Chiropractic for pregnant women:
During the 9 months of pregnancy, a woman’s body changes to create a new life. This is a beautiful process that comes with many changes. One of those changes is the production of hormones, including the hormone relaxin. Relaxin helps the body prepare for pregnancy and birth by – just like its name suggests – relaxing and loosening the tissues in the body of the future mom.
With all those changes during pregnancy, it is quite common for women to have aches and pains that can affect their everyday life during this process, and even potentially later on in life if these symptoms are not addressed properly. Some of the most common symptoms reported during pregnancy are:
- Pelvic pain
- Low back pain
- Clicking or pain in the Pubis symphysis area
- Tightness or pain in the belly
- General body ache
- Discomfort or pain walking or sitting
- Head aches
- … and this list goes on!
These symptoms are common, but that does not mean that they are normal! There are many holistic approaches possible that can help, one of those being chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care can help alleviate and possibly even resolve these symptoms if they are related to a mechanical issue. It can also be implemented early on to help prevent these issues, however, chiropractic care does not replace the medical care and regular check-ups necessary throughout the pregnancy.
One of the most common symptoms during pregnancy is pelvic pain. How can chiropractic care help with that? By addressing any joint dysfunction, commonly found in the pelvis and the spine, as well as addressing any excess tension in the surrounding tissues. A commonly irritated tissue during pregnancy is the round ligament because it is connected to the growing uterus.
So chiropractic care allows us to address any tension and joint dysfunction, which helps the nervous system maintain an optimal function.
And what happens after birth? One could believe that everything goes right back to “normal”, however in reality the body can take a couple months to adapt. The hormonal changes, including the production of relaxin, will vary depending if the mom decides to breastfeed or not. Breastfeeding, among other things, will favor the production of relaxin.
It is very common to have pelvic dysfunction after labor, and again also later on in life if it is not addressed properly. Chiropractic care can also help women postpartum to ease into this new transition of life while using gentle and appropriate techniques adapted to each mom.
In conclusion, chiropractic care can help women before, during, and after their pregnancy. But again, it does not replace the medical care and check-ups throughout a pregnancy.
Dr. Margot Monmousseau
Doctor of Chiropractic
Palmer College of Chiropractic West (U.S.A.)
Daniel Mühlemann, Malin B Mühlemann, “Low Back Pain in Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Treatment Options and Outcomes“
Christopher Oswald, Ceara C Higgins, Demetry Assimakopoulos, “Optimizing pain relief during pregnancy using manual therapy“
Cara L Borggren, “Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature“