During pregnancy, there are many changes happening within the mother’s body. With those changes, discomfort can arise in the form of low back pain, sciatica, and generalized discomfort. As a mother’s weight increases, her center of gravity shifts outward and her postural compensations respond accordingly. In addition, the ligament laxity necessary for birthing adds to instability in all of her joints, including her spine and pelvis.
Changes such as weight gain in the abdomen, poor posture, and rotation of the pelvis force the body to unnaturally adapt to additional stress placed on the spine. These changes negatively affect joint function and nerve communication throughout the body.
Chiropractors are trained in prenatal care to locate and correct joint dysfunctions by applying a gentle, targeted adjustment to the body’s spinal column and extremities and restore proper joint function and improve nerve communication throughout the body.
Chiropractic care for prenatal treatment has shown promise as a way to manage the pelvic pain and instability that comes with pregnancy. Gentle adjustments performed on the sacroiliac joints and other lower body joints are a non-invasive and drug-free way to manage pain. This is particularly important during pregnancy or breast-feeding, when the mother may want to avoid taking any more medication than is absolutely necessary.
A misaligned pelvis may make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. Chiropractic care during pregnancy can assist in establishing pelvic balance and alignment, which can help the baby's position. The nervous system is the master communicator to all the body systems including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively.
Recent studies show chiropractic care during pregnancy may result in easier pregnancy including increased comfort during the third trimester and delivery and reduced need for analgesics (pain medication).
In one study, women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% reduction in labor times and subjects giving birth for the second or third time reported 39% reduction in shorter labor times.