Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy & Postpartum
Incorporating elements of nutritional counseling, pregnancy fitness, and certified Webster technique into her support of birthing moms, Dr. Parker strives to create a calm balance to the physical changes experienced during pregnancy and to relieve the common discomforts associated with the childbearing year. In additional to providing support services for pregnant and lactating mothers, Dr. Parker facilitates connections with resources in your area for your growing family.
Chiropractic care is important before, during and after pregnancy.
Chiropractic care pre-conception through post-partum may help your body adapt easier to the numerous changes you may experience during this time.
For example, before a woman even knows she is pregnant, her body is already starting to prepare itself for the amazing journey that is taking place. The female body undergoes multiple changes during pregnancy. These changes can include:
- Weight gain
- Change in weight distribution
- Change in center of gravity
- Muscles imbalances and/or muscle cramps
- Increased lumbar and thoracic spinal curves
- Increased demand on pelvic and spinal ligaments and muscles
- Increased joint pressure and stress
- Release of the hormone, relaxin, which “relaxes” ligaments and joints
All of the above can result in altered spinal biomechanics which can sometimes overtax the body resulting in pain or discomfort while performing routine, daily activities. Dr. Parker has additional training and education in prenatal/pregnancy care. She also understands first-hand how many new mothers may have unnoticed, pre-existing muscle imbalances that may become bothersome during this journey. Most expectant mothers respond favorably and quickly to gentle, non-invasive chiropractic care. As a chiropractor, our focus is to help restore the normal biomechanics in the spine, reduce muscle spasm and alleviate any nerve irritation.
Chiropractic during pregnancy is a safe and gentle.
Receiving chiropractic care any time during pregnancy can greatly benefit an expectant mother’s body.
For optimal results, it would be recommended to start chiropractic care pre-conception. The reason for this is a lot of women may not think about or understand the major structural support needed to provide for a growing baby.
Any of the above mentioned changes during pregnancy can alter one’s biomechanics. If the expectant mother has an underlying muscle or structural imbalance (either apparent or not), the added stresses can quickly overtax her body resulting in pain or discomfort. Having the opportunity to balance out the body will optimize the expectant mothers biomechanics which can minimize complications during this miraculous journey.
Dr. Michelle Parker is Webster Certified and specializes in pregnancy chiropractic.
Even the most balanced body (structurally and muscularly) has to learn how to adapt to the changes that take place over the nine/ten months of pregnancy. A pregnant body has two additional influences to overcome:
- Gravitational changes
- Hormonal influences
As pregnancy progresses, the weight of the baby can sometimes become a “major load” to bear. The expectant mother’s body will accommodate to the increase in weight by changing her center of gravity. The hormonal changes during this time contribute to the relaxation of the pelvic and spinal supportive structures.
Often, women learn to just deal with the many discomforts of pregnancy such as: heartburn, shortness of breath, constipation, sciatica, pelvic pain, symphysis pubis pain, leg cramps, and general muscle aches and pain.
Studies have shown that over 50% of all expectant mothers complain of lower back pain during pregnancy, with the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis being most commonly affected.1
Dr. Parker can help alleviate the discomforts arising from neuromuscular and biomechanical stresses encountered during pregnancy. This is accomplished through the use of Webster Technique, including several other specialized techniques.
Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment with the goal to reduce the effects of SI joint (sacroiliac joint) dysfunction. The Webster Technique provides the ability to restore pelvic neuro-biomechanical function. Dr. Parker is certified in Webster Technique through I.C.P.A. (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association).
Labor & Birth:
Studies have shown that women that receive regular chiropractic care during pregnancy have shorter labor times and a reduction in the need for pain killers/intervention.2
Dr. Joan Fallon conducted a study that founded a substantial percentage of births with first-time mothers averaged a 24% shorter labor, while mothers who have given birth before had a 39% reduction in the average labor time.3
In another study, Dr. Irvin Henderson, M.D. conducted a study that (a member of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees) demonstrated, “Women who received chiropractic adjustments in their third trimester were able to carry and deliver their child with much more comfort.”4
Williams Obstetrics text states, “any contraction of the pelvic diameter that diminishes the capacity of the pelvis can create dystocia (difficulty) during labor.” They further state that the diameter of the woman’s pelvis is decreased when the sacrum is displaced (subluxated). Chiropractors are trained in diagnosing and correcting these subluxations by delivering safe, gentle adjustments.
It is very important to Dr. Parker that there is open communication between herself and her patient’s obstetric provider. Dr. Parker believes it is vital to optimize her patient’s care by working closely with other providers. Dr. Parker is available to adjust her current patients during their delivery if requested. Dr. Michelle Parker has a special focus on pediatric chiropractic.
This is such a life changing time in a woman’s life. Regardless of the way a momma births her baby, she may experience some after pain as her body starts to reorganize itself. A few post-partum discomforts may include: fatigue, breastfeeding discomforts, postpartum depression, tailbone pain, neck pain or headaches, mid-back or low-back pain, muscle aches or stiffness. Women report being able to manage these common discomforts easier with continued chiropractic care.
It is also recommended that a newborn should be checked by a chiropractor shortly after birth. A chiropractor trained in pediatric chiropractic will assess the baby’s spine to make sure their cranium and spine are moving properly. If an adjustment is needed, they will use light fingertip pressure on the baby’s spine. Many signs suggesting a visit to your chiropractor may be: torticollis, difficulty in breastfeeding such as an insufficient latch or suck, restricted range of motion, irregular or difficulty with bowel movements, frequent ear infections, and colic to name a few. Dr. Parker has additional training in pediatric chiropractic through the I.C.P.A. (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association).
- Berg G. Low Back Pain During Prengnacy. AM J Obstet Gyn. 1988;71:71-75.
- Frietag P. Expert testimony of P Frietag MD PhD., comparing the results of two neighbouring hospitals, US District Court Northern Illinois Eastern Division, No.76C 3777. May 1987.
- Fallon J DC. The Effect of Chiropractic Treatment on Pregnancy and Labour: A Comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic, 1991:24-31.
- Henderson I MD. American Medical Association records released in 1987 during trail in U.S. District Court Northern Illinois Eastern Division, NO. 76C 3777. May, 1987.