By: Dr. Graper
When you hear the term “chiropractor,” you likely think of alleviating joint pain due to joint dysfunction. This dysfunction is caused by three things: (1) Physical injury, (2) Chemical or exposure to toxins, and (3) Mental or negative thinking.
Getting adjusted by a chiropractor helps allow your body to heal, as it should. Think of an adjustment as a one-way street up to your brain. Motion travels up your spine, sends a message to your brain and turns off the pain signal. The brain also sends a shorter message to your muscles telling them to relax and stop spasms. Neurology 101.
This neurology-based chain reaction can alleviate pain in your body at any time, especially during pregnancy! For women, pregnancy can be one of the most rewarding, and uncomfortable, periods of time. The body experiences continual physiologic and structural changes during this time and chiropractic care can help women have a comfortable, relaxing and healthy pregnancy. Getting adjusted can help the mama-to-be with back pain while she’s building a baby. Other benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include controlling symptoms of nausea, reducing labor and delivery time, relieving joint and round ligament pain and decreasing the risk of needing a C-section. What Mama doesn’t want those things?
By making sure Mama’s joint can move properly, it can influence baby’s vestibular system. Vestibular what? It’s the system that tells us where we are in space: standing, lying down, upside down, etc. A baby with a more developed vestibular system has an increased likelihood to turn head down for birth. Problems with the system may lead to baby staying in a breech position. This system is also why babies love to be rocked, swayed and bounced. It’s their neurology, not because they are being needy.
So why is this important? If a baby is breech and being born in a hospital, a Caesarean section will most likely be the end result. Caesarean sections tend to have longer recovery times and can make nursing more difficult.
The birthing process, in whatever form, is strenuous on baby’s nervous system. This is exactly why it is so important to get baby adjusted right after birth! After that first adjustment, it is equally important to focus on your child receiving a spinal check with every milestone. An achieved milestone shows that neural pathways have formed and since chiropractic focuses on the nervous system, these go hand-in-hand.
Last but not least, it takes good nutrition to build a healthy baby. Preeclampsia is closely related to nutritional status and preventing this condition is another way to avoid a C-section or other possible adverse events. Nutritional counseling by a knowledgeable person should be discussed at every visit.
The best thing mamas-to-be can do for themselves and their babes is to ask questions and stay informed. If you are looking for a healthy spine during pregnancy, labor and delivery, look to your local chiropractor! Providers that have received additional training in pregnancy and children can be found at the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association’s website. If you are interested in finding out the C-section rates of local hospitals, ICAN of the Twin Cities is a great resource. Whether you choose to give birth in a hospital, birthing center or at home, it is important to have answers to your concerns. The bottom line: get adjusted, eat well and ask questions!
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