New mothers and moms-to-be can attest to the aches and pains that can accompany their pregnancies. Most commonly, we see complaints involving low back and pelvic pain, but many women may also experience mid back and rib pain, muscle achiness, sciatica (pain into the legs), and heartburn. These aches and pains can become a real nuisance for these women and make pregnancy a difficult time.
During pregnancy, the average woman can gain 25-35 pounds, or even more, which can place increased stress on her joints and tighten muscles of her neck and back. Weight gain during pregnancy changes a woman’s center of gravity forward, which places further stress on her low back spine.
Pregnant women also create hormones to help relax and loosen the ligaments attached to the pelvis to accommodate for baby’s growth, which may cause imbalances of the spine and pelvis.
Luckily, chiropractic care can have a dramatic and positive effect on the pain a woman may experience during her pregnancy. A chiropractor is trained to detect any imbalances that may exist in the spine and pelvis, as well as find muscles that may have tightened up due to her pregnancy.
Chiropractic adjustments are safe for both mom and baby and may be able to give immediate relief of pain. Chiropractors can also recommend and perform muscle work and/or acupuncture to help with pain or other symptoms experienced as well.
Prenatal exercises can be prescribed to help stretch and strengthen muscles of the back and pelvis to prepare for labor and delivery. Nutritional advice can also be given to help a women enjoy a healthy pregnancy for herself and her baby.
Chiropractic care can also help after labor and delivery. During the first couple of months post-delivery, the ligaments that were loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten again. It is important to treat any imbalances in the spine and pelvis brought on during pregnancy or from delivery before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state to prevent further muscle tension and pain.
If you or a loved one is an expecting mother and has questions on the benefits of chiropractic during and after pregnancy, ask one of our doctors. We love helping women enjoy their pregnancies naturally and pain-free!