If there is one extra thing I can recommend doing during pregnancy, it’s getting regular chiropractic work. I know it can feel a little intimidating to imagine getting your back and neck adjusted during pregnancy when everything in your body seems to already be adjusting on its own. But a good chiropractor will leave you feeling taller, more spacious, and with less pain in your body than when you came in. I’m blessed that my husband is trained in chiropractic so I’ve received adjustments at home during every pregnancy, but even if he wasn’t I would be sure to find a great chiropractor. It’s that important.
So why is chiropractic such a game changer in pregnancy? It’s because the body is changing pretty rapidly to accommodate your growing baby. This puts all kinds of new pressure on your back, hips, and ligaments. This causes additional aches and pains that can be avoided just by giving yourself a little extra self-care. Staying in balance takes some additional effort, and seeing a chiropractor while pregnant can help.
If you aren’t familiar with chiropractic care, you may have a few questions. So if you’re wondering how safe it is to see a chiropractor during pregnancy and what the benefits or risks are, keep reading because I’m going to share everything you need to know about seeing a chiropractor while pregnant.
Benefits of Chiropractic During Pregnancy
There are quite a few benefits to seeing a chiropractor while pregnant, one being that when you establish care early on, this person will be one of your biggest allies throughout pregnancy, going into birth and even for you and your new baby in the postpartum time. If everyone had a chiropractor we’d all be a lot healthier.
Pregnancy puts pressure on your joints and the extra weight you’re carrying around can push your spine and pelvis out of alignment. Seeing a chiropractor while pregnant will help keep your spine, pelvis, and hips in an optimal position to cope with the extra weight and pressure. This in turn brings spaciousness and pain relief to the body.
What types of pregnancy-related pain can a chiropractor help with? The most common benefits are relief from sciatica, lower back pain, and round ligament pain. Sometimes if you’re struggling with a painful and immobile neck, a nerve may be compressed. In this case seeing a chiropractor while pregnant can help significantly. They can also teach you how to stretch in ways to improve your pain.
This goes hand in hand with number one. If you’ve got a dull ache in your back or pain radiating down your hip and buttocks, chances are you aren’t going to be sleeping very well. Seeing a chiropractor while pregnant will help open up your joints, get rid of your pain, and make more space for both you and baby to rest comfortably. Chiropractic also supports a healthy nervous system, which eases tension and stress so you can fall asleep more easily at night, instead of laying awake replaying worries in your mind.
Optimal Fetal Positioning
This is often overlooked, but it’s very important for an easier, more natural birth experience. Let me break it down for you. A baby needs to be in a good position for birth, with its head down and back leaning towards the left side of mom’s belly. Then during labor, baby kind of spins down into the pelvis and out. If baby isn’t in a good position it may put extra pressure on the tailbone, causing mom more pain during labor and slowing down the whole birth process. This can even lead to something doctors call “failure to progress” which in some cases results in cesarean section.
Sometimes a woman’s body just needs a little help to open up and make space for the baby to move around and get into a good position. Some chiropractors are trained in the Webster Technique, which specifically focuses on opening up the pelvis for pregnancy and birth. This puts less pressure on the ligaments, resulting in less pain for mom and allowing babies to turn into the optimal position for birth. See a chiropractor anytime during pregnancy, but positioning techniques are more readily used in the second and third trimester.
Who doesn’t need to reduce stress? Especially during pregnancy. Seeing a chiropractor while pregnant can help your nervous system function optimally, which is so important because every bit of stress you feel, your baby feels too. Increased stress during development can cause early labor and reduced fetal growth.
You know that your spinal cord connects your brain and nervous system to the rest of your body right? There is a whole complex tangle of nerves that branch off from here, and if any of them are compressed, you’re going to feel extra tension and stress. But if your spine is in proper alignment, your spinal cord and nervous system can function so you’re less likely to suffer from stress.
Speaking of nerves, did you know that sometimes nausea is triggered by them being pinched? It may seem strange to get adjusted for nausea, but a lot of women find relief from morning sickness just by seeing a chiropractor while pregnant.
Are you wondering how chiropractors help with morning sickness? Sometimes balancing the spine helps the whole body function better, from hormones to organs. Morning sickness is often caused by the liver getting overwhelmed with hormones it can’t process, so when the body’s detox pathways are open, nausea eases up too.
So if you’re feeling up for seeing a chiropractor while pregnant, let’s talk about what to expect when you get there. What is treatment like for prenatal and postnatal chiropractic care?
When you see a chiropractor while pregnant, the protocol is different. They will have a special table to accommodate your growing belly and make space for it. Most will also have you avoid laying directly onto your back, especially during the last trimester. This keeps pressure off your lungs and other organs. Make sure your chiropractor has been trained to work with pregnant women, but most are.
This leads me into the next section which addresses the risks of seeing a chiropractor while pregnant.
Chiropractic Pregnancy Risks
Meeting with a chiropractor while pregnant is generally very safe, but there are some times when you should avoid it.
- If you have placenta previa, which is a condition where the placenta grows into the uterine wall. There is a higher risk for this in pregnancies after having a c-section or other abdominal surgery that affects the uterus. It’s pretty dangerous and requires monitoring and heavy bed rest. In cases of placenta previa, seeing a chiropractor while pregnant is not a great idea.
- If you are experiencing vaginal bleeding, you should avoid a chiropractic adjustment. This could be a miscarriage, bloody show from an early labor or a cervix that has difficulty staying closed during pregnancy. These conditions require seeing your healthcare provider.
Finding the Right Chiropractor for Your Pregnancy
So where can you learn more about finding a chiropractor during pregnancy? I always encourage people to talk to other people in their community and find out who they are seeing. First hand reviews from someone you know is always best. But if your community doesn’t have any recommendations you can always look online.
These are certifying bodies that some chiropractors register with in order to help people find them.
- International Chiropractors Association
So how do you decide which chiropractor is right for your care during pregnancy? Go have a consult! Do you feel comfortable in their presence? How is the rapport? Do they have good reviews online and from past patients? Are they certified in the Webster Technique? If you’re looking to see a chiropractor while pregnant, look for one who specializes in working with pregnant women and new moms.
Some chiropractors even work on new babies which can help their bodies adjust from childbirth. If you think about it, it’s pretty cramped in there, and then the trip down the birth canal is not an easy or comfortable one. Chiropractic care can help and we have always had our children adjusted the day they were born.
So I hope I’ve given you a good idea about what you can expect from seeing a chiropractor while pregnant. This is an important topic and I love sharing information for new and expecting parents. We have a lot of content about pregnancy, including how to protect your baby from EMF’s and what kinds of essential oils can benefit your health during pregnancy. So have a look around if you’re seeking more information to optimize your health during pregnancy.
But I’d love to hear from you now. Have you seen a chiropractor while pregnant? And did it benefit you in any way? Leave us a comment and share your experience below!
- Watson, Steve (2019). “5 Proven Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women.” Retrieved from: https://www.baby-chick.com/proven-benefits-of-chiropractic-care-for-pregnant-women/
- Timmons, Jessica (2016). “Chiropractor While Pregnant: What are the Benefits?” Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/chiropractor-while-pregnant