There’s nothing more troubling to pregnant women than the physical changes their bodies undergo during pregnancy (well, except the birth itself, but we’ll get to that later…)
There is a tremendous amount of energy exerted over the 9 months of pregnancy that takes it’s toll both physically and mentally on the expectant mother. The disproportionate weight gain alone is enough to complain about…then add in extremely high hormone levels and let’s face it…there’s nothing the father should complain about during this time!
So, what do chiropractors do for pregnant women? Chiropractors are more helpful to pregnant women that ANY other profession in addressing these physical changes. There is an enormous amount of sheering force put thru the spine and discs that makes everyday life very difficult. Additionally, ligaments that support the uterus are anchored on the pelvis and sacrum. Since the spine is located in the back half of the body(if viewed from the side), the uterus and developing fetus displaces the mother’s body weight forward, and this causes her to lean backward in order to keep her center of balance in-between her feet. The problem with this is three-fold: There are sheering forces placed on the discs and vertebrae, round and utero-sacral ligaments become tight which pulls on the spine, and there is compression of the posterior joints in the back of the spine – all which will lend itself to a deep, boring, diffuse pain that can at times become quite sharp with little provocation. In addition, these compressed joints can also send “sciatic-type” pain radiating into the legs – which are already suffering with regard to an increased weight gain.
The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of subluxation and sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and in doing so, the neuro-biomechanical function of the pelvis and sacrum is improved.
During pregnancy the round and utero-sacral ligaments (which support the uterus) exert tremendous force on the sacrum and pelvis. By restoring the biomechanical balance to the pelvis using the Webster protocol, relief is often attained. Dr. Caram is certified in this technique and it has helped many new moms thru their pregnancies as well as having decreased pelvic stress during childbirth.
With painful situations like this, it would be easy to take pain-killers in an attempt to make life a bit more comfortable. However, you can’t do that now since there’s a developing fetus that’s been growing and enjoying a drug-free life. ALL pain medication has side-effects, and some are not even known. There ARE risks with the FLU/SWINE FLU SHOT (yes, they’re now combined) while pregnant as well, and you should become aware of those as well. (To read about increased fetal mortality rate among pregnant women, click here) This is why most medications are not recommended during pregnancy…they just don’t know if any part of the medication – or any broken down component absorbed into the mother’s body – will be transferred to the developing fetus. So, be safe and don’t chance it!
This is where chiropractors are your best “life-line” for relief. Not only do we address the physical component of the pregnancy through spinal adjustments and the removal of spinal subluxations, we are LARGEST ‘drug-free’ healing profession in the world, and we’re GROWING! So, who better to address your physical needs, your aching joints, and your inability to take pills than a chiropractor?
The 6th thru 9th months of pregnancy are usually the most uncomfortable – with the degree of discomfort increasing as the due date approaches. During this time, there is yet another hormone that’s released into the system (called ‘relaxin’) that has a great effect on the ligaments of the body. It’s job is to allow the ligaments to loosen and stretch so that the mother can then pass a baby thru her pelvis. It does a wonderful job at allowing the pelvic ligaments to expand for the birth, but there’s one problem…it doesn’t just work on the pelvic ligaments, it works on ALL ligaments!
Once the baby is out the production of the hormone stops, but the effects of it may last up to 6 months post-partum. Given that information, it’s logical to see how these lax joints can become quite painful. Additionally, as the amount of relaxin diminishes after the birth, the joints will then ‘firm up’, and sometimes in positions of subluxation. This is why most pregnant women who are seen in my office are seen on a regular basis AFTER the birth of their baby, and typically mother AND child are treated during this time (if you’ve ever seen a live NVD birth, you know what I mean!).
The birthing process is quite traumatic, to both the baby as well as the mother. During a normal vaginal delivery(NVD), the baby’s head is held and turned in an attempt to align the shoulders vertically. Watching this is enough to make one cringe. Necks weren’t meant to turn this way – I don’t care what age you are. However, once the shoulders line up, there is a side-to-side wedging implemented in order to get the shoulders out one at a time (provided they don’t use forceps or the vacuum). Knowing all this, do you need to still ask yourself why babies need to be checked for subluxations? This happens all before you’re ONE MINUTE old! Add THAT to the life of a child who learns to walk, falls, rides bikes, plays sports, has poor posture, doesn’t exercise enough, rough-housing with siblings and friends, and carries a humongous backpack from school and you’ll start to see why the care of a child’s spine is extremely important!
Moms, there is a reason why you feel the way that you do, but it’s also something that you don’t have to endure and suffer from. Help is available and it’s safe, effective and drug-free! Chiropractic care is virtually tailored to the needs of pregnant women. If you have questions, please call the office for a consultation! You’ll be happy you did!
For a great video video, CLICK HERE!