Pregnancy is an exciting and often challenging time in an expectant mother's life, especially if it is her first pregnancy. There is a lot of advice available from family, friends and professionals, all of whom have their own opinions. It is important for the expectant mother and her support network to filter through all this knowledge to arrive at decisions that they feel most comfortable with.
Chiropractors have long been a part of the health care team for many New Zealanders both during pregnancy and following birth. This article will help explain why and how a chiropractor plays such an important role.
The first step in the process is getting pregnant. For some this comes too easily, for some this can be a difficult step. It is widely acknowledged that the healthier a woman is the easier she will find it to become pregnant.
Chiropractors focus their attention on the function of the spine and its influence on the nerve system. A chiropractor will be able to determine if there is dysfunction in the spine and nerve which could be potentially causing improper function elsewhere in the body.
Many women who have had difficulty getting pregnant, and conceive after improving the function of their spine and nerve system by seeing a chiropractor, may ambiguously claim "My Chiropractor got me pregnant!"
Following the shock and then excitement of finding out she is pregnant the pregnant woman will notice many changes happening to her body. As well as the changes that will affect her moods, eating patterns, shape, etc, she will also undergo changes to her biomechanics, or how her body moves and functions.
The extra weight of the developing foetus will create an increasing load exerted upon the lumbar spine and pelvis, which will result in an exaggeration of the lumbar curve. There will be extra stress on the ligaments of the spine and pelvis, with fatigue of the muscles occurring more easily. Relaxin, a hormone that prepares your ligaments for childbirth, is released throughout pregnancy. This can lead to instability, especially of the pelvis.
All these stresses to the spine can lead to the development of low back pain and sciatica, especially if there is an underlying problem present before pregnancy. Studies show that up to half of woman will experience back pain during their pregnancy. A chiropractor is the ideal professional to help a mother through this time, both to relieve the back pain but also to ensure the whole body is functioning at its best for childbirth.
Many women state that seeing a chiropractor during their pregnancy not only helps them have a more comfortable and healthy pregnancy, but also a more successful birth.
It is easy to understand that even a natural healthy birth can cause a lot of pressure to the spine of the newborn baby. During the course through the birth canal there are a lot of opportunities to develop spinal dysfunction, called vertebral subluxation by the chiropractor. If the delivery is assisted by pulling or twisting there is an increased likelihood of developing vertebral subluxations.
Sometimes the baby is only comfortable feeding on one side, or is simply unsettled. A chiropractor may gently adjust the baby's spine to restore normal function and mobility, which helps the nerve system and therefore the body, to function how it was designed to.
Breastfeeding is essential for the health of the baby. However mums will often forget that this is a new task for them and it is easy to strain ones arms, neck and back, so getting in the right position with the right support is of paramount importance.
There are many other considerations for the mother during this exciting time such as lifting and carrying her baby correctly, especially as the baby puts on weight. Doing the right exercise during this period is vital for the mother to return to good health. Consult your local chiropractor for advice.
Good Health, Naturally
Chiropractors will often say that a mothers health throughout her pregnancy, and after, is twice as important as it is normally, as her health directly affects the health of her growing baby. Chiropractic is highly recommended as a means to get and stay healthy before, during and after pregnancy.