Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy

Caring for women who are pregnant is an ideal opportunity to assist in her health and to support in the development of the baby.

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Pregnancy is truly a magical time in a woman's life. In nine months a whole new nervous system is formed, a new heart beats and neurons are being developed as baby's brain is growing. It is a time of many changes and challenges for a woman's body; there are new stresses on the spine and the nerve system, hormonal changes and a whole new life to comprehend. 

Chiropractic care is wonderfully beneficial during this time helping to maintain a healthy spine and optimal nerve system function as your body changes and your baby develops. This will help the mother to be more comfortable and aid the healthy development of both mother and baby. Let's not forget the benefits chiropractic can offer in preparation for delivery of this little one into the world.

Preparing for a baby is a lot of work in so many different ways. Some of the hurdles involved are accepted as part and parcel of the pregnancy process; nausea, heartburn, backache, shortness of breath, constipation, haemorrhoids, frequent urination, dizziness, amongst others. Many of these discomforts can be eased with chiropractic care. 

During this time misalignments of the spine can happen due to the weight of the growing baby, it's a major load for a body to bear, increased breast weight, the different positions expectant mothers adopt in order to now sit and sleep comfortably and historical issues that come to the surface now that the body has an extra strain to deal with.

So what can chiropractic care do for a woman who is expecting?

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There are numerous ways that chiropractic care during pregnancy is beneficial.  Chiropractors work with the body, helping it to function as it was designed to. During pregnancy aiding the function of the spine can help in allowing the pelvis room for the baby to grow and move, it can make childbirth easier and can reduce the need for pain relief throughout the pregnancy. Freeing up the lower back and sacrum can offer relief of other issues such as sciatica, frequent urination, difficulty breathing, symphysis pubis pain and pelvic pain.

We have great research backing up what chiropractors and pregnant mothers have known for decades: women benefit from chiropractic care during pregnancy. Here are two studies worth a read.

  • Women who receive chiropractic care have a reduction in labour time for their first child of 25% and this reduction increases for subsequent births (1)

The National Center for Biotechnology Information has research explaining the benefit of chiropractic adjustments which help to mobilise and relax the pelvic muscles and ligaments. When these muscles and ligaments are tense they can have a constraining effect on the uterus and may stop the baby from getting into the best position for birth. This has the potential to make the labour  last longer and be more difficult. If you are interested in reading this very informative piece by the NCBI click here:  Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature.

  • 85% of Pregnant Women Get Back Pain Relief with Chiropractic (2)

Researchers recruited 115 pregnant women who were (1) experiencing pain in their back or pelvic region, (2) had not engaged in chiropractic care during the previous three months, and (3) were not restricted from participation. Each woman then was given chiropractic care, with the frequency of visits and methods of manipulation solely determined based on the preference of the chiropractor for that particular expecting mother.

Data was collected at one week, one month, three months, six months, and one year past the initial chiropractic visit to determine what improvement, if any, the women noticed in regard to their back pain. What they discovered is that the level of improvement in pain increased the more time went on.

For example, when asked one week into the treatment sessions whether or not the women noticed a reduction in their level of pain, 52 percent said yes. That amount increased to 70 percent one month into treatment, then to 85 percent being happy with the results after just three months of chiropractic care. At the six month mark, 90 percent said that they noticed reduced pain in their back region, and the benefits continued with 88 percent reporting positive effects one year after the initial chiropractic treatment session.

What you can expect at Be Well when you are pregnant:

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  • Gentle and empathetic chiropractic care.

  • Techniques to Improve posture and alignment of the spine to allow you stand tall with the extra weight of your baby.

  • Reduction in restrictions in the lumbar sacral area (low back and hips) to reduce discomfort or even sciatica.

  • Balancing the pelvic ligaments if they are tight or imbalanced which can create torquing of the uterus and sacrum. This is key for the ideal position and movement of the baby.

  • Osteopathic cranial adjustments to assist the sacral corrections and reduce headaches and fatigue.

  • Soft tissue, fascia and dural release to help to improve mobility and comfort.

  • Home care tips, exercises and maternal stretches to encourage good positioning of the foetus and improve mobility for the mother.

  • We also address any aspects/ concerns of daily living you may have while pregnant woman.

At Be Well Sarena uses the Webster Technique and Inspiral Paediatric and Pregnancy Protocol. She uses special techniques specifically designed for chiropractors working with pregnant women. They allow for optimal function of the pregnant body using specific and very gentle pelvic adjustments.

The Webster Technique was developed by Dr. Larry Webster, founder of ICPA, Logan practitioner and Life College instructor, after his daughter experienced a long and difficult birth to her daughter. Dr. Webster attended the birth and adjusted her throughout but felt a more specific approach to the pelvis for pregnant women would have a greater impact on labour.

This adjustment is a specific sacral adjustment used to help the mother's pelvic alignment and her nerve system function. This helps to balance the pelvis and it's corresponding muscles and ligaments and reduces torsions to the uterus. For fetal positioning this can be very helpful and many women seek out this adjustment when their baby is presenting in a breech position.

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As a mother of three, it seems natural for me to have an interest in prenatal care. I was under chiropractic care with all of my pregnancies and really enjoyed being pregnant without back pain. Over the last 17 years, I have attended many specialty courses and seminars and I am always adding knowledge and skills to my practice. I thoroughly enjoy having a family chiropractic practice in Wellington. It is amazing to get the opportunity to help women on their journey with bringing a new life into the world; whether it is through bringing relief from discomfort during pregnancy or helping a baby turn that is in a breech position.

Feel free to give us a call on 043884512 if you would like a pregnancy chiropractic consultation at Be Well. We also offer online bookings here: BOOK NOW
We are located in the heart of Newtown at 21 Riddiford Street if you feel like popping in. 


Research resources:

(1) Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature:

(2) 85% of Pregnant Women Get Back Pain Relief with Chiropractic:
Peterson CK, Mühlemann D, Humphreys BK. Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term and 1 year follow-up. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 2014;22(1):15.

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