• Dr. Shantai Watson

5 Indications to see a Prenatal Chiropractor!

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Congratulations, mama! Pregnancy can be a wild ride. It involves a lot of preparation. One of the things you may have started to prepare is your pregnancy and birth team. Often, I get the question: “How do I know that a Chiropractor should be a part of my birth team?”. Full disclosure - my honest answer is always EVERYONE needs a chiropractor. The benefits are undeniable. And why would a pregnant woman be an exception to that rule?

However, if you are new to chiropractic, here are 5 indications that you should definitely consider seeing a chiropractor during your pregnancy.

1. You have concerns about your baby’s positioning.

Often, women will present to a chiropractor after learning during an ultrasound that their baby is in a breech position. Between weeks 28 and 32, babies will start to turn head first into the pelvic cavity. If after 36 weeks, the baby is still bottom first, then the baby will be termed “breech”, and mother will be told to prepare for a Cesarean.

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when Doctors of Chiropractic performed the Webster Technique. This technique allows to relieve intrauterine constraint and may also be effective in resolving babies who present as posterior or transverse. This may mean preventing a traumatic C-section.

The Webster Technique is a very gentle technique that addresses the low back and pelvis, associated muscles, and specific ligaments such as the Round Ligament and Sacrotuberous Ligament which are almost exclusively affected during pregnancy. It helps the brain to better communicate with the muscles of the pelvic floor, and relax and align the pelvis. This in turn may allow for a less restricted space for the baby within the pelvis, allowing them to go into optimal positioning, and for a smoother delivery.

2. ANY PAIN: Rib pain, low back pain, hip pain, numbness or tingling into glutes and down legs, ankle swelling, etc!

You may have heard of friends or characters on TV complaining about these aches and pains during pregnancy. Just because they may be common does not mean they are NORMAL! After receiving regular chiropractic care, it has been found that 75% of pregnant women experience pain relief.

For example, rib pain may be associated with thoracic spine restrictions or diaphragm trigger points, and pain in the thighs may be related to dysfunction of the pubic symphysis. Chiropractors with special training in prenatal chiropractic have modified, safe techniques and methods to diagnose and treat these problem areas. Often, they will use a pregnancy pillow to accommodate a blossoming belly and to allow mom to lay comfortably face down while being treated.

Know that you do not need to suffer through discomfort during pregnancy and there is a lot that can be done to determine the cause of the pain and to treat it before it becomes a chronic issue, even after giving birth.

3. You wish to stay active during your pregnancy

Exercise during pregnancy has ALL the regular effects of exercise, such as increased cardiovascular input, improved mood, increased muscle mass and ability to use fat stores for energy requirements.

When pregnant, however, exercise also has ADDED benefits for mom, including:

  • a decreased chance of a premature labor

  • decreased weight gain and fat deposition

  • better circulation to muscles of pelvic floor promotes better healing after labor

  • decreased physical discomforts Higher energy levels

AND for baby:

  • increased fetal heart rate

  • decreased fetal fat without decreasing overall growth

  • stimulation of sound and vibration through exercise may accelerate the development of the baby’s brain

Chiropractors with special training in pregnancy and postpartum are able to prescribe specific exercises to prepare your body for birth. This may include modifications for your favorite exercises and activities, along with specific exercises to strengthen the core, encourage proper breathing and functioning of the diaphragm, and appropriate mobility and stability throughout the chain.

Through consistent and strategic training, you will be able to empower your body and mind for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and a smooth postpartum recovery period.

4. You are experiencing stress and anxiety.

You have a lot of big changes coming up, and a lot to prepare. We understand! It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed. However, it is important to know that stress is related to 90% of conditions that people present to their healthcare provider for. And now, the stress you are experiencing is affecting 2 of you. Fear, stress and anxiety produce neurochemicals in your brain and body which are detrimental to your health when sustained for a long period of time. These chemicals may cross the placental barrier and have a direct effect on the fetus.

A “wellness and quality of life” study was conducted by Dr. Robert H.L. Banks, PhD, University of California College of Medicine Professor, on 2818 chiropractic patients. In this study, it was shown that chiropractic patients experienced significant “retrospectively recalled” improvements in ability to deal with mental and emotional stress, perception of health and wellness, and overall quality of life. In this study, extremely gentle chiropractic adjustments were used.

Getting adjusted can help your body better adapt to stress. Less stress means a more pleasant pregnancy and a healthier baby. Your chiropractor will also be able to provide further techniques and suggestions for lowering your stress levels, along with acting as a great resource for any pregnancy-related questions to help bring you to ease.

5. You are having troubles sleeping or need help controlling your nausea symptoms.

We have 2 types of Nervous systems that affect the functioning of our organs: the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic Nervous System. The Sympathetic Nervous system is also nicknamed the “Fight or Flight” nervous system, while the Parasympathetic Nervous System is also nicknamed the “Rest and Digest” nervous system.

If you are having troubles with resting/sleeping, or having troubles with digesting (or feeling nauseous and vomiting), it’s probably safe to say that the “Rest and Digest” nervous system may be a piece of the puzzle, right?

Many studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments (especially of the cervical and lumbar spine) have the ability to increase the Parasympathetic response. This may explain why our adult patients often leave the office ready for a nap, or why our baby patients often leave the office with a full diaper.

Naturally, every mother wants to do everything in her capacity to bring a healthy baby into this world. It is important to remember that even if you are experiencing any of these problems, you are not failing. I mean look at you, you are a smart, prepared, problem solver who just read a whole blog post on solutions.

If you have any questions about whether you or a loved one may benefit from chiropractic before, during or after a pregnancy, please call 720-509-9379 or email to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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