Pregnancy can be hard on the body: Many women experience pain in the lower back and pelvis due to changes in their center of gravity, postures, and joint-stabilizing ligaments. Research has found that around 50% of pregnant women experience back pain.
If you’re pregnant or have recently given birth, consider chiropractic treatments for your postnatal and prenatal care and discover the benefits of a balanced spine.
How Do Chiropractors Provide Pre- and Postnatal Care?
Prenatal and postnatal chiropractic care can help mothers achieve different goals. Prenatal care, or care during pregnancy, aims to make the mother as comfortable as possible during sleep and daily activities. Postnatal care focuses on corrective care that fixes problems like hip or pelvis pain for extended periods.
What Is the Difference Between Pre- and Postnatal Care?
During prenatal care, chiropractors focus on calming things down by providing massages, realigning the pelvis, and maintaining lower back functioning. A woman’s body goes through many changes during pregnancy, so we focus on soothing pain and discomfort rather than making long-term corrections.
Once the mother gives birth, we can begin making structural corrections through postnatal care. This stage includes chiropractic adjustment and strengthening the core muscles to keep the spine and joints from moving back out of alignment.
Why Seek Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?
The primary goal of prenatal chiropractic care is to help alleviate pain. Pregnancy causes many changes within the body: the mother’s center of gravity shifts forward, the lumbar spine curves inward, and increased ligament mobility causes more movement in weight-bearing joints.
Pregnant women visit chiropractors to help relieve the pain associated with these bodily changes, including:
- Lower back pain: As weight distribution changes, the spine and joints shift, causing discomfort in the lower back area.
- Sciatic nerve pain: Pregnancy may result in the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the lower back that radiates down through the legs.
- Symphysis pain: The symphysis joint relaxes and separates during pregnancy and labor, causing instability and what patients often describe as pelvic pain.
- Round ligament pain: Round ligaments attached to the uterus must stretch as the baby grows, which can cause pain on either side of the abdomen and in the pubic area.
- Sacroiliac pain: The joints connecting the pelvis and hip bones become more mobile during pregnancy, causing what is often described as hip pain.
Prenatal chiropractic care helps relieve pain caused by shifting joints and increased pressure on the spine so that you can enjoy your pregnancy, maintain your daily routine, and get rejuvenating sleep.
What Are the Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?
Prenatal care from a chiropractic doctor provides expecting mothers with many benefits, including:
- Relief from discomfort and pain: No one wants to be in pain or discomfort during pregnancy. After all, you still have to take care of your daily responsibilities and get restful sleep.
- Increased range of motion: Chiropractic can help you maintain your range of motion so you can still bend, twist, and lift comfortably during your pregnancy.
- Optimal functioning of the back and pelvis: By keeping your lumbar spine and pelvis aligned, chiropractic can improve the body’s overall function.
If you’re pregnant, you can significantly reduce your pain and discomfort through chiropractic care.
What Is a Misaligned Pelvis?
Pregnancy causes normally sturdy ligaments to relax, allowing joints to move more freely as the pelvis prepares to deliver the baby. A misaligned pelvis refers to a shifted hip bone that is no longer in its proper place and functioning as it should, which often causes discomfort and pain.
A misaligned pelvis may also cause complications during pregnancy or delivery, but prenatal care through chiropractic can help get things back into alignment and reduce or eliminate that discomfort.
What Is the Webster Technique?
A common misconception is that chiropractors can turn babies inside the womb, but that’s not what we do. Rather than manipulating the baby, we use the Webster Technique, which provides the optimal environment for the baby to turn or roll into position on their own.
A misaligned pelvis or tight round ligaments can make it more difficult for the baby to flip into the ideal position for delivery because the uterus isn’t in the ideal position itself. We correct this by setting the tailbone, ensuring alignment of the pelvis and hip bones, and relaxing tight round ligaments. The baby can turn more easily when the uterus rests in its usual place and shape.
How Does Chiropractic Care Support Postpartum Recovery?
The mother’s pelvis and hips expand during the delivery process to make room for the baby. Postnatal, or postpartum, chiropractic care will help a new mother get her body back into alignment to function optimally.
We use corrective techniques to solve problems in the lower back, hip, or pelvic areas, whether something is stuck in a suboptimal position, causing pain and discomfort, or keeping the body from functioning how it should.
Chiropractors can also provide advice and coaching on exercises that will help bring strength back into the core and encourage spinal balance.
How Soon Can You Go to a Chiropractor After Having a Baby?
The answer to this question depends on the type of delivery. If the mother had a typical vaginal delivery with no complications, she could begin postnatal chiropractic care in about a week. If the mother had a C-section delivery with no complications, we recommend waiting four to six weeks before seeking chiropractic treatment.
This timeframe may extend if you experience complications during delivery or heal more slowly than usual after a C-section. Getting clearance from your physician before starting chiropractic treatment after childbirth is always a good idea to ensure that your body is ready.
Why Would a Newborn Need Chiropractic Adjustment?
Not every newborn needs an adjustment, but birth, especially vaginal birth, can cause stress and tension on the baby’s neck and surrounding muscles. The most common thing we see is a slight shift in the C1 or C2 vertebra, which can cause discomfort, colic, and difficulty breastfeeding. It’s a good idea to get the baby checked out after delivery to ensure that everything is aligned and functioning correctly.
Why Is Chiropractic Care Important for Everyone?
Chiropractic care can help relieve pain and solve issues you may not even realize stem from spinal imbalances. The spine allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, so your body can’t function at optimal levels without being in proper alignment.
Chiropractic care can relieve many symptoms, including headaches, back pain, neck pain, joint pain, and nerve pain, and help treat conditions like migraines, scoliosis, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, and fibromyalgia.
Whether you’re looking for prenatal care or want to enhance the health of your spine, chiropractic treatment is a safe and drug-free way to find relief from pain. Chiropractic can help improve the quality of life for children and adults.
Contact Us at Smerglia Chiropractic in Northeast Ohio
Dr. Kyle Smerglia and the team at Smerglia Chiropractic use a variety of services to help you get out of pain and achieve optimal health and wellness whether you’re newly pregnant or have recently delivered a baby. Call us at 330-928-2000 to schedule a prenatal or postnatal care visit today.