The human body goes through many changes, especially during pregnancy – Daily! Chiropractic care can ease the changes your body must go through to grow a new little human. Since we have no control over the adjustments our bodies make in pregnancy, we simply let them happen, even if some of them do cause pain.
PREGNANCY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PAINFUL
But pregnancy doesn’t have to be painful or uncomfortable. There are evidence-based solutions to the discomfort or pain caused by pregnancy. Chiropractors use natural methods, no drugs or surgeries are involved, making it safe during pregnancy. A chiropractor plays an important role in being sure that the patients being seen are properly aligned (spine, joints, etc.). Chiropractors are trained to manipulate the spine and they are trained and licensed to diagnose and treat muscle and nerve (neuromuscular) disorders.
FIND A CHIROPRACTOR SPECIALIZING IN PREGNANCY
Some Chiropractors specialize in prenatal care. Be sure to ask if they are knowledgeable in prenatal care. Since chiropractic uses no drugs the risks are low for treatment of most pregnancy discomforts. But back pain in pregnancy may not be the only discomfort. Chiropractors don’t neglect neck pain, jaw pain, headaches or strains of any kind. They are also trained to treat those areas. Often treatment of one area can have added unexpected benefits in other areas.
A PROPERLY ALIGNED AND FLEXIBLE SPINE IS A BONUS IN PREGNANCY
The main goal of a chiropractor is to establish and help one maintain normal spinal mobility. When pregnant, a stable and properly aligned spine is important not only for mom, but for baby also. Any extra stress that is put on the mother is also going to affect the baby. Anything to take away that extra stress and strain is a plus during pregnancy. Growing a baby is hard work! Taking proper care of your body is crucial. Everything you do while pregnant can affect your body – exercise, lack of exercise, posture, nutrition, rest or lack of rest – and can lead to pain. Nine months is a long time, but you don’t have to live with pain in pregnancy.
YOUR BACK AND BODY GO THROUGH LOTS OF CHANGES
Many women ask, does the back change during pregnancy? And yes, it does!
The back takes on a different level of weight when the belly of a pregnant woman grows. The weight of the baby in the uterus pulls the spine forward. This alone can cause a lot of stress on a woman’s back – thus pain! When there is more weight on the body in general you’re going to feel it in your back. This is true for both pregnant individuals and non-pregnant individuals, and it can cause a lot of pain either way. Without a stable and properly aligned back, the rest of the body will be affected.
MORE CAUSES OF DISCOMFORT IN PREGNANCY
- Another factor to consider is the way the pelvic area changes and shifts during pregnancy. Because the pelvis is connected to the spine, the back is directly affected by those shifts and misalignments in the pelvis.
- Another contributing element regarding the weight shift is the growth in the breasts. During pregnancy, breasts grow as milk glands expand and breast milk is established as early as 10-14 weeks of pregnancy. Normal pregnancy weight gain and growth of the breasts, in some cases, are the leading factor to back problems in women.
FLEXIBILITY IS IMPORTANT IN PREGNANCY
Flexibility is the body’s ability to bend and stretch with little to no discomfort. The more flexible you are, the more comfortable your pregnancy is, and the more benefits one’s body experiences. Practicing prenatal yoga or just some simple stretches is a sure way to increase the body’s flexibility. Stretching is especially important during pregnancy.
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Benefits of flexibility, according to Healthline, include:
- Less pain
- Fewer injuries
- Improved balance
- Improved posture
- Stronger body
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6 REASONS YOU NEED CHIROPRACTIC DURING PREGNANCY
A growing baby results in more weight out front, which shifts the center of gravity, and the body adjusts with that shift generally causing misalignments to form in the spinal area. According to the American Pregnancy Association, there are some great benefits to seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy.
- Reduction of neck, back and/or joint pain
- Preventing a potential C-section
- Increased flexibility
- Maintaining a healthy pregnancy overall
- Reduction in time of labor and delivery
- A Balanced Central Nervous System
When the pelvis is misaligned during pregnancy, one has a greater risk of the baby not being in the proper position when it’s time to give birth. The pelvic area must be properly aligned for the baby to get into a good position prior to birth and during the process of labor and birth. Taking good care of yourself is going to result in a healthier pregnancy. A healthy pregnancy ensures that the baby is safe and healthy and getting everything he or she needs.
How does a healthy spine affect mom’s brain?
When mama is balanced, the mind is stable and clear, body feels good, and back is pain free, chances are she’s going to eat the right foods, stay hydrated, take the necessary vitamins, walk and work out lightly, and be sure she’s staying on top of all that needs to be done to ensure the pregnancy is a good one. There is a direct correlation between the brain and the spine. It’s obvious that we all need our brains to be healthy so that the rest of our bodies function properly.
So, how does the spine affect the brain in a positive or negative way? If the spine is out of alignment, then the brain can suffer. According to our body’s anatomy, the brain is directly connected to the spine, and there are many nerves linked between the two, which make exchanges and go throughout our body every day. The brain and the spinal cord make up the body’s CNS (central nervous system). The central nervous system is responsible for processing important information and that information is sent to the rest of the body when the CNS is operating properly.
A healthy spine is important when one isn’t pregnant. It’s even more important that the spine stays in the proper alignment. Because mom’s brain will not be in overload and will function properly while caring for two people in one body. Malfunctioning of the spine in any way can alter the way one’s brain operates during pregnancy.
What do I need to ask my doctor prior to seeing a Chiropractor?
There are some things you’ll want to talk to your doctor about prior to seeing a chiropractor. For safety reasons and to be sure you’re not putting more strain on baby if you’re dealing with certain medical issues or pregnancy complications, talk to your doctor.
If you happen to be seeing a chiropractor prior to getting pregnant, then it’s important that you let them know that you are pregnant. If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant then, that’s information that you should share with them also! Being sure to properly communicate keeps everyone on the same page, and baby or potential baby safe.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. When he’s not helping others live their best life without back pain, he enjoys practicing yoga and coaching kids’ soccer.