Chiropractic Prenatal Care
Yes, you read that right! If you just raised an eyebrow with a bit of confusion, you are not alone. Most people think Chiropractic care is mostly for neck pain, back pain, and maybe headaches. For most of my patients, that’s true. However, after we resolve their pain, some amazing things start happening. Some people notice they move better, sleep better, breathe better, have less digestive issues, feel less stress, feel more focused, etc. Response to care is different for every individual, but most people find the benefits of chiropractic care beyond pain relief and into the realm of optimal function.
The reason is because Chiropractic works with the nervous system, the master control system of the body. Your brain tells every part of your body, every organ, tissue, and cell, how to function. The brain sends its messages via nerves, which run through the spine and out to the different parts of the body. When a joint in the spine is misaligned, it not only compromises the mobility of the joint and the ligaments and muscles that attach, but also the nerve that exits that part of the spine. This is called a subluxation. Subluxations are caused by the physical stress of our daily lives, be it sitting at a desk most of the day, performing athletic events, or even picking up and playing with your kiddos!
Anyone who has experienced pregnancy can attest to the physical stress and changes that their body undergoes. Growing a baby is hard work! Your body is constantly changing and adapting to create this beautiful life. For example, your body increases a hormone called Relaxin. Relaxin functions to increase things like heart function and blood flow, but also to relax the ligaments of the pelvis so the bones of the pelvis are more moveable for baby to grow and for baby to be delivered. One of the joints most commonly affected is the pubic symphysis, or pubic bone. As a result, many mothers feel discomfort in their pubic bone, not knowing this could be alleviated. Other common physical grievances of pregnancy such as sciatica and back pain can also be helped by Chiropractic care.
But what if I told you Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy has also been known to have outcomes such as easier, faster labors? A recent study by Heidi Haavik* found a correlation between chiropractic adjustments and responsiveness of the pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that attach to the pelvis and help you to open up the birth canal and push baby out. The women who received pelvic adjustments had stronger pelvic floor muscles. Without subluxations in the pelvis, the joints of the pelvis move freely and nerves can properly stimulate muscles to function properly.
Most women who are familiar with the benefits of Chiropractic care, or have been recommended by their OB or Midwife, seek care for the optimal position of the fetus for birth. Oftentimes, women come to the Chiropractor when their baby is in a breech position in hopes that Chiropractic care can help baby get into an optimal position and allow for a vaginal birth. The Chiropractic technique used to adjust pregnant women is called the Webster Technique. The technique was founded by Dr. Larry Webster in 1976 after watching his daughter suffer through a long and difficult labor where the baby was breech. Since that time, Chiropractors have been successfully helping change the outcomes of breech positioned babies. The idea is that by removing any misalignment in the pelvis, there is proper nerve stimulation to the uterus and pelvic muscles and ligaments, allowing the baby to assume the best position for birth and the body to have the optimal movement to birth. More information about the Webster Technique, its efficacy, and how to find a Webster trained Chiropractor can be found on the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s (ICPA) website, www.icpa4kids.org.
So what can you expect when you go to a Chiropractor that is trained to care for the expectant mother? First of all, you can expect a Doctor who is ready to listen to you and help support and care for you on your journey to motherhood. We want your pregnancy and labor to be a positive and healthy experience for you and baby. Ideally, we promote wellness care and prevention so we hope to have you under care before you are pregnant and throughout your pregnancy. However, we are open to helping you whenever your journey brings you to us. The adjustment is safe and gentle, and best of all our tables accommodate for you to lie on your belly! Moms often report this opportunity as the best part of their day. In our office at Back to Health Chiropractic, you can almost always expect to see expectant Moms, babies, and little ones getting adjusted every time you come in. We look forward to meeting you and your newest addition!
In good health,
*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 (2016): 339-47. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Deme graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and moved to Dallas, Texas where she taught Physical Education and Health and coached Basketball, Volleyball, and Cross Country. While competing at the Ironman Triathlon 70.3 World Championships, Dr. Deme discovered the many benefits of Chiropractic in her personal performance. The improved health results along with her passion for natural health, led her to Parker University to study Chiropractic. Dr. Deme is Webster Certified to treat prenatal patients and is currently pursuing a specialty in Pregnancy and Pediatrics with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. Dr. Deme and her husband Chris are excited for their son, Alexi, to grow up in West Michigan.