Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is an important reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned, it puts strain on the suspensory ligaments that keep the uterus in balance. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. This can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth. Breech and posterior positions can interfere with the natural ease of labor and lead to interventions such as cesarean sections.
During pregnancy, there are several physiological changes that occur in preparation for the developing baby including: protruding abdomen and increased back curve, pelvic changes, and postural adaptations. Chiropractic care during pregnancy can minimize the effects of these conditions and provide benefits such as: maintaining a healthier pregnancy, controlling symptoms of nausea, reducing the time of labor and delivery, relieving back or joint pain, and preventing a potential cesarean delivery. This is because the nervous system is the master communication system for the whole body, including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine and pelvis aligned reduces spinal nerve stress and helps the entire body work more effectively. Best of all, this is achieved without the use of drugs or surgery.
Chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy are safe and comfortable. In my clinic, I use special adjusting tables which adapt to accommodate a pregnant woman’s body and make her more relaxed. I also use specific techniques that avoid unneeded pressure on the abdomen such as the renowned “Webster Technique.”
The late Larry Webster, D.C., Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, developed a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment which enables chiropractors to establish balance in a pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments. This balanced state in the pelvis has been clinically shown to allow for optimal fetal positioning. The technique is known as the Webster Technique.
It is considered normal by some for a baby to present breech until the third trimester. Most birth practitioners are not concerned with breech presentations until a patient is 37 weeks along. Approximately 4% of all pregnancies result in a breech presentation.
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when chiropractic physicians used the Webster Technique. Further, the results from the study suggest that it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique as soon as the 8th month of pregnancy when a woman has a breech presentation.
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association recommends that women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy. With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether. Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for difficult labor and therefore results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.