The benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women





Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be a little unnerving as you navigate how to keep yourself and your growing baby well and healthy. Seeing your chiropractor during your pregnancy can have a number of benefits and contribute to your overall wellbeing.


According to the American Pregnancy Association, there are no known safety risks that might prevent you from seeking chiropractic adjustments to help maintain your wellness during pregnancy1. There aren’t many large, clinical studies into the effects of chiropractic therapy for pregnant women, but those that have been done suggest a few key benefits to regular chiropractic visits throughout pregnancy.


Some of the main benefits for seeing your chiropractor throughout your pregnancy include:


Preparing your body for giving birth

Long-term chiropractic care helps to ensure your spine, joints and pelvis remain properly aligned. By making appointments with your chiropractor a regular habit, you can ensure you’re in the best position to be physically prepared for the experience of giving birth.


Some limited studies have found that being adjusted by your chiropractor can help to increase your control over your pelvic floor muscles, which in turn, can aid in a smoother delivery.2


Treatment for back, neck and joint pain

For many women, back and joint pain go hand in hand with pregnancy. The extra stress of a growing baby’s weight can wreak havoc on your spine and joints and particularly in your third trimester, an increased level of progesterone, oestrogen, and relaxin in your body can lead to pelvic hypermobility and a decrease in spinal stabilisation.3


What does that mean? In a nutshell, it means you may be in for a sore back and hips! Your chiropractor understands the musculoskeletal system and the kind of effects these changes can have on it.


Analysis has shown that manual chiropractic therapies have a positive effect on the intensity of lower back and pelvic pain during pregnancy, compared to simple rest and relaxation4. In one study, 75% of pregnant patients who received chiropractic care during their pregnancies stated that they found relief from pain. 5


Treatment of symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)

SPD, also known as pelvic girdle pain, is pelvic pain that often occurs during pregnancy, when the pelvic muscles become stiff, or develop uneven movement. While this isn’t harmful for your baby, it can cause you considerable pain.

Case reports have shown that chiropractic treatment, including:

  • soft tissue therapy

  • pregnancy support belts

  • side-lying mobilizations

  • pelvic blocks

  • instrument-assisted pubic symphysis adjustments

when combined with home treatment such as:

  • regular physical activity, stretches and breaks from sitting

  • sleeping with a pillow between the knees

  • pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises

appear to reduce pain and improve mobility in pregnant women with SPD6.


So, whether you’re already expecting or making plans to conceive, our chiropractors can assist you in planning chiropractic care to maintain your physical wellbeing. Book an appointment today to get started.


Sources

1 The American Pregnancy Association, Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy, www.americanpregnancy.org

2 H Haavik, B A Murphy, J Kruger., Effect of Spinal Manipulation on Pelvic Floor Functional Changes in Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women: A Preliminary Study, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2016

3 5 C L Borggren., Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature, Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2007

4 H Hall, H Cramer, T Sundberg, L Ward, J Adams, C Moore, D Sibbritt, R Lauche., The effectiveness of complementary manual therapies for pregnancy-related back and pelvic pain: A systematic review with meta-analysis, Medicine (Baltimore), 2016

6 ER Howell., Pregnancy-related symphysis pubis dysfunction management and postpartum rehabilitation: two case reports, J Can Chiropr Assoc, 2012