Chiropractic for A Well-Adjusted Birth

Dr. Wolff's article for Expectant MothersPublished in Expectant Mother’s Guide, Summer Edition, 2009

Today’s parents wish to be informed and make their health care choices accordingly. They have become more concerned than ever about the adverse effects drugs have on their bodies.

Parents are hesitant to merely mask symptoms with drugs and are justly worried about their numerous side effects. Parents desire to achieve a state of true health, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, is leading them to seek health care options which support their family’s own natural ability to be healthy.

Although it’s never too late to receive the tremendous benefits of quality chiropractic spinal maintenance, one of the most crucial times for a woman to receive chiropractic care is during the planning, creation, and delivery of that new bundle of joy, her baby.

Pre-Conception Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic prior to conception promotes a more regular menstrual cycle and optimal uterine function rendering the body as strong and balanced as possible to carry and manage the pregnancy. Restoring optimal nerve supply to reproductive organs has helped many couples who had previously believed they were incapable of conceiving.

Early Pregnancy Chiropractic Care

After conception, the body goes through a series of significant changes. One easy to spot change is extra weight gain, primarily in the abdomen, that results in a change in posture, gait, as well as center of gravity for the expecting mother. As the baby continues to develop, hormones called prolactin and relaxin are released in the mother allowing for increased breast size and weight preparing for lactation as well as a loosening of mom’s ligaments to prepare for safe passage of the baby through the pelvis. These weight carriage changes along with an overall loosening of supportive structures creates ample opportunity for pain-causing, function-altering spinal subluxations to develop.

Changes that may be more difficult to recognize are the millions of different hormonal changes and chemical reactions occurring in both mother and developing baby, all of which are coordinated and controlled through the nervous system. A well maintained spine and nervous system through regular chiropractic adjustments promotes a nervous system that responds immediately and accurately to the changing requirements in all parts of the body.

Advancing Pregnancy Chiropractic Care

As a woman’s pregnancy advances, some chiropractic techniques will need to be modified for your comfort. Your ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) chiropractor is aware of this and will make the necessary changes. The passage of the baby through the mothers pelvis occurs through a process called nutation and then counter-nutation as the pelvis undergoes extreme changes in tilt of the pelvic bones to allow ample room for safe passage of the baby. Pre-existing relatively unnoticed or unidentified imbalances (subluxations) in the spine and pelvis along with those created in the course of pregnancy not only affect the comfort of mom but also have the potential to significantly lengthen labor and complicate delivery.

The Webster Technique

ICPA chiropractors are trained in the “Webster Technique”. This technique addresses intrauterine constraint or mal-presentations, misalignment of the pelvic bones, misalignment of the sacrum and vertebrae, and relative tension imbalance of the ligaments that support the pelvis. In expectant mothers presenting breech there has been a high reported success rate of the baby turning to normal vertex position. This technique has also been successfully applied in mothers whose baby’s present transverse or posterior as well. Any position of the baby other than ROA may indicate the presence of sacral subluxation and therefore intrauterine constraint. At NO time should this technique be interpreted as an obstetric, “breech turning” technique.

Can Chiropractic Make Pregnancy Easier?

According to recent studies, chiropractic care may result in easier pregnancy including increased comfort during the third trimester and delivery and reduced need for pain medication.

In one study, women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% reduction in labor time and subjects giving birth for the second or third time reported 39% reduction in labor times. In another study, the need for analgesics was reduced by 50% in the patients who received chiropractic adjustments. In addition, 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care has helped new mothers become more comfortable breastfeeding as well as to enhance milk production. Chiropractic care has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of post-partum depression.

Now that the baby is here, when should I have her checked for subluxations?

Babies should be checked right after birth because of the potential damaging effects of the birth process. Even the most natural birthing experience is somewhat traumatic to the baby and may have unidentified damage. Studies show that many children that experience symptoms of colic, asthma, and ear infections have spinal subluxations impairing their nerves normal function. Early detection and correction can help preserve better health for you child.

Will a chiropractic adjustment hurt my child?

ICPA chiropractors use very specific gentle techniques when adjusting children. The newborn chiropractic adjustment consists of 6-8 grams of pressure specifically directed to correct spinal alignment abnormalities (subluxations).

This amount of pressure can be comfortably applied to your eyeball with the eyelid closed. ICPA chiropractors are well trained in evaluation and treatment of all stages of childhood development through adulthood.

Each stage of development has specific commonalities, treatment needs, and delivery styles that are more appropriate. Most ICPA chiropractors offer complimentary consultations, giving families the opportunity to meet with them and ask questions.

All children function better with 100% nerve function. All children deserve the right to express their fullest potential. Chiropractic care for children is safe, gentle and effective. It enhances the body’s inborn potential for well-being.

Author: Dr. Michael J. Wolff, D.C., F.I.A.C.A, F.I.C.P.A