By Michelle Whiddon (Chiropractor) from The Avenue Chiropractic Clinic in Ashgrove
While pregnancy and birth are natural processes, in our modern age overwhelming amounts of information, social pressures and countless choices can complicate what should be simple. Finding the best source of information and support around pregnancy and birthing can be difficult, particularly for first time mums and dads.
Common problems experienced throughout pregnancy include low back pain and sciatica, postural strain, headaches, rib pain, carpal tunnel, morning sickness, constipation, heartburn and indigestion. Complications with intrauterine constraint such as breech transverse or posterior positions of the baby can also arise. Chiropractic offers natural and gentle management of many of these musculoskeletal conditions as well as nutritional, exercise and home advice to support healthy fetal development and positioning through the stages of pregnancy.
To allow for the growing baby a pregnant mother’s body undergoes many changes and adaptions. As the belly grows forward it increases the curve and load on the lower back, in turn the upper and mid back pull back and the head and neck tilt forward. In addition to these biomechanical changes the body is changing its hormonal balance and producing new hormones to help the body adapt. Relaxin is a hormone, which allows ligaments around the joints of the spine and pelvis to loosen, preparing the body for delivery. Due to the increased laxity of ligaments, any underlying spinal or pelvic problems can be intensified during pregnancy and furthermore during labour.
Gentle chiropractic care is modified for the pregnant body and aims to restore spinal and pelvic biomechanics, not only to allow a more comfortable pregnancy for mum but also to limit restrictions placed on the growing baby.
The uterus is suspended within the pelvis via multiple ligament attachments; therefore altered biomechanics or restriction in the pelvis can lead to uterine constraint and the development of mal-positioning of the baby.
Through pelvic adjustments and gentle releases chiropractic aims to maintain a well functioning spine with good muscle and ligament balance, allowing bub to move freely within the uterus.
Studies have shown reduced labour times as well as decreased need for intervention in women who have regular chiropractic care during pregnancy.
Being prepared for labour armed with an understanding of birth and in good health and physical fitness with adequate pelvic and sacral function allows for an active labour. Upright positions during labour allow the birth canal diameter to increase by up to 30% compared to lying on your back, which restricts sacral motion.
Chiropractic during pregnancy is safe and treatment is modified for your body, using various pillows and tables too suit your growing belly and gentle techniques to provide relief and support the health of mum and bub.
You can contact The Avenue Chiropractic Clinic on 3366 5757, 81 Stewart Ave, Ashgrove