PRENATAL CHIROPRACTIC CARE
Let’s discuss how to create the healthiest, most optimal and ideal environment for a mother and her unborn child with Austin Pregnancy chiropractic care. Now you may be thinking, “What can a chiropractor tell me about keeping a mom and her baby healthy?” But when we are talking about the environment the baby is in, we are talking about the mother, her body! Chiropractors are experts on how to GET the body healthy and KEEP it there. Being a female chiropractor, I have a special interest in mother’s and keeping them as healthy and in alignment as possible.
We will be discussing how the spine and nervous system are crucial aspects of the body’s normal functioning and in particular to a mother and her unborn baby’s health and vitality. We will also be discussing how through specific chiropractic adjustments we can restore and increase the body’s functioning capabilities to provide an unborn child with everything it needs for a healthy development.
I wanted to share with you a quote by Plato that really inspired me. Plato said: “Give me a different set of mother’s and I will give you a different world.” Now, how many of you would like to change the world and make it a better place for your children? I’m pretty sure that would be all of you. Even if you don’t have children yet or your children are all grown up, I’m sure you still strive to make the world a better place. I know in my heart that by educating and supporting mothers, and the population in general, together we can make a better future for us all.
We will begin by discussing optimal spinal alignment and why that is so important to a healthy functioning body. I want everyone to do an exercise. Slouch over forward in your chair and just your chin forward. How do you feel in this position? Think about it.
Now sit up nice and straight and tall. Feels a lot better doesn’t it? That is because this is more optimal position for your spine. When the spine misaligns, it distorts the posture which can put abnormal pressure on the bones, the discs, the ligaments and most importantly onto your nervous system and if you’re pregnant, your baby as well. When you are pregnant, the increasing size of the abdomen puts pressure onto the spine and pelvis, which is why it is so common for pregnant women to get backaches.
Now, which is the first system to develop in our body? What was the very first thing created in an unborn baby’s body? You may be thinking the heart or the lungs, but the baby actually needs neither of those things at conception. They get blood and air pumped through their body by their mom all the way up to the birth. What they do need is something to coordinate all the functions that will be taking place, so they need a nervous system! The nervous system is the master control system of our body and the neural tube is the first thing to develop in the fetus, which becomes our central nervous system. It coordinates all functions. It influences the way our heart beats, how we breathe and even the development of the baby in utero.
When the spine misaligns it can actually interfere with your nervous system. Your spine is intimately related and was designed to protect your nervous system, as the skull does the brain. Due to the need for mobility, the spine can move out of alignment, which can irritate/interfere with the nervous system, which is called a subluxation. This is a common cause of backache in early pregnancy.
Now you may be wondering how this can happen. It’s very common actually. Your spine can misalign due to traumas, toxicity, and stress. We are not only talking about large traumas like a car accident or falling off of a tree or a horse when you were little, but even small repetitive traumas of our everyday lifestyles like sitting in front of the computer with bad posture and poor sleeping positions.
You may be thinking: if it’s so common why doesn’t everyone complain of back pain and/or neck pain? But less that 10% of your nervous system function actually has to do with pain as you can see illustrated in the picture below. The rest of energy goes toward muscles (how your body stands in gravity, posture and movement) and functioning of your glands, organs and blood flow.
We have nerves that go to our heart, our lungs, and even to a baby developing inside it’s mother. If these nerves are interfered with, do you think the body is going to function better or worse? If these nerves carry all energy, healing and functioning messages to the body, seems like a silly question, doesn’t it? Of course it will function to a lesser degree.
Now I know some of you may be nervous about getting adjusted, especially if you are pregnant, but even the American Pregnancy Association affirms that there are NO contraindications to chiropractic care during pregnancy. Many chiropractors, including myself and Dr. Patzer, have been specifically trained to work with pregnant women and we even utilize specific techniques and tools that have been developed for their needs.
One of these in particular is the Webster Technique. This technique used to be referred to as the “breech turning technique” due to it’s high efficiency in getting babies come out of the breech position. This terminology is inadequate because it is not the technique in itself that turns the baby. A misalignment of the pelvis can cause pressure, restraint and torsion on the uterus and the baby inside. This causes the baby to have less room to move and develop inside of the uterus. Balancing the pelvis and lumbar spine allows the body to open up and the baby to have room to do what it is supposed to do, turn face down to come out head first.
Through the alignment of the spine and pelvis we can actually help reduce the time of labor and delivery which can prevent unwanted interventions such as a cesarean section or the use of forceps because with everything in alignment the baby has more freedom to move and the body is free of interference so women can perform one of the main functions of our bodies as women, the birth process.
My mother was 6 months pregnant when she started feeling the aches and pains that can be associated with pregnancy. A friend told her she should check out a chiropractor. It is so amazing to talk to my mom about her pregnancy. She says it is when she felt the most alive, vibrant and sexy in her whole life, and she contributes that partially to the chiropractic care she received. She had such a great experience and learned how important the functioning of the spine and nervous system was to a person’s health, that she took me in to get checked for the first time at 10 days old and still sees a chiropractor regularly to this day.