Chiropractic and Pregnancy: Nature's Perfect Fit

Dr. Jessica Allen, is a local chiropractor and founder of Vitality for Veterans 501(c)3

Pregnancy is a wonderful/painful whirlwind of hormone-fueled changes to a woman’s body and mind. So many aches and pains occur (and often linger afterward) from the changes in anatomy and body mechanics that leave many women in question of what they can safely do to help relieve them and ready their body for labor. As a two-time pregnancy champion (or survivor, maybe?) I speak from personal experience in addition to my professional experience in contributing to the health of pregnant women in my community.

Most of the questions I get about the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care during pregnancy come from my family and close friends-which means there is a multitude of other people that are curious but don’t ask. As always, I’m here to answer the ‘I don’t want to ask, BUT…’ questions:

Are Chiropractic adjustments safe while I’m pregnant?

Yes! An adjustment restores the spinal joints and other joints to their proper alignment, allowing for optimum nerve function, blood flow, and posture for you and Baby. Many joints, especially those in the spine, are checked for proper position and movement. If they are not exactly where they are supposed to be, the adjustment puts them back where they belong. This is a natural and effective way for you and Baby to accommodate all the changes you both will go through.

Do I have to lay on my belly?
Some doctors will have tables with adjustable pieces that can accommodate the growing belly-and most women enjoy being able to lay face down! If the table can’t adjust, Mom simply lays on her side or her back.

Will Baby get squished?
Nope. Not even a little bit. In fact, if the pelvis is misaligned, Baby will have more room to move around once everything is back in line.

Is the adjustment going to hurt?
Much the opposite! During pregnancy the body is flooded with a hormone called Relaxin, which among many other things, causes ligaments all over the body to become more flexible. You will never have an easier adjustment than during pregnancy! This flexibility does come with a price-joints are much more susceptible to misalignment during pregnancy. Most women visit their chiropractic physicians more frequently during pregnancy, especially if there is low back pain, sciatica, acid reflux, headaches, carpal tunnel symptoms, mid-back pain, and many other common pregnancy symptoms.

What if I don’t have any pain?
This is the best time to get adjusted! Routine wellness visits are a great way to prevent or minimize aches and pains commonly associated with pregnancy.

How often should I get adjusted while pregnant?
Chiropractic visits should follow a similar schedule to your OB/Midwife visits-start with once a month and increase frequency along the way. And just like an OB would require extra visits if they felt concerned, you may require extra chiropractic visits as determined by your doctor.

What else can my chiropractic physician help me with regarding my pregnancy?
I have found women particularly value my input on nutrition surrounding pregnancy. Before pregnancy, during, while breastfeeding, how to facilitate weight loss while supporting breastfeeding, when returning to activity afterward-these are all unique times in a woman’s life that can be improved with small changes to diet and supplement routines. Nutrition is not commonly thoroughly addressed during routine medical visits-and that’s OK. The OB/Midwife’s primary job is to help prevent and recognize any problems that pose an immediate danger to Mom or Baby during pregnancy and labor. Many women have questions regarding vitamins, diary, wheat, other allergens, and many other nutritional concerns that medical visits just can’t allow the time for. Your chiropractic physician is a trusted resource you can turn to to fill in those gaps.