Detroit Mamas, this one is all for you! Oftentimes in the transition to motherhood, all attention turns towards your baby. In our office here at Essential Family Chiropractic, we love taking care of your kiddos. But our attention is also on you–before, during, and after pregnancy. You are your baby’s environment from conception to birth (and beyond!), so thriving in your health helps baby thrive in their health, too.
The first big event (read: stress) of life for your baby is birth. Ensuring you have a well-functioning nervous system and a perfect cascade of events during the birthing process allows baby to have the best welcome into the world possible!
So, let’s dive deeper into all things pregnancy, and how chiropractic care can help your growing family.
Pre-Conception + Chiropractic Care
We love sharing with couples who are ready to start a family that a healthy nervous system is a major key in the months or years leading to conception. We know so many women in the midst of trying to conceive and experiencing struggles, delays, or even loss. If that is part of your story, our hearts and prayers are with you. But even more importantly: we are here to offer our hands through chiropractic care!
We have heard quite a few testimonies, stating, “My chiropractor got me pregnant!”, which can evoke a variety of reactions from family and friends. All joking aside, a woman may begin chiropractic care to help with chronic low back pain, and then end up conceiving. Some of these women may have been previously labeled as “infertile.” Or, possibly just assumed because of other diagnoses (i.e. PCOS) that pregnancy was not an option. If you are like most people, you may be wondering, “How does chiropractic care help with fertility?”
Your body’s master control center–the nervous system–coordinates ALL functions in the body. The same nerves that allow you to feel pain in your lower back area, also branch out in similar areas of the spine. They control muscles, organs, and glands in your lower back. This includes glands that produce hormones relating to proper menstruation and pregnancy, and reproductive organs.
If the cause of low back pain is subluxation (a spinal bone out of alignment putting pressure on the nervous system), the nerves that go into the ovaries and uterus can also have that same pressure. That nerve pressure causes miscommunication in messages between our brain and our female organs. With long-term miscommunication, irregular or painful menstrual cycles may occur. Even without these obvious symptoms, hormone imbalance may result from subluxation, causing fertility issues.
We recognize that there are other causes of infertility that need input from a variety of healthcare specialties. But if we ensure that our nerves have proper communication first, all those other efforts to conceive have a greater likelihood of being effective. In this section we focused on female anatomy, but male reproductive organs need proper nerve flow, too. At Essential Family Chiropractic, we love taking care of couples before they are even thinking about starting a family!
Pregnancy + Chiropractic Care
Any mamas out there who wish they had more aches and pains during pregnancy, more nausea, less quality sleep, and longer labor times? …We didn’t think so. Research shows that women under chiropractic care experience fewer aches and pains throughout pregnancy. They also experience shorter delivery times compared to women not under chiropractic care!
This is directly related to the health of their nervous systems. With improved body awareness, our brain can activate muscles appropriately to carry better posture. It can also allow more comfortable stretching of our uterus, ligaments, and tissues. The all-important Relaxin hormone peaks at 12-14 weeks gestation, not at the end of pregnancy like we may assume. This hormone is responsible for allowing your uterus to stretch as baby grows. It also allows the pelvis to open appropriately during labor and delivery as baby descends into the birthing canal. Therefore, it is never too early to be adjusted during pregnancy.
Our doctors here at Essential Family Chiropractic have extensive, additional training for pregnancy care beyond the typical chiropractor. One of the many techniques we incorporate in our office is called the Webster Technique. It is an analysis of the pelvis to ensure best alignment and proper function of this area that plays such a big role in pregnancy and birth! It was created by Dr. Larry Webster and continues to be taught by the forefront pediatric and prenatal association, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), years later.
The analysis first looks at the sacrum, the bone between the pelvic bones, which houses nerves that branch out into the uterus, ovaries, and pelvic floor. Adjustments ensure proper movement of this bone in the pelvis as well as proper nerve communication to these organs. This analysis often also leads us to find misalignment of the pubic bone, soft tissue release of the round ligament, and more.
This all-important anatomy commonly causes moms discomfort during pregnancy and labor if the underlying subluxation is not addressed. With chiropractic care, you can be confident your nervous system is functioning at 100%. Therefore, your body as a whole can function and feel its best!
One Mom’s Pregnancy Story with Essential Family Chiropractic
It is common to hear about the dreaded “lightning crotch” during pregnancy. Thankfully, chiropractic care is shown to help decrease pubic bone pain and underlying pelvic floor issues!
We recently had a mom start care in her second trimester. She unfortunately experienced this “shocking” pain late in the third trimester as her body prepared for birth. Through consistent chiropractic care and some light restrictions on her body movement, she was able to enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy with her husband and toddler, instead of being unable to move due to pain. She went on to have her ideal birth, a beautiful home birth experience.
Postpartum + Chiropractic Care
Many changes still occur in a woman’s body after birth. The amount of change during pregnancy is easy to recognize but postpartum, your body is relearning skills again! Our core relearns to function without a baby within it. Our uterus shrinks back to pre-pregnancy size. And, our nervous system learns how to take care of another person in ways it has not before. The mamas in our office at Essential Family Chiropractic cannot imagine going through this relearning without neurologically-based chiropractic care!
This season of postpartum is where we often see attention shift to baby, with little focus on mom. After six weeks and an “okay” from their OBGYN or Midwife, many women feel as though they can start their pre-pregnancy activities again, often not giving their body the time to heal from the miracle of birth! We would love to see moms take these six weeks to focus on nourishing their baby, as well as their own bodies.
Relaxin hormone continues flowing through our bodies for months after birth. During these months, this is a necessary time to stay well-aligned to support the structure of your spine as this hormone starts to decrease. Let’s think about it this way: it took you 40 weeks (plus or minus a couple) to grow a human. So why are we rushing moms to be back to pre-pregnancy abilities in only six weeks?
Proper neurological control of the entire body often allows moms to also experience improvements in clogged ducts, mid-back pain, and pelvic floor dysfunctions. Care for mom and baby often leads to great change in their infant’s poor or painful latch, indigestion, and more!
If you are not local to us, https://icpa4kids.com/find-a-pediatric-chiropractor/ is a great way to search for pediatric-trained chiropractors close to you.