by Justin Phillips, D.C.
Finding out that you are going to have a child comes with many different emotions……happiness, anxiety, uncertainty, worry, fear, and excitement just to name a few. One major worry is how your body is going to respond to a baby growing inside of you. The body is an amazing mechanism that can compensate for dramatic changes and adjust to many different stressors. Going through pregnancy causes many changes physically and chiropractic care can help those changes go smoothly with more comfort and less pain.
During pregnancy a hormone called Relaxin is increased in production primarily during the 1st trimester and at delivery. One major result of the increased Relaxin release is the relaxation of the pelvic ligaments to allow the pelvis to expand in preparation for the growing baby. It is important to make sure that the body is expanding in correct alignment to decrease stress on muscles and pressure on nerves. If your body starts to favor one side, many issues including numbness, pain, and weakness will occur. Regular chiropractic care will help maintain a balanced body and aligned spine. This will stimulate the nervous system to enable proper function of the reproductive system, thus supporting the needs of your baby throughout the pregnancy.
The frequency of recommended chiropractic care changes with each patient’s specific needs. However, this is a general rule to go by:
- No Pain – 1 visit/week until the last few weeks. Closer to the birth date, increase to 2-3 visits/week
- Pain or Other Symptoms – 3 visits/week for at least 3-4 weeks, even if symptoms resolve sooner. After initial corrective care, 1 visit/week.
Babies also love to move around and change positions while they’re growing. This is a healthy and normal activity but there is a possibility of the baby falling into what’s known as Breech position, or feet down position. A specific chiropractic adjustment known as the Webster Technique has shown to relieve uterine constraint, thus allowing the baby to move more freely. The baby can flip positions as late as 39 weeks, but there is a much higher rate of success the earlier you receive care. If you are concerned about your baby’s position, consult your Chiropractor immediately.
Chiropractic care is extremely helpful throughout pregnancy, but there are many different things you can do on your own as well. Proper care of your body throughout the day is vital to a healthy, comfortable pregnancy and birth. Here are some daily tips to consider:
- Make sure you are switching sides (sleeping, sitting, carrying siblings, etc)
- While seated, try to avoid crossing your legs and periodically rock your hips back and forth to keep them loose.
- Avoid wearing heels
- Increase your daily water intake
- Swimming and yoga are great forms of exercise during pregnancy