Pregnant women need chiropractic. They go through hormonal, postural, and emotional changes in pregnancy, and their nervous system does not function optimally.
Fulfilling this need can be an exceptional way to grow your practice.
Creating and promoting a pregnancy chiropractic practice may be easier than you think. Here are several things you can do to get started:
- Obtain the proper knowledge. Learn all you can about pregnancy to communicate effectively and professionally. Become proficient in the special needs of a pregnant woman. Become extremely familiar with the common complaints associated with each pregnancy stage.
For instance: Primary complaints in the first trimester are nausea and headaches, while in the third trimester, low back pain is a predominant concern. Learn how to address these complaints effectively while communicating the importance of a properly functioning nervous system.
- Purchase the right equipment. Have the proper equipment available now so you are prepared before you need to be.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s breasts are tender and painful so having a soft table or cushion will help to alleviate any discomfort. When a woman is approaching the end of the second trimester, you will need to accommodate her growing abdomen with cushions or an adjusting table with a tilt up pelvic piece or a break away lumbar piece. A knee chest table is also excellent.
- Get connected. Take advantage of your established relationships with your own medical doctor, obstetrician, or midwife. Call on area midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, and obstetricians to introduce yourself and your expert services.
Inform these professionals of the benefits of chiropractic care as related to them.
For example: Prenatal chiropractic care may enable a lower c-section rate. Obstetricians, however, may not perceive this to be a benefit to them. But, explaining that lowering the c-section rate may also reduce their malpractice insurance and liability may get their attention.
Teach MDs the value of drugless chiropractic care, especially during pregnancy. Offer classes to pregnancy- care specialists and teach them when their patients would benefit from chiropractic care.
- Provide appropriate examples. Give pregnancy- care specialists tools to help them make referrals, such as a checklist of people who qualify as prenatal chiropractic patients or a list of major discomforts that can be alleviated by chiropractic, so they can confidently identify people in their practice who need your precision care.
For example: A woman complaining of round ligament pain may need the pubic bone evaluated by a chiropractor.
- Become exclusive. Build a relationship of exclusivity. When your patients need the services of a midwife or doula, refer exclusively to her, in exchange for the same favor when one of her patients/clients needs chiropractic care.
- Put the word out. Make or purchase pregnancy brochures and pass them out at places pregnant women go such as baby supply stores or shops with baby registries.
Perform lectures and screenings at La Leche League meetings, childbirth classes, children’s specialty stores, and libraries. Advertise your lectures in the local newspaper.
Organize a yoga class specifically for pregnant women to prepare for childbirth and open it up to your whole community. If possible, hold the class in your office and use it as a teaching opportunity.
Post photos in your office of pregnant women getting an adjustment to build curiosity and get pregnant women to learn more about chiropractic care.
Remember: Doctor means teacher. If you don’t teach, who will?
Karen (Gardner) Bagnell, DC has a family practice with her husband, Lawrence, in Newtown/Langhorne,Pennsylvania, where she focuses her attention on pregnant women. The birth of their son was featured on The Learning Channel’s “A Baby Story.” He was born at home, in a hot tub, with the aide of his father’s chiropractic touch. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Web site, www.pregnancychiropractic.com.