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Chiropractic and Pregnancy

It has been reported that approximately 50% of all pregnant women experience back pain during their pregnancy (Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology). However, only 21% of pregnant women with back pain seek consultation with their medical physicians (Spine).

During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby. The following changes may result in a misaligned spine or joints:

· Protruding abdomen and increased back curve

· Pelvic changes

· Postural adaptations

Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is another reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint.

Although the female pelvis has enough strength and stability to successfully carry a baby, the extra weight gain of 10-16 kgs greatly increases the stress on the joints of the spine and pelvis during pregnancy. As the foetus develops during the 40 week pregnancy, the increasing weight is projected forward and the lumbar lordosis (arch of the low back) is increased, placing extra stress on the discs and spinal muscles.

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 labour and lead to interventions such as caesarean sections.

Chiropractic care during pregnancy may provide benefits for women who are pregnant. Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy may include:

· Maintaining a healthier pregnancy

· Controlling symptoms of nausea

· Reducing the time of labour and delivery

· Relieving back, neck or joint pain

· Preventing a potential caesarean delivery

If you or anyone that you know is pregnant or considering a pregnancy in the future, it is recommended that you consult a chiropractor and explore the benefits that chiropractic care may have for expectant mothers.

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