Good spine alignment and good joint function is paramount for how we feel and function, period. And then we add being pregnant into the equation and as we go through gestation, the body is under more stress due to the added weight from carrying and growing a baby. Then the progesterone, which is one of the hormones that creates laxity in the ligaments, loosens up the ligaments so we can actually physically birth the baby. This allows for more shifts. Chiropractic care can specifically find the joints that have shifted, and/or aren’t moving and then non-invasively remove those subluxations. If a joint’s moving with stability and it’s where it should be, then there’s no reason why we should be having any lower back pain. The earlier under chiropractic care, the more effective it can be, simply because once we start shifting in and out of alignment and we start creating big shifts, the further down the road we are with gestation, the tougher it is to treat. We always say get into the office and get going with care sooner rather than later.
In our office, in addition to performing chiropractic adjustments, we like to blend in some physical therapy with our moms-to-be, specifically based around diaphragmatic control and activation, good pelvic floor, core control and activation, and then what we call some posterior chain activation. This means the back of your body, all the muscles in the back of the body, because if you are planning on having a natural birth with no intervention, you obviously need good back diaphragmatic control to help push the baby into the pelvic inlet.
Pregnant women also need a strong pelvic floor, to again, help get the baby through the pelvic inlet. And then as you go through gestation, particularly in that third trimester, everything gets quite heavy in the front of you. There’s a lot of weight in the front of the body that pulls you forward in flexion. When you’re forward in flexion, it lengthens the muscles in the back of your body, it increases pressure on the disc, and then just as you are growing the baby and you’re just getting heavier due to the baby getting bigger, it really loads the joints. You really want to work on the back of the body, the posterior, to counteract that force. Chiropractic adjustments with some physical therapies, specifically around those key pieces are what the expecting mom typically gets when coming in to see us at the clinic here.
During the first trimester, we typically do not modify how we adjust our pregnant moms, in regard to if they were seen before they were pregnant. In the second trimester, we have to modify a little bit. The pregnant moms are typically starting to show, so we’re using our pregnancy pillow. Then we might modify how we adjust just based on what we’re seeing on the table. In the third trimester, we just have to factor in how far they are down the road.
There are different ways to adjust the spine, pelvis, sacrum, low back, upper to mid-back, and neck. and the patient and their case dictate the type of adjustment they get. Not every pregnant mom is getting a manual adjustment. Some pregnant moms prefer an instrument adjustment or what we call a drop table adjustment. Some moms absolutely get manually adjusted all the way through.
Moms who are under regular chiropractic care have shorter labor, a decreased chance of intervention, and their babies typically do better on all their outcomes post chiropractic care. If your pelvis is in alignment and your sacrum is in alignment, that’s going to allow for an easier transition into the pelvic inlet. If you’re doing physical therapy before we go to birth, diaphragmatic control, pelvic floor control, then you’re just going to have an easier birth overall. Babies do better when going through the natural birth. We educate patients on good joint function, good alignment, how that’s going to improve our birthing outcomes, and then post gestation or post birth how chiropractic care can assist moms getting back to where they were pre-pregnancy.