Pregnancy can be a very exciting time for a woman. She may be eagerly anticipating the arrival of her baby and preparing herself for the big day. During this time, a woman’s body is undergoing a great number of changes as the pregnancy progresses. As excited as she may be about holding her baby, there is little doubt that she will find the bodily changes during pregnancy less than exciting. Can chiropractic help with these changes, and is it safe for both the mother and the developing fetus?
Maternal bodily changes during pregnancy
The most obvious change that happens starting in the second trimester of pregnancy is that the stomach will protrude as the fetus grows.
But how does this affect the spine? As the stomach protrudes further forward, there will be an increase to the lumbar back curve. The position of the pelvis will also change to accommodate the increasing size of the fetus. Finally, as a result of these changes to the abdomen, lumbar spine and pelvis, the posture will also change. Of course, a shift in posture may also affect the lower extremities, including the
knees, ankles, and feet.
How can chiropractic help pregnant women?
The most obvious benefit to properly adjusting the lumbar spine is that it will reduce the amount of lower back pain women will experience as they head into the late second and early third trimesters. Easing lower back pain will help patients sleep more soundly, be able to sit for longer periods of time, and move with less pain.
Properly aligning the pelvis will not only help ease lower back pain, but can also help move the fetus into the proper position for eventual natural labor and delivery. It may avoid false contractions, prolonged labor, and a breech delivery.
Maintaining proper posture will avoid undue pressure on the legs, knees, and feet. During pregnancy, women may be prone to sciatica due to shifts in posture that place pressure on the sciatic nerve. Some women may also experience water retention in the lower extremities, such as edema (swelling of the ankles and feet), due to poor circulation.
What does the research say?
A case report published in the July 16, 2012 issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health discussed the use of light force instrument adjusting for a woman in the 34th week of pregnancy whose fetus was in a breech position. She underwent three adjustments, after which the fetus shifted into the proper head down position for delivery at the 40th week of pregnancy.
Pregnancy can be both an exciting and a daunting experience for women. They will need as much support as possible to be happy and healthy during pregnancy. Instrument adjusting chiropractic is a proven technique that can not only prevent pain and discomfort, but may also help correct for problems during the pregnancy.