It is important to take care of both you and your baby while pregnant. There are a number of measures you may take to ensure this. Prenatal care is defined as practising a healthy lifestyle while pregnant. Prenatal care can incorporate routines such as eating and exercising regularly, visiting your doctor, and educating yourself on birth and parenthood.
Prenatal care can also involve chiropractic, registered massage therapy, and naturopathy, as alternative and natural forms of maintaining your and your baby’s health during pregnancy. Chiropractic care is defined as the maintenance of the spinal column, discs and related nerves without the use of surgery or prescription medicine. Chiropractic promotes health throughout the entire body, hence why it is deemed very safe during and after pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to treat pregnant women, therefore investing in pregnancy chiropractic is quite common.
What Happens to the Body during Pregnancy According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association, at least 50% of women will experience back pain during pregnancy. This could also include neck pain, achy legs, peripheral swelling, muscle spasms, carpel tunnel syndrome, and Sciatica pains, among many other discomforts. The average healthy woman gains about 30 pounds during pregnancy, so no wonder she may experience some pain! This weight can lead to altered biomechanics which changes the way we sleep, sit, walk, and stand during pregnancy. Further, during the third trimester, the hormone “relaxing” increases in the body to prepare for birth by loosening the joints around the pelvis. As a result, this hormone can decrease joint stability and alter posture even further.
What Can a Pregnancy Chiropractor Do?
So what can one do about all these side effects of pregnancy? Studies have shown that manual therapies such as chiropractic and registered massage therapy can help decrease pain and discomfort during pregnancy and labor. Chiropractic care during pregnancy, specifically, can offer a safe, effective, and drug-free method of pain relief, in addition to improving the function of your joints – to make for an easier labor period.
So how can these experts help? A pregnancy chiropractor can reduce back and pelvic pain by performing gentle spinal manipulations and soft tissue therapies to improve function. A chiropractor may also use additional modalities to relieve fatigued and achy muscles such as acupuncture, IFC, and TENS, among others, to supplement their manual treatment. As part of a comprehensive treatment approach, a good chiropractor will also recommend safe and effective stenches and exercises to do at home.
Chiropractic Care Post-Pregnancy
Post-partum care begins once the baby is born and may last about six to eight weeks. During this time, mom will need lots of rest in order for her body to heal. Once she is feeling able to be “out and about” – revisiting a chiropractor is wise. They may provide treatment to improve muscle repair and reduce aches and pains caused by labor or from day-to-day activities, such as breastfeeding. A pregnancy chiropractor may also treat the baby! A chiropractor’s gentle touch can ensure that the infant is growing properly aligned, can help with any acid reflux, and/ or digestive issues, among others.