Pregnancy: A Topic Close to Home

Spinal Column Radio Chiropractic and Pregnancy Podcast[originally published in KCN, November 1997]

PregnancyWe’re at the “Any-Day-Now” stage.  My wife Keri and I are anxiously awaiting the birth of our first child.  We are excited and feel good knowing we have done everything within our power to prepare for a healthy baby:  eating good foods, exercising, getting regular chiropractic adjustments, attending our Bradley child birth classes, and avoiding alcohol, second-hand smoke, and  medications.

Unfortunately for many expectant mothers, the joy of impending birth is diminished by pain and discomfort.  And because the traditional medical remedies of pain relieving drugs are not advised , their 40 week term becomes more like a sentence rather than a time to cherish and enjoy.

Whoa!  Wait!  Back up a paragraph…regular chiropractic adjustments?  How can they help?

During pregnancy a woman undergoes a metamorphosis.  Her body changes everyday to meet the demanding needs of her developing child.  Supporting ligaments of the growing womb pull and tug on the mother’s spine.  Circulating hormonal increases of estrogen, progesterone, and relaxin soften and relax connective tissues and ligaments of her joints — making them more mobile and thus more prone to injury and pain.  Add to this the obvious changes in the mother’s center of gravity and the postural imbalances it creates…and you have a woman ready to experience the benefits of chiropractic care.

pregnancy-2-flipA Swedish study found that nearly 50% of the 1000 pregnant females surveyed complained of back pain — ranging from temporary fatigue to severe debilitating pain.  Regular chiropractic adjustments during this very important time can make this potentially uncomfortable situation more tolerable.  Studies even suggest that many women find their labor shorter and experience less discomfort if they’ve received chiropractic care.

Chiropractors take special precautions with their pregnant patients.  Modifications to the table or adjusting techniques are made during each stage of pregnancy. Chiropractors are also well-versed in other  pregnancy related issues.  From recommending prenatal exercises and  proper nutrition, to discussing the benefits of ergonomically correct nursery furniture — your Doctor of Chiropractic can play a vital role in the prenatal health care team.

When you stop to consider that chiropractors have been helping people deal with their aches and pains naturally for over 100 years, without the harmful side-effects of drugs and surgery, chiropractic for the pregnant female makes sense.

“I don’t see how women can go through pregnancy without getting adjusted,” my wife states with certainty.

…Ah yes.  Spoken like a true wife of a chiropractor.


Sources used for this article:
Diakow and Gadsby.  Back pain during pregnancy and labor.  Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.  24 (2) 1991.
Ostgarrd and Andersson.  Prevalence of back pain in pregnancy.   Spine. 17 (1) 1992.
Pregnancy and the Chiropractic Lifestyle.  Back Talk Systems, Inc., 1995.
Thompson. Baby on board:  The benefits of chiropractic during pregnancy for both mother and child, Journal of the American Chiropractic Association. 34 (5)1997.
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