Can I see a chiropractor while pregnant?

Pregnant woman with finger on her chin wondering if she can see a chiropractor while pregnant

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Did you know that back pain affects 50-80 per cent of pregnant women? And eight to 20 per cent of these women report persistent symptoms at two to three years postpartum.

That’s a lot of pain to put up with, but there is hope, as one study found 75% of pregnant patients who received chiropractic care during their pregnancies said that they found relief from pain.

Several techniques may ease this back pain, such as maintaining a healthy weight and practising good posture. However, we all know some aches and pains seem to be unavoidable.

For some women, the pain can be debilitating, hindering sleep, work and routine activities of daily living.

If you’ve been putting up with pain and discomfort thinking it’s ‘just the way pregnancy is’, then we’ve got great news. By seeing a Chiropractor while pregnant, it’s possible to ease the pains of pregnancy. You may also improve your recovery post-birth.

But is it safe to see a Chiropractor while pregnant? Of course! There are several benefits you can enjoy from regular visits throughout your pregnancy and after you’ve given birth.

Read on to discover these benefits and uncover the answers to your questions like:

  • Can you go to the chiropractor when pregnant?​
  • How often should I go to the chiropractor while pregnant?

Can you go to the chiropractor when pregnant?

As you grow and protect the little one in your belly, it’s natural to have concerns about what types of therapy are safe for you and your baby.

Chiropractic is sometimes associated with solid practitioners manipulating patients in pretzel-like positions. Although far from the reality of regular chiropractic care and techniques, it’s understandable why pregnant women would perceive this as a potential risk.

Although “risk” can be challenging to measure, you may take some comfort; an extensive literature review in 2012 found, “There are only a handful of reported cases of adverse events following spinal manipulation during pregnancy and the postpartum period in the literature…”

You can trust your chiropractor to take special care of you and your baby by taking chiropractic pregnancy safety precautions and minimising risk. These include using cushions to support your belly and avoiding specific adjustment postures. We may even use special tools such as a drop piece to reduce impact.

In short, chiropractic care, in combination with other pregnancy-approved treatments and therapies, is a fantastic option for both you and your baby throughout pregnancy and postpartum.

The 5 benefits of chiropractic care for pregnancy

So we’ve established that you can see a chiropractor while pregnant. Now, let’s have a look at the fantastic benefits you can experience from keeping up with your care as your pregnancy progresses.

Some perks you can look forward to include:

1. May reduce lower back pain

If you’ve experienced lower back pain, or back pain in general for that matter, during your pregnancy, you know how debilitating it can be.

From rolling out of bed in the morning to standing in line at the grocery store, back pain can put a real pinch in your plans. These pains are so much more common during pregnancy, thanks to a lovely hormone called relaxin.

During pregnancy, your body releases this hormone to help your hips widen, and your body makes room for the little bundle of joy growing within. Unfortunately, relaxin doesn’t pick and choose which ligaments it relaxes. An example of this is noticing your feet ‘grow’ during pregnancy.

Relaxin also relaxes your spine. A relaxed spine combined with the front-heavy weight of carrying a baby results in the curve of your spine undergoing stress.

Luckily, chiropractic care during pregnancy can help to adjust this curve positively. Chiropractic adjustments may help to reduce the pinching, aching sensation you feel. As a bonus, relieving the pinched nerves caused by that over-curved spine can help alleviate other problems such as swollen or numb legs and feet.

2. Ease pregnancy symptoms

Pregnancy comes packed full of symptoms that every expecting mum loves, right?

If your pregnancy symptoms have got you feeling down and out, chiropractic care could be the solution to finding some relief. Seeking regular care may ease symptoms like sciatica, thoracic pain, pelvic pain, and even headaches.

Beyond this, those side effects such as poor sleep can experience a welcome relief by returning the body to its naturally aligned state.

Can you relate to the three-quarters of New Zealand women who suffer morning sickness in the first trimester of their pregnancy? While chiropractic care can’t tackle the hormones that cause those sudden bouts of nausea, it can target another common cause. Chiropractic care may even help with the frequency and severity of morning sickness.

Pinched nerves and vertebrae that are out of alignment can result in nausea and vomiting. If this symptom won’t seem to go away, consider giving chiropractic a try to reduce your chances of ongoing problems.

3. Reduce in-utero constraint

Remember that relaxin hormone we mentioned earlier? Back pain isn’t the only side effect you can experience from its relaxation powers.

As your body gives way to your pregnancy, those relaxed joints can put an immense amount of stress and pressure on your ligaments. As these ligaments take on the weight of the baby and your squished internal organs, they begin to tighten up to try to accommodate the load.

In simple terms, this means your body struggles to relax and allow your baby to shift positions in the womb.

Unfortunately, this tightening results in a condition known as an in-utero constraint.

In-utero constraint is uncomfortable for mum and serious if baby is in the wrong position for birth.

As your due date approaches, it’s a great idea to ensure your baby is shifting into the correct position by proactively addressing this problem.

4. Encourages a shorter labour

Every expecting woman hopes and dreams for a quick and painless birth. While the length and intensity of your labour are mainly up to nature, there is a way you can improve your chances of easier delivery. You guessed it, chiropractic pregnancy care.

A recent study revealed that patients who received chiropractic treatment throughout their pregnancy experienced an average of 31% shorter labour times.

Shorter labour times are possible because chiropractic care can aid in preparing your body for the miracle of birth. By ensuring everything is in alignment, you are allowing your body to communicate more efficiently. Chiropractic care can improve your response to contractions and move labour along easier.

Beyond this, the clear and aligned path from baby to the outside world can improve your little one’s chances of making a smooth entry. While there’s no proof that chiropractic care can reduce pain during birth, the smoother labour can often result in less trauma. And less trauma will help speed up your recovery.

5. May improve post-partum recovery

On the subject of recovery, your post-partum journey could be much easier with chiropractic care.

As we mentioned above, aligning your body improves your ability to communicate efficiently. This not only helps get your baby out safe and sound but also aids in helping your body return to its pre-pregnancy state.

It’s no question that both pregnancy and childbirth cause some pretty extreme changes in the structure of your body. By realigning the nervous system, your recovery can be much smoother with significantly less pain.

For added benefit, you can see your chiropractor after birth to help your body begin its shift after the stresses of pushing a baby out. Those first few adjustments can be a miracle worker to relieve any postpartum aches and pains that may occur after birth.

How often should I go to the chiropractor while pregnant?

Now that you know the chiropractic pregnancy benefits you can look forward to, you’re probably itching to get started. So when and how often you can get your treatments in?

Most pregnant women see their chiropractor every couple of weeks during pregnancy. However, your treatment plan will be entirely dependant on your unique circumstances. At the start of your pregnancy, you may only need preventative care once a month. Changing and adapting as your pregnancy trimesters progress and your body changes is often the best approach.

You can rest assured knowing that your chiropractor has your best interest at heart. They will customise your care frequency, treatment and even recommend additional therapies. Your specific and unique needs determine your care plan.

What’s more, is that baby can even reap the benefits of chiropractic care. Seeing a Chiropractor early on can help them get started on the right foot and align their tiny body after their grand adventure down the birth canal.

Seeing a chiropractor while pregnant

Seeing a chiropractor while pregnant is an excellent option for any expecting mum, from the fantastic benefits to reliable and affordable care. Whether you are welcoming your first child or continuing to grow your family, you can reap the impressive advantages of chiropractic care at any stage of your pregnancy.

Ready to start your chiropractic pregnancy journey? Book your appointment with our pregnancy chiropractic practitioner and discover the benefits of chiropractic care for your pregnancy today.

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