Oh, Baby! Pregnancy and Chiropractic
The discomforts of pregnancy are no secret. While many mothers search for safe ways for relief, chiropractic care can be overlooked. Yet the American Pregnancy Association states that there are no known contraindications to chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy. They go on to say that chiropractors are trained to work with pregnant women and that they can also provide information on safe exercises and stretches.
Chiropractor Dr. Ryan Dopps noted that while some techniques are adapted, chiropractic adjustments are safe and effective for mom and baby throughout a pregnancy. Many chiropractic tables can be adjusted by taking out a section to remove pressure from the abdomen. Special pillows can also be used.
Chiropractic care can remove the restriction of a misaligned pelvis. This allows room for the growing baby, allowing it to get into the best position for birth. Both Dr. Dopps and his wife, Dr. Denise Dopps, are trained in the Webster technique, which is a series of adjustments on the pelvis and sacrum performed over a couple of weeks.
This technique was developed by the late Larry Webster, D.C., Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association(ICPA). A study in the July/August 2002 issue of The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics stated an 82% success rate of breech babies turning head down after the technique was used by a chiropractor.
Hormonal changes cause looser ligaments. This means that joints can be less stable and misalignments or subluxations can happen. Dopps finds in his practice that after 20 weeks gestation, a woman’s ability to hold an adjustment decreases. He monitors this to be sure a patient is not regressing at the current frequency of adjustments, as at this point the growing baby and weight gain increases the biomechanical stress on a woman’s body.