This is one of the most exciting times of your life. Your body is continuously undergoing changes throughout your pregnancy in order to accommodate for you and your ever growing and developing soon-to-be baby (or babies). This can also be a stressful time for you.
Chiropractic care typically includes the treatment of pregnant patients. One of the most common complaints during pregnancy is low back pain. The spinal joints in the lower back are now under excess stress as your belly starts to grow. With the increase of hormones, one can also experience an increase in the frequency and duration of headaches. If you have been experiencing the above, take comfort in the fact that you are not the only one. Many pregnant ladies seek chiropractic care as a natural means of gaining symptomatic relief and the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy are being noticed by the wider medical and social communities.
But how safe is it?
This is often one of the first questions that will get asked. Studies show that receiving chiropractic treatment during pregnancy is safe and has no adverse effects on the pregnancy (1). Chiropractors are highly trained and caution will be exercised when and where necessary. Chiropractic techniques are modified for pregnant patients making the experience that much more comfortable.
It has also been reported that there may be a relationship between back pain throughout pregnancy and a longer duration of the labor and delivery process. A retrospective review of statistics reported that women who are pregnant for the first time who seek chiropractic care throughout gestation have, on average, a 25% shorter labour time whereas women who have given birth before who seek chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy have, on average, 31% shorter labour times (2-4).
(1). Shaw G. When to Adjust: Chiropractic and Pregnancy. J Am Chiropr Assoc. 2003;40(11):8–16
(2). J.M. Fallon. Textbook on chiropractic & pregnancy. Arlington, VA: International Chiropractic Association; 1994: 52, 109.
(3). DiMarco D.B. The female patient: enhancing and broadening the chiropractic encounter with pregnant and postpartum patients. J Am Chiropr Assoc. 2003;40(11):18–24.
(4). Fallon J.M. Chiropractic and pregnancy: a partnership for the future. ICA Int Rev Chiropr. 1990;46(6):39–42.