Staying Safe Before, During, and After Birth – Chiropractic Care
Over the years, many traditions have formed when it comes to pregnancy and one of the most recent trends has been chiropractic care. Nowadays, we are realizing how important it is to look after our bodies which has led to chiropractic adjustments so that the birthing process is safer and easier for everyone involved. Although pregnancy has been an area of care within chiropractic services for many years, it has become more important recently as more women opt for a natural birth rather than a C-section.
During pregnancy, the weight of the mother increases as the baby grows which means that their center of gravity moves outwards over time. Therefore, the body has to compensate which changes the posture of the mother. During birth, there is instability within the joints including the pelvis and the spine which can lead to damage both during birth and the years that follow. Overall, there is a tremendous amount of stress on the bones, joints, muscles, and the whole body through the pregnancy process which further increases the value and importance of chiropractic care.
Pregnancy Changes – During pregnancy, a number of structural and hormonal changes can be seen for women and this can lead to misalignment in both the pelvis and spine as well as lower back pain. In terms of the latter, this has the potential to be detrimental to even the simple daily tasks for the mother. For the misalignment, this can be even worse for the mother and baby and they are generally called ‘subluxations’. Over time, an abnormal amount of stress will be placed on the nervous system of the mother which, in turn, puts the vital organs at risk.
Since the mother is supporting two lives, the body doubles its function for many things and an overload to the nerve system can bring harm to both the mother and the baby. Therefore, normal bodily functions need to be resumed and this is done by reducing the amount of pressure on the nerve system.
Also with pelvic and spinal misalignment, intrauterine constraint can also become a problem for the baby. Essentially, this happens between the position of the baby and the mother’s pelvic biomechanics. With important ligaments that attach to the uterus, these play a larger role as the baby grows. If the pelvis is in what we call ‘biomechanical balance’, the uterus has symmetrical support in pregnancy which gives the baby enough room to move freely. However, if there is a misalignment in the pelvis, the uterine ligaments will be pulled asymmetrically (this often leads to sensitivity on one side). Within the uterus, torsion can be caused by intrauterine constraint which reduces the amount of room for the baby having an impact how the baby’s spine develops.
Furthermore, there is a severity scale with these types of issues because torticollis and other gross misalignment issues can cause stress for the baby’s neuromuscular system. Additionally, it can have an affect on any or all of the developing systems as well as the nerve system. Also, it is important to note that intrauterine constraint can impact the future health of the baby as well as its positioning. Normally, doctors will be hoping for a head down positioning but a breech position can be caused by problems with the mother’s pelvis which holds the baby in an unnatural position.
Even with the right positioning, there is a risk of the head tilting to one side and this is called ‘acsynclitic’. Even though this is preferred over a breech or posterior positioning, it can still extend the birthing process and cause complications. Over the years, nature has worked out the best way to deliver a baby and the body works towards this but a compromise in the mother’s biomechanics can lead to problems. When an intervention occurs during pregnancy, there are side effects for both parties. Sadly, we have seen an increase in the use of ‘off-label’ medication which means that it hasn’t been approved by the FDA. As well as having no proof of their effectiveness, we have no evidence to guess all of the possible side-effects.
Preventing Interventions – Whenever an obstetrical intervention takes place, there is a risk to the health of both parties and it could lead to more serious procedures. For example, the risk of a surgical or even a mechanical delivery dramatically increases after introducing an epidural anesthesia. Because they are completely unnatural ways of giving birth, they can be traumatic to everyone involved. However, this can be prevented or at least severely reduced in terms of risk with simple prenatal chiropractic care.
When the term ‘medically classified birth trauma’ is used, this means that the baby has got fractured humeral and clavicle bones or even overt neuromuscular damage such as Bell’s and Erb’s palsy. Nowadays, we can see studies and various research topics so have extensive evidence that misalignments play a huge role in birth trauma. Although we could never say that it is the sole reason because pregnancy can be a very complicated thing, it is one of the main reasons to blame. Even with the less obvious traumas, they can normally be picked up by chiropractic specialists just with small, gentle touches to the baby’s head and spine. With this in mind, it shows how important chiropractic sessions can be and how valuable they are for the baby and mother’s health. In addition to this, having babies checked soon after birth is also pivotal.
Thanks to the internet and other sources of information, today’s parents are well-informed so know the importance of the mother’s pelvic biomechanics during pregnancy. As long as you are willing to give it attention, you will have a more comfortable pregnancy as well as helping the baby to have the best chance of development in utero. At all times, mother and baby can stay safe and healthy.