Pregnancy is a time of many physiological and biochemical changes within a woman’s body. Weight gain and posture changes strain the spine, causing pain and imbalances. Chiropractic care during pregnancy has been proven to be safe and effective. It is important to find a chiropractor with experience treating pregnant women to ensure they have the proper training and equipment to accommodate you throughout your pregnancy. The health of the baby is directly related to the health of the mother, so it is important for her body to work as efficiently as possible. Nerves from the mother’s spine must communicate with the uterus, and proper blood flow must be available to nourish the developing baby. Misalignments in the spine can interfere with this essential communication and cause problems in the pregnancy. Chiropractic adjustments to the mom keep her spine and pelvis properly aligned, ensuring proper communication with her baby, and allowing the best possible position for the baby throughout the pregnancy.
Many pregnant women who have never had chiropractic care prior to pregnancy may turn to a chiropractor for relief of back pain or other ailments. Some common pregnancy complaints that chiropractic adjustments may help with include:
• Morning sickness/nausea
• Low back pain
• Breech babies
• Posterior baby/back labor
• Premature contractions
• Swollen feet and ankles
• Neck pain
• Mid back pain
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Pubic symphysis pain
The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/sacroiliac joint dysfunction. In doing so, neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved. The Webster Technique is utilized on expecting mothers who present with fetal malpostioning (Breech, Transverse lie, Footling breech, etc.), however it can be used on all weight bearing individuals. It is proposed that sacral misalignment may contribute to the three primary causes of difficult labor, (inadequate uterine function, pelvic contraction and baby mal-presentation), via uterine nerve interference, pelvic misalignment and the tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments. The resulting tense muscles and ligaments and their negative effect on the uterus may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth. Several studies have shown that the correct positioning of the baby in-utero directly affects the birth outcome and decreases the potential for undue stress to the baby’s developing spine and nerve system. Also, due to the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions by reducing nerve system stress, pregnant mothers may have significant benefit by having their spines checked regularly throughout pregnancy, optimizing health benefits for both mother and baby.
Breastfeeding is the most beneficial source of nutrients for your child. It has been shown to reduce the rates of respiratory, stomach, intestinal and ear illness in babies and children. Some of the most important benefits of breast milk/breastfeeding include:
• fewer digestive upsets and generally better sleep
• increased resistance to infections as breast milk provides antibodies from the mother
• better facial structures and healthy teeth
• less likely to develop allergies
• less prone to skin rashes and dermatitis
• breast milk is perfectly suited to a baby’s immature digestion and metabolism
• Omega 3 (found in breastmilk) is crucial for brain development
Breast milk is made by the mother’s body to suit her baby’s special needs by changing composition throughout the day. Breast milk varies depending upon the climate where the mother lives, which child is being breast fed (if mother is feeding more than one) and changes in the baby’s nutritional needs as the baby gets older. There are also emotional benefits to breast feeding. Studies have shown that hormones released during breast feeding help the mother maintain a more relaxed mood. Benefits to the baby have been shown to include less crying, improved development and improved I.Q. scores.
Breast feeding is hard work and not every woman is able to breast feed. There are several options available including breast milk banks, organic formula and making your own formula at home.
Dr. Stephanie is a proud member of the American Pregnancy Association.