Posted July 26, 2016
Dr Tiffany Leonida, DC CACCP
Pregnancy and birth need our respect, not intervention. As a chiropractor, board certified in pediatric and prenatal care, it is my mission to make the birth process a smoother transition, not only for the mom–to-be, but also, for also for the benefit of the developing baby.
Throughout pregnancy and beyond, a mom and child’s health depends on the body’s ability to heal itself. The body is quite amazing! For example, all of the cells of your liver die and are completely replaced every 24 days. You get a brand new liver every month! Your taste buds are replaced every 11 days and you get a brand new stomach lining every 5 days. Our bodies are absolutely incredible! The same is true for the birth process! The process of conception for a sperm cell to fertilize an egg is equivalent to swimming across the Atlantic Ocean blindfolded! As long as there is no interference in this process, the tiny baby will develop healthy and according to the master plan.
Chiropractic care is an essential piece of prenatal care that respects the body’s ability to heal itself. By releasing pressure on the nervous system, chiropractic care allows for the nervous system to communicate at 100% with every cell, tissue, organ, and even the developing baby. The nervous system is like the central command center of you and operates this master plan, so when it is able to communicate properly with the developing baby, everything goes according to plan. In addition, biomechanical changes throughout pregnancy can accentuate any pre-existing imbalances in the pelvis and when coupled with the developing baby and extra weight gain, the mom-to-be can become very uncomfortable.
Many pregnant women experience relief of back pain while under chiropractic care. Moms-to-be often report an easier and more comfortable pregnancy during the third trimester. Recent studies show even greater benefits. Moms experience more comfort during the birth process and even reduced need for pain medication while in labor when under chiropractic care! In one study, women receiving chiropractic care throughout their first pregnancy had 24% reduction in labor times and women giving birth for the second or third time reported 39% reduction in shorter labor times. In another study, the need for pain medication was reduced by 50% in the patients who received chiropractic care.
When women are reporting more positive birth experiences under chiropractic care, they experience better birth outcomes with their babies. Williams Obstetrics text reports that dystocia (or difficulty during labor) is caused by four physiological causes. Dystocia during the birth process makes moms increases the likelihood of interventions including administration of Pitocin, epidurals, forceps or vacuum extraction as well as cesarean birth. Chiropractic care can account for each of these issues and can potentially eliminate the reasons for dystocia, reducing the incidence of these high risk interventions.
With all the added benefits, more moms are choosing prenatal chiropractors as an essential piece of their prenatal care. When looking for a prenatal chiropractor, seek out a chiropractor certified in Webster’s technique in order to ensure proper care throughout your pregnancy and birth. Webster’s technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment of the sacrum with balancing of the associated musculature and uterine ligament attachments that allow for proper biomechanics of the woman’s spine and pelvis. When the woman’s pelvis is balanced, the uterus is able to enlarge symmetrically with the growing baby. If the bones of a woman’s pelvis are unbalanced, this will directly affect the way the uterus is supported and suspended, creating a condition of uterine torsion on the developing baby. In some cases, this torsion of the uterus can restrict fetal positioning during the pregnancy, adversely affecting his or her developing spine and cranium. Additionally, this limitation on the baby’s movement may prevent him or her from getting into the best optimal positioning for birth. Any birth position other than ideal vertex occiput anterior may indicate an imbalance in the pelvis of the mother and possible uterine torsion. Webster’s technique can correct the sacral misalignment, balance the muscles and ligaments of the uterus and pelvis and therefore allow the baby to get in the best possible positioning for birth. Clinical research shows that Webster’s technique has an 82% success rate in allowing breech malpositioned babies to go into the optimal head down position for birth. There are no known contraindications for this specific adjustment throughout pregnancy.
A chiropractor certified in Webster’s technique will be able to address the unique needs of a pregnant mom’s pelvis throughout her pregnancy. To find a local Webster-certified chiropractor, go to www.icpa4kids.org for a list of chiropractic prenatal providers.
- Cunningham, FG, et al, Dystocia Due to Pelvic Contraction, Williams Obstetrics, Nineteenth Ed. 1989.
- Towbin, A. “Dystocia”, Brain Damage in the Newborn and its Neurologic Sequelle, 1998.
- Netter F. Pelvic Viscera and Perineum. Atlas of Human Anatomy,
- Hellstrom B. Sallmander U. Prevention of Spinal Cord Injury in Hyperextension of the Fetal Head. 1968, 204(12): 1041-4.
- Anriig C, Plaugher, G. Chiropractic Management of In-Utero Constraint. Pediatric Chiropractic, 1998; Chapter 5, page 102.