Obstetricians frequently refer future moms to their colleagues who specialize in prenatal chiropractic care. The main reason is the frequent diagnosis of low back pain and pelvic pain. These patients are looking for drug-free pain relief, while doctors consider the unborn child and attempt to avoid prescribing medications with risky side effects. Few moms tend to question whether these same medications are safe outside of pregnancy, however savvy moms think to ask other good questions. Here are two of the most common:
Are there benefits to seeing a chiropractor during my pregnancy other than for aches and pains?
A large number of pregnant practice members arrive in the chiropractic office with concerns about low back and pelvic pain. A lifetime of stress on the body can lead to structural imbalances called subluxations. This can be compounded during pregnancy as nature prepares the pelvis for childbirth. The increased concentration of the hormone, relaxin, increases ligament flexibility to make it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal. However these ligament changes can cause added joint pressure and distort the symmetry of the pelvis. Not only is this likely to be uncomfortable, it creates a condition where the growing baby cannot move freely within the uterus. This is called intrauterine constraint and can be as hazardous to the baby's development as some of the common birth traumas they may experience. A primary role of a chiropractor trained to provide care during pregnancy is to provide gentle techniques to re-establish a balanced system and reduce intrauterine constraint. This gives the baby the greatest opportunity to move about and eventually find the optimal head down position for birth.
If I was considering having a baby, what are the healthcare options I should consider before trying to get pregnant?
Chiropractors who are specifically trained to provide care during pregnancy recommend preparing for conception long before preparing for childbirth. This means optimizing the body's function, particularly the efficiency and adaptability of the nervous system. Dr. Michael Magwood, practicing in New York City and in northern New Jersey is a Certified Prenatal and Pediatric Chiropractor. Gentle chiropractic techniques address structural imbalances in the body and their disruptive effects on the nervous system. This is important because many new changes and demands are placed on the pregnant body. Prior to pregnancy, a mom should also consider building up her fitness level and pelvic floor strength, which can help with labor and recovery time. The IM=X Pilates franchise is a great clinical based program to try, with prenatal formats that meet ACOG guidelines. A naturopathic doctor or nutritionist may be necessary to help improve her nutrition habits, which are most important in early stage pregnancy. Medical visits may be important if a mom is using prescription drugs that may be hazardous to a developing fetus. Selecting other childbirth professionals prior to pregnancy is a great advantage. A chiropractor teaming up with a midwife or birth doula can be a tremendous guide in creating a birth plan well in advance. Finally, prenatal massage therapy, hypnotherapy or prenatal yoga sessions may help support the peaceful frame of mind that should surround the childbirth experience.
For more information, call Dr. Magwood’s team at (212) 661-5656 to learn more about their services, or visit the website to read more.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.