By Dr Natasha Nixon, 27th October 2016.
Chiropractic is a gentle and safe treatment that will ensure that you are able to function as best and as pain-free as possible throughout your pregnancy. Pre and post-natal chiropractic care will focus on postural advice, pelvic stabilization, strengthening the abdomen and pelvic floor to aid in a faster recovery post childbirth.
Relieving Aches and Pains
Chiropractic care can aid in pain relief linked to pregnancy related conditions such as; leg pain/cramps, ankle swelling, pubic or pelvic pain, carpal tunnel and Bells Palsy. During pregnancy a woman produces a hormone called Relaxin, which helps relax the muscles and ligaments in preparation for childbirth. A combination of weight gain and an increase in Relaxin causes an increase in joint loading and hypermobility. With this, you may find that previous aches and pain become more pronounced throughout your pregnancy. Regular chiropractic treatments are shown to help reduce these symptoms to ensure a smoother and more comfortable pregnancy.
Turning Breech Babies
Chiropractic care can help turn breech babies. During the first two trimesters, a baby is constantly moving around inside the uterus. By 34 weeks, 90% of babies have settled into a head down position, which is the safest position in preparation for labour and delivery. Most bubs are breech due to uterine ligaments and muscles being either too tight and asymmetrical (twisted or torqued) or too loose. When there is torsion present within the pelvis, the ligaments supporting the womb are pulled and twisted and this results in an altered shape of the lower womb. Chiropractic addresses the joints and ligaments of the pelvis to restore muscle function and motion to the pelvis which may help facilitate a baby’s ability to turn into the correct position prior to birth.
Women who receive regular Chiropractic treatments have demonstrated significant shorter labours. A study by the National Institute of Health found that first time mums who received regular chiropractic care experienced, on average, a 24% shorter labour time and seasoned mums had 33% shorter labours(1). Vaginal delivery is immensely dependant on the alignment and relationship between the mother’s pelvis, uterus and the baby. If an expectant mum has malalignments within the pelvis, it can interfere with effective labour and delivery, thus prolonging it.
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, yet effective technique that helps to reset the pathways between the cranial bones in relation to pelvis. The primary focus of this technique is to release tension in the fascia and correct ligamentous and muscular imbalances through the cranium, low back and pelvis. It involves a gentle palpation of the cranial bones, spine and sacrum which can help relieve symptoms of nausea, headaches, swelling and low back, hip and rib pain, whilst also helping prepare the body for an optimal labour and birth.
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The effects of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: a comprehensive study. Fallon J. Proceedings of the world chiropractic congress. 1991; 24-31.