PREGANCY AND CHIROPRACTIC CARE

Love must be in the air, as expected around Valentine’s Day! In the past couple weeks; I have had more pregnant patients than the whole 2015-year combined. Personally, there is no greater feeling than helping a woman get relief while going through pregnancy pain and changes. As a chiropractor, I look not only at the structure of the skeletal system or the bones, but also the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and nerves. As one goes through pregnancy, many changes are taking place with the body to create an ideal environment for the developing baby and to prepare the mom for birth. These changes include physical, physiological, and hormone levels. Many women seek chiropractic care to relieve neck or back pains that can result from weight gain and altered biomechanics during pregnancy. Chiropractic care during pregnancy maintains, and can even improve, balance and alignment in your spine and pelvis. This can help your baby assume her optimal birthing position and reduce the risk of having a breech baby.
Benefits of chiropractic care include:

ESTABLISHING A PELVIC BALANCE
As the pelvis widens and moves as the baby grows, it is important for the woman to keep proper pelvic alignment. When the pelvis is misaligned, this not only causes the woman to experience pain but can make it difficult for the baby to get in the best possible position for birth. Optimal baby position can help avoid pregnancy complications such as the breech and posterior positions that can interfere with the natural ease of labor.

EASE OF MUSCLE TIGHTNESS
A woman bodies changes drastically throughout the growth of her fetus and many muscles become tight as the baby grows. Chiropractic care can help loosen the muscles that will decrease pain one may experience and keep the body balanced.

LIGAMENT LAXITY
As a mother’s weight increases, her center of gravity shifts outward and her postural compensations respond accordingly. Hormone levels change to create laxity of the ligaments to help aid in the birthing process. This laxity can lead to instability of the joints including the spine and pelvis. Chiropractors can help stabilize the joints through adjustments and prescribing safe, effective exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and core muscles.

NUTRITION
Chiropractors are not only trained to help with skeletal and muscular problems but also are highly knowledgeable in nutritional advice that is crucial to keep the mom and baby healthy. Whether you are under chiropractic care or not, nutrition should be addressed with your medical professional through your pregnancy.

Even if you do not receive chiropractic care through your pregnancy, there are some steps you can take to ease pain and keep your body in alignment for birth. These steps include avoiding one-sided positions or repetitive motions to one side, avoid carrying older children on your hips, and avoid wearing high heels. When sleeping, prop a pillow between your knees, which will help with comfort and can take pressure off the low back area. Exercising through pregnancy is a great way to help with pain and keep you healthy throughout the 9 months. Ideal exercise for pregnant woman include swimming, which takes pressure off your joints and yoga (there are yoga classes taught specifically to pregnant women that safe and effective here in the Tuscaloosa area).
As more women are seeking the benefits of chiropractic care and alternative holistic medicine throughout pregnancy, more health care providers are seeking trained doctors of chiropractic in their communities to refer their pregnant patients to. Most importantly, seek options that support your body’s natural abilities to function, your personal beliefs, and find medical professionals who are respectful of your choices. For more information, feel free to call my office at 205-409-6333 or e-mail at freemanchiropracticandwellness@gmail.com.

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