Holistic Health Directives
Pregnancy can be one of the most special and rewarding times of a woman’s life. The safety and security of your unborn baby is your top priority, so you need to know that whatever you do for yourself is also good for your child. Your changing body can cause a difference in the way you move, sometimes leading to subluxation or a misalignment of the spine. What do you do? Is it safe to seek chiropractic treatment while pregnant?
Chiropractic care focuses on spinal biomechanics: how the alignment of the spine affects the nerves, muscles and ligaments. This is important for pregnant women since the growth of the child causes the belly to pull the lower spine forward, causing the upper back and neck to try to compensate. Treatment is most commonly performed with the doctor applying a short, strong push around the vertebrae with the patient face down, though this varies based on the area that is being adjusted.
With pregnant women, the position during treatment will be altered to accommodate a growing belly. It is also recommended that women in their third trimester of pregnancy not lie flat on their backs for treatment. While generally considered safe to have chiropractic treatment during pregnancy, there are still some risk factors to be aware of. If you have been diagnosed with or have symptoms of the following conditions, it is best not to proceed with chiropractic adjustments until cleared by your OB/GYN:
- Blood poisoning – also known as toxemia
- Ectopic pregnancy – a pregnancy where the fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus, most commonly inside the fallopian tube
- Vaginal bleeding – this may be normal in some pregnancies but could be a symptom of a more serious condition
- Placenta previa – this is a condition where the placenta covers the cervix and could be dislodged with dilation of the cervix
- Placenta abruption – when the placenta is separated from the wall of the uterus
If there is a subluxation, or misalignment, in the spine, it may affect the amount of space in which the baby has to move. Additionally, misalignment in the pelvic area could restrict fetal movement. Restricted movement can prevent the baby from turning into the correct position for delivery, causing breech birth. A breech birth is where the unborn child is in a feet-first or bottom-first position. These types of births often require surgical intervention or cesarean section birth. Regular chiropractic care during pregnancy has been shown to have several benefits:
- More comfortable pregnancy
- Easier, shorter labor
- Reduced pain during delivery
If you would like more information, contact a chiropractor in Glen Burnie, MD. As always, check with your OB-GYN or primary care physician before starting on any new treatments.
Thanks to Mid Atlantic Spinal Rehab and Chiropractic for their insight into chiropractic care and its safety while pregnant.