PART ONE: CHIROPRACTIC CARE & PREGNANCY
He was becoming a dad for the first time and had no idea how much his life would change from that moment going forward. He and his wife had done everything that they could to prepare her body for this amazing, monumental life altering event. They had attended birthing classes, she actively engaged in prenatal yoga sessions and had even gotten massage throughout her pregnancy.
But a chiropractor? How can his pregnant wife benefit from chiropractic care? This was the conversation that occurred from a husband who started getting adjusted by me as he recovered from running his first marathon.
There are many different types of chiropractors. Some elect to focus on ailments such as headaches, low back or musculoskeletal issues. While myself and others choose to focus on the care of pregnant women, infants, children and the promotion of health and well-being. For the purpose of this article I will explain the incredible benefits pregnant women may receive while under chiropractic care.
The integrity of a woman’s nervous system and structural stability can greatly enhance the labor and birthing experience. As a Chiropractor, my central focus is ensuring that the nerve system is functioning as optimally as possible to allow the body to communicate with the brain properly. The delicate nerve system is what has been described as the master system of the body that controls and regulates every function of the body. This control also includes hormone release and regulation, which are inherently critical in the health of a pregnant woman.
If a misalignment is present anywhere along the spine, it can trigger a stress response which places the baby and mother in a tense, rigid state versus a calm and relaxed environment that is beneficial for natural process to occur.
Due to a certain hormone known as Relaxin, ligament structural stability of a woman’s pelvis becomes able to stretch allowing the baby to descend and grow. As the baby begins to descend into the birth canal, the ability of the pelvis to be balanced assists in a smooth transition. If the pelvis is unbalanced, there may be complications for the baby and mother such as a breech or transverse presentation as well as a possibility of stalling labor completely.
Research has shown that utilizing chiropractic care throughout pregnancy corrects movement and alignment of the spine and pelvis. This allows the baby to apply even pressure onto the cervix enabling it to dilate effectively thus reducing labor time. One comparative study showed a 24% decrease in labor time for first-time moms and a 39% decrease in experienced moms compared to those not under chiropractic care. (1)
Not only do moms and their partners experience benefits from care, but newborns as well. More on that in Part Two…
Authored by: Dr. Dustin Behn - Inspired Living Chiropractic in Jesup, Iowa.
Fallon, J. The Effects of Chiropractic Treatment on Pregnancy and Labor: A Comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic. 1991; 24-31
For more information about Dr. Dustin Behn and Inspired Living Chiropractic visit him online at www.inspiredlivingchiro.com and be sure to "Like" Inspired Living Chiropractic and Inspired Nation Online on Facebook.