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Chiropractic if you are pregnant? Absolutely! Keeping your spine free from the vertebral subluxation complex is one of the best things you can do if you are pregnant. If there’s one group of people who need chiropractic spinal checkups more than any other, it’s pregnant women.
Chiropractic For Your Body & Your Baby
Your doctor of chiropractic will examine your spinal column for misalignments (called vertebral subluxations) causing spine and nerve stress. Vertebral subluxations damage the nervous system and affect the workings of the entire body. If subluxations are present, the chiropractor will correct them with a chiropractor spinal adjustment in order to release the spinal stress. Without subluxations the body will function better, have higher resistance to disease and express more wholeness (health) than a body with uncorrected subluxations. This is the essential message of chiropractic.
All this is extremely important for the pregnant woman who needs to have her baby as healthy and strong as possible in order to handle the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth. Chiropractic care will help ensure that the reproductive and other systems so essential for a healthy pregnancy receive a nerve supply from the spinal column without interference. The slightest interference to the nerve supply could adversely affect the mother and the developing fetus.
Drugless Health Care
Another excellent reason for seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy is that it is a drugless health care system. Drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can harm the growing fetus. There is no such thing as a safe drug. The safest thing for a pregnant woman to do is avoid all drugs and seek natural non-drug alternatives for health care if at all possible. Almost all types of drugs and medications have been linked to fetal damage or malformations.
It is virtually impossible to specify any drug that will not result in an increased frequency of congenital malformations when administered in a certain dose to a sufficiently large panel of different laboratory animals. No drugs should be prescribed during pregnancy without weighing the maternal need against the risk of fetal damage. Some common substances which can damage the mother and fetus are antibiotics (including tetracycline), aspirin, alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and cocaine.
Invasive diagnostic procedures also have the potential to cause damage and should be avoided if possible. Robert Mendelsohn, M.D. cautions against the routine use of medical tests on healthy patients: “Stay away from X-rays, diagnostic ultrasound, doctor-prescribed medications, and every other form of dangerous obstetrical intervention.”
Pregnant Women Have Special Concerns
There are so many things pregnant women worry about: staying pregnant, carrying the baby to full term, morning sickness, the baby developing normally, backaches, leg pain and if there labor will be safe and (hopefully) easy.
Can chiropractic care help ease their minds? Chiropractic care has been observed to help pregnant and birthing women a number of ways. Chiropractors have been performing spinal adjustments on pregnant women for over a hundred years and have noted that chiropractic spinal corrective care may help maintain pregnancy, control vomiting during pregnancy, deliver full-term infants with ease and produce healthier infants.
In the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, a number of practitioners commented on the effectiveness of spinal care for pregnant women. The following are a small sampling of their remarks:
“For normal patients, correction of vertebral subluxations definitely helps normal function and rehabilitation. Manipulation can be a great value in normalizing the body functions of women with problems of pregnancy such as toxemia.”
“Manipulative therapy…normalizes functions of the pituitary, adrenal, ovarian, and placental systems, including the craniosacral respiratory mechanisms. This shortens the labor…and lessens medication requirement… Postpartum depression is a rarity in patients receiving…manipulative therapy.”
“Wellness care is administering spinal adjustments to optimize the biomechanical and nervous system function, therefore allowing the highest level of neurophysiological integration.”
Chiropractic care is especially needed during pregnancy because of the many physical and chemical changes the woman’s body is going through. Not only is her center of gravity changing because of the added physical weight she is carrying, but her spinal structure becomes more flexible due to hormonal changes which relax the ligaments in the pelvis, preparing them for stretching during childbirth. In an already unstable spine, that could aggravate spinal problems.
Webster Breech Technique
One of the latest developments in chiropractic prenatal care has been a method of correcting breech presentations in which the baby isn’t positioned properly for birth. Developed by the late Larry Webster, D.C., of the international Chiropractic Pediatric Association, chiropractors are able to release stress on the pregnant woman’s pelvis and cause relaxation to the uterus so the baby will turn naturally. Called the Webster Breech technique, Dr. Webster stated that it is “up to 94% successful in turning babies in utero so they can be delivered easily.”
Is Chiropractic Care Safe in Pregnancy?
Very safe and very sensible for both mother and baby.
Is it difficult to receive a chiropractic adjustment when pregnant?
Patients have received adjustments even during labor.
How late in pregnancy is it possible to get an adjustment?
Not at all. Chiropractors are trained in adjusting the spines of pregnant women and many chiropractic adjusting tables have special modifications for the pregnant figure
Can spinal care help post partum depression?
For years chiropractic's beneficial effects on emotional stress and personality have been noted. At least one journal has quoted a doctor saying that "postpartum depression is a rarity in patients receiving... manipulative therapy."
Can back pain be helped with chiropractic?
Chiropractic is not a treatment or therapy for back or spinal pain. However, with a chiropractic spinal adjustment, the body will be better able to heal it's back and spinal pain, as well as many other health problems.
Do I have to have a problem in pregnancy to see a chiropractor?
Not at all. Chiropractors should be used as preventative maintenance. Periodic spinal check ups during pregnancy should be as common as periodic weight checkups.
Can my baby receive chiropractic care?
Infants a few hours old have been given spinal checkups and adjustments (if needed).
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