The Birthing Process and Chiropractic

The birthing process is a very complicated process that puts a lot of stress on both the mother and the baby. Because birth is so complicated, numerous things can go wrong. However, chiropractic is an amazing tool for any expecting mother, that has benefits for both mum and baby. Before, during, and after labor, and helps provide a safe and comfortable birthing process. Here is how chiropractic can help at all stages of the birthing process.

Before Labour

It is important to get checked by a chiropractor from the beginning of your pregnancy, as being under chiropractic care allows your pelvis to comfortably expand and change in order to give space for your baby to grow. If the baby has room to grow comfortably this will allow them to be in the best position possible for when it is time to give birth1. However, some babies can sometimes end up in the wrong position for birthing – known as breech position.

Breech Babies

Most babies in the breech position need some type of intervention, such a a Caesarean section, to help them be born safely. There is a pregnancy specific chiropractic technique, called Webster technique, that focuses on balancing the pelvis, including pelvic muscles and ligaments. This can help take pressure off the uterus, and can result in the baby repositioning itself into the ideal position for birth taking away the need for extra interventions2.

During Labour

Because chiropractic balances the joints of the pelvis and gets the nervous system working at its best, this usually results in faster and easier births. This is due to a few reasons. As mentioned above, chiropractic care allows the baby to be in the best possible position for birth, it also makes sure that the mother’s pelvis is ready for giving birth. Because chiropractic clears interference from the nervous system, this allows the brain to be able to better control the uterus and cervix, allowing the birth process to happen faster and more smoothly3.

Chiropractic care and reducing labour time

Estimates show that women under chiropractic care, have on average a 25-30% shorter labour time than those who are not under chiropractic care4. When the labour can run without complications due to the baby’s position, this decreases the need for extra medical interventions, allowing for a safer and more comfortable birth for both mother and baby. Chiropractic also has an impact on pelvis floor muscles, giving them a better ability to relax when the pelvic floor muscles are at rest. These muscles are very important in giving birth. When these muscles are working properly, it increases the chances of being able to have a safe, natural vaginal birth5.

After Labour

Chiropractic is important for the mother both before and after giving birth. Because it equips her body to be able to bounce back to normal as quickly as possible. If there was for some reason some type of trauma during the birth, chiropractic increases the body’s healing capabilities, allowing the mother to heal as fast and effectively as possible4.

Even a safe, fast birth can still cause a lot of trauma and stress on the newborn baby’s system. It’s important to check after birth so chiropractors can find any areas of stress caused by the birthing process. Then remove them using extremely gentle and safe techniques, specific for very young children. From the moment babies are born, their brain and body start growing and adapting. Chiropractic clears their nervous system from any stress that may have been caused by the birthing process, which allows them to grow and function at their very best.

References:

  1. American Pregnancy Association. (2019, October 31). Chiropractic care during pregnancy: Safety and benefits. https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy/
  2. Spinning Babies. (2015, February 19). Professional help. https://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/techniques/professional-help/
  3. The WOMB. (n.d.). Chiropractic care. https://www.thewomb.ca/index.php/services/chiropractic-care
  4. Borggren, C. L. (2007). Pregnancy and chiropractic: A narrative review of the literature. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 6(2), 70-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcme.2007.04.004
  5. Haavik, H., Murphy, B. A., & Kruger, J. (2016). Effect of spinal manipulation on pelvic floor functional changes in pregnant and Nonpregnant women: A preliminary study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 39(5), 339-347. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.04.004
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File:The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli-Uffizi.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

 

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

What changes does the body go through during pregnancy and how can chiropractic care help?

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing as you are growing a brand new human inside of you. However, while this is happening, it causes a lot of changes in your own body too. Different changes happen throughout different parts of your pregnancy and will differ from mother to mother, as no two pregnancies are the same. While these will be different for everyone, these are some of the changes you can expect as you progress through your pregnancy.

First trimester in pregnancy

It is very common during early pregnancy to feel very fatigued and low on energy, as your body adapts to all the changes it is going through. It’s also common to experience some nausea and vomiting due to the pregnancy hormones, these may also cause some emotional symptoms. You will likely need to urinate more as the baby starts growing and starts pressing on your bladder. Heartburn, constipation, and lightheadedness are all common in the first trimester. You will also start noticing skin, breast, vaginal, and stomach changes.

Second trimester in pregnancy

Most women have a lot more energy in the second trimester than they do in the first trimester, and are less likely to experience nausea and vomiting. Your stomach will continue to grow as your baby does. Your skin will continue to change. You may start experiencing pain in your legs due to the growing baby placing pressure on nerves and blood vessels. You may also start to experience pain in your back, hips, and pelvis. This can be because of the pressure your growing belly is putting on these areas, and because your ligaments start to relax to allow your pelvis to move in order to be ready for childbirth. You may also experience some stomach pain as the muscles and ligaments supporting your uterus stretch.

Third trimester in pregnancy

It’s normal to start to feel fatigued again. You will feel your baby start to move more and are likely experience some swelling throughout your body due to slower blood circulation and fluid retention. Some women experience numbness and tingling in your arm and legs due to increased pressure on the nerves throughout your body. You will likely still experience the same types of pain as you did in the second trimester.

How can chiropractic assist me through my pregnancy journey?

As you can see above your body goes through numerous changes as you go through your pregnancy journey. It is important to give your body as much support as you can throughout this time, and chiropractic is a safe and natural way to assist your body to be as strong and healthy as it can be while you are growing a baby inside of you. There are many different chiropractic techniques that can be utilised for the pregnant body, and all chiropractors are trained in how to provide care specific for a pregnant person. Here are just some of the ways that chiropractic can assist you on your pregnancy journey.

1. Lower back pain

As your stomach grows this changes your posture, your weight bearing, and the way you walk. All of this puts stress on the joints of the lower spine, which can sometimes result in lower back pain. Chiropractic is able to get those joint moving and functioning properly, which decreases the stress on them, and regularly results in less pain.

2. Balance pelvis

The ligaments of the pelvis relax and the pelvis expands as the baby grows. This however can sometimes cause weakness and pain in the hips and pelvis. Chiropractic makes sure all of the joints are moving and functioning well, so as they move and change they are still strong, stable, and balanced. This can decrease pain levels and allows the pelvis to safely expand to allow room for the baby to grow and move into the best position possible.

3. Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain during pregnancy is usually caused by stretching of the ligaments that are attached to the uterus, as the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby. This tends to cause cramping and discomfort. There are specific chiropractic techniques, such as Webster technique, that help to relax these ligaments to ease pain and cramping as they stretch.

4. Decrease pain killers

Anything that the mother ingests, the baby will also take into their system. Chiropractic has been shown to remove up to 85% of pain symptoms that pregnant people experience, thus reducing the need for painkillers, and decreasing the baby’s exposure to these medications while in the womb.

5. Increase nervous system function

Chiropractic is all about removing interference from the nervous system so that it can work at its best. As the nervous system is the master controller of all body systems, including the reproductive system, chiropractic care allows the body to function at its best while it is going through all the changes of pregnancy. This is why people notice other benefits other than those mentioned above, such as increased energy and less heartburn, and why chiropractic is extremely beneficial in all stages of pregnancy.

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Pregnancy Chiropractor Auckland

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Pregnancy - Chiropractic

 

How To Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscle

You may have heard about pelvic floor muscles in the context of pregnancy so you might assume that they’re only of interest to pregnant individuals. Although pregnant women benefit immensely from pelvic floor strengthening they’re a concern for everyone. Why? Because everyone has pelvic floor muscles!

Pelvic floor muscles are layers of muscles that stretch from your tailbone to your pubic bone. When you lose normal control of these muscles it’s known as pelvic floor dysfunction. This can result in incontinence (lack of urination control) and pelvic pain.

Here are a couple of anatomy diagrams for you visualize these hidden muscles:

    1. Female Pelvic Floor Muscles

    2. Male Pelvic Floor Muscles

You may be wondering what the big deal is. These are not like your triceps muscles that you can flash and impress others with… no. They’re more functional than that. The reason you want to get into the habit of strengthening these mystery muscles is because as you age the likelihood that you experience incontinence whether it be from a coughing or exercising increases.

For pregnant women in particular, the risk of getting pelvic pain, which is common during pregnancy, decreases when strengthening your pelvic floor muscles regularly.  It also helps support your body with the increasing weight of the baby.

So how do you work them out? Well we’ve got 2 exercises for you that vary from normal to advanced.

Important note: do NOT hold your breath during these exercises. Breathe nice and slowly.

KEGEL (normal):

  1. Tighten the muscles you’d use to stop urinating midstream.
  2. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  3. Relax the muscles.
  4. Repeat 15 times.

SUPER KEGEL (advanced):

  1. Stretch your spine to the ceiling.
  2. Squeeze the muscles that you’d use to stop a bowel movement.
  3. Inhale and maintain the squeezing of those muscles.
  4. Exhale and maintain the squeezing.
  5. Squeeze the muscles you’d use to stop urinating midstream. Your entire pelvic floor should be contracting now. BREATHE.
  6. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  7. Relax the muscles.
  8. Repeat 10 times.

It’s recommended that you perform this 2-3 times a day.

What’s really handy about these exercises is that you can perform these exercises anywhere as it’s all happening internally. So next time you’re bored or stuck in traffic, work your pelvic floor muscles and future you will thank you!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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