they walk better because there is fluid motion in the hip joints (SI joints).
What is Webster Technique?
The Webster Technique is utilized with our pregnant patients. It is a postural analysis and adjustment aimed at increasing mobility and allowing the pelvis to expand. When this happens, it often frees up space in the uterus, ultimately aiding with labor and delivery.
It is often used on patients who have a breech baby. Your chiropractor will not attempt to turn your baby. Instead, the adjustment is about creating space in the pelvis so your baby can more freely move into an optimal position on their own. This technique is incredibly gentle and noninvasive.
The chiropractors at Division Chiropractic are here to assist you during your pregnancy journey.
Pre-natal massage uses special positioning and techniques to alleviate pain, tension, improve lymphatic and blood circulation and create overall relaxation for mothers-to-be. We use memory foam wedges and body pillows for comfortable positioning. We also have special pregnancy tables with a cutout for the belly so the expectant mother can lie prone. Pre-natal massage addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.
Hormone regulation – Pre-natal massage can regulate moods by reducing the hormones norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) while increasing dopamine and serotonin levels (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression).
Reduction of swelling – Edema, or swelling of the joints during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints, which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s lymph system.
Improvement of Sciatic nerve pain – The uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. This puts pressure on the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and compress nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles.
Other benefits of prenatal massage:
- Reduced back pain
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved circulation
- Reduced edema
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better sleep
- Improve labor outcomes and newborn health
- Decrease symptoms of depression
After conception, acupuncture and herbs can prevent miscarriage by promoting overall health and proper circulation throughout the body, ensuring that essential nutrients are passed from mother to baby.
Acupuncture is also effective at easing pregnancy discomforts such as:
- Anxiety & Depression in Pregnancy
- Breech & Posterior Presentations
- Pregnancy Sinusitis
- Varicose veins, hemorrhoids and vulval varicosities
Acupuncture at the end of the third trimester can help preparing the cervix and pelvis for labor.
A series of 3 weekly acupuncture treatments using a specific point protocol has been shown to reduce mean labor time from 8 hours and two minutes in the control group (70 women) to six hours and 36 minutes in the group of 70 women who received pre-birth acupuncture. Midwives have also report a lower rate of medical intervention when pre-birth acupuncture is administered starting at 36-37 weeks gestation.
Acupuncture for Labor Induction
From a Traditional Chinese Medical view point, labor is expected when three factors occur simultaneously. Yang activity becomes predominant over Yin growth, qi and blood begin to move freely, and the uterus dilates. When these events sync up, an easy harmonious labor ensues. Our acupuncturists have had the honor of inducing a number of births naturally. Many women report increased fetal movement during acupuncture, with labor following 2-4 days later. We recommend treatments are continued every 3 days.
The Journal of Maternity Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, published a study in Aug 2006 conducted by Harper TC and others. The study was conducted to evaluate the utility of outpatient acupuncture for pregnancy and labor induction treatments. The results were very encouraging. Compared to controls, women in the acupuncture group tended to be more 70% more likely to labor spontaneously and 39% less likely to deliver by cesarean section.
But this is not surprising; such evidence was available decades ago. One study conducted in 1977 and published in the Journal of Obstet Gynecol. Under the care of Tsuei JJ, Lai Y, Sharma SD, et all showed that Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Labour induction resulted in a success rate of 91.6%.
If you are pregnant and are concerned with labor pain, or the delivery, I strongly encourage you to consider Acupuncture to encourage labor, relieve pain and avoid a medical induction.