Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
Chiropractic care during pregnancy is considered safe for both mother and foetus.1,2 As your pregnancy progresses there will be an increase in circulating hormones which cause significant muscle and ligament relaxation.
At no time in a woman’s life is the incredible adaptive capacity of the human body more obvious than during pregnancy.
The physiological changes that accompany pregnancy are nothing short of amazing. Those changes are directed towards creating the optimal environment for the developing foetus. Unfortunately, as pregnancy progresses, some of the comforts afforded the foetus can compromise a mother’s spinal integrity. Furthermore, pregnancy is a dynamic process with numerous changes taking place within a relatively short span of time. These changes mean pre-pregnancy planning, proper nutrition, and regular exercise should be priorities for a mother to be.3
Common complaints during pregnancy
A percentage of women during pregnancy experience:
- Sciatica (pain into the buttock and down the leg)
- Low Back Pain
- Groin pain often known as osteitis pubis
Because of the high frequency many people have considered the above problems to be “normal” during pregnancy and just “expect to live with them”. Careful assessment of each of these conditions will determine if Chiropractic care may help offer relief, particularly if recommended by the obstetrician.
During a normal uncomplicated pregnancy, there is no need to restrict vigorous low impact activities (stretching, walking, swimming). In fact, it has been shown that keeping active during pregnancy has both short and long term positive implications for your baby. One study found that on-going exercise seemed to contribute to normal, on-time delivery.4 We also know that women who start, and maintain, a moderate weight bearing exercise program during early pregnancy, improve their likelihood of giving birth to a healthy and heavier baby.5
Check out some exercises that may be beneficial for you during the pregnancy. Please be advised that any exercises that are represented here assume that your GP or obstetrician has assessed and cleared you for any exercise programme.
- Penna M. Pregnancy and chiropractic care. ACA J Chiro. 1989; 26: 31-33.
- Diakow P, Gadsby T, Gadsby J, et al. Back Pain During Pregnancy and Labour. JMPT. 1991; 14: 116-118.
- Levinson D. Chiropractic care and exercise: A winning formula for a healthy pregnancy. The American Chiropractor. 1995; 39: 10-12.
- Richards M, Hardy R, Kuh D, et al. Birth weight and cognitive function in British 1946 cohort: longitudinal based study. BMJ. 2001; 322: 199-203.
- Henderson, I. American Medical Association records released in 1987 during trial in U.S. District Court Northern Illinois Eastern Division, No. 76 C 3777, May 1987.
- Freitag P. Expert testimony of P. Freitag, M.D., Ph.D., Comparing the results of two neighbouring hospitals, U.S. District Court Northern Illinois Eastern Division, No. 76 C 3777, May 1987.
- Fallon, J. The Effects of Chiropractic Treatment on Pregnancy and Labour: A Comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic, 1991: 24-31.
- Hatch M, Levin B, Shu XO, et al. Maternal leisure-time exercise and timely delivery. American Journal of Public Health. 1998; 88: 1528-1533.
- Clapp F, Kim H, Burciu B, et al. Beginning regular exercise in pregnancy: effect on fetoplacental growth. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000; 183: 1484-1488.