I was already well into my pregnancy when I heard about the benefits of chiropractic work during pregnancy. It is especially recommended by women who have had particular ailments in pregnancy – such as back and hip problems –and women who are interested in natural, medication-free birth. Chiropractic work realigns your bones and joints so that your body works as it was designed. This is especially important for labor as having misaligned hips can make it harder for the baby to move down and out as it is supposed to, and can make it more painful. One study found that women who had chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% reduction in the length of labor compared to women who had no chiropractic care, and women giving birth for the second or third time reported 39% reduction in labor times compared to their previous labors. (Fallon, J. The effect of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: A comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic. 1991: 24:31.)
There are so many things we do in our day-to-day life that we do that get our body out of whack. In pregnancy, hormones loosen the joints and the extra weight in the belly make us compensate in different areas. I started seeing a chiropractor every other week at 29 weeks, and started going every week starting at 37 weeks. I wasn’t really having any major problems – aside from some low back pain which usually went away when I stretched and did hip circles. Although I did not realize until I started seeing the chiropractor how tight my neck gets… and the adjustments always make me feel so much better! My main goal in seeing the chiropractor is to keep my body in alignment to put me and baby in the best position (literally) to labor naturally and hopefully have a shorter and easier labor than otherwise.
This post by Lydia at Walking with Dancers is a great overview of the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy. And this post by Mrs. Superhero on hellobee talks about the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy and postpartum.
After knowing what I do now, next time I will start seeing the chiropractor earlier. I have heard adjustments can even help with morning sickness!