Chiropractic follows the evidence based principles of the normal physiology of the body.
Chiropractors work with the body’s natural ability to adapt and function the way it was designed to. The goal of the chiropractic adjustment is to reduce interference, called subluxations, within the nervous system and enhance normal body function. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is vital to help ensure that normal physiological function can take place throughout pregnancy and birth.
The Webster Technique is a chiropractic analysis and gentle adjustment of the sacrum. A balanced pelvis reduces undue tension to the uterus and in the attached muscles and ligaments. In a pregnant woman, if the pelvis is not balanced, the uneven pulling on these muscles and ligaments may cause pain or discomfort for mama. Some common discomforts are; lower back pain, pubic symphysis pain, rib pain, and tightness or tension. An imbalanced pelvis may also restrict the baby’s ability to get into the best possible position for birth.
The postural changes placed on a woman’s body during pregnancy can cause a significant
amount of stress to the muscles, ligaments, and joints of the low back and pelvis . These stresses can lead to the pelvis becoming torqued or twisted, which can affect the balance of the pelvis, and thus may compromise the uterus and the space for the baby to move and grow.
A chiropractor that is certified in the Webster Technique will assess and address subluxations and imbalances found in the pelvic region that include:
the sacrum - altered sacral movements from subluxations can cause the boney pelvic shape to change. This also creates tension and tightness in muscles and ligaments that attach to the pelvis.
piriformis muscles - these muscles are one of the gluteal muscles that make up the butt. It connects directly from the sacrum to your leg bone (femur). The sciatic nerve passes through this region and may also be affected by tension in piriformis.
sacrotuberous ligaments - located at the tail end of the sacrum, tension in this ligament can cause tension and tightness throughout the body. Gently releasing the sacrotuberous ligament lets the whole body unwind.
pubic symphysis - dysfunction of this joint can cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort. While it is a common complaint during pregnancy, it does not have to be. Maintaining balance can help to soothe the pubic symphysis pains.
psoas muscles - these muscles are one of the hip flexors. Long periods of sitting can irritate the psoas. As the uterus expands and the baby grows, the psoas muscle hugs the uterus. Tightness or tension in the psoas can affect mom's posture and may alter the space available for baby to move in.
round ligaments - these ligaments are special, they contain muscle tissue that allows them to contract! When irritated they can cause sharp, lightening-like pain in the crotch. Gentle release of the round ligaments should be performed daily during pregnancy. (Learn how in a video coming soon!)
During a prenatal chiropractic visit, unique pillows are used to allow the pregnant woman to lie comfortably face down during care (see the photo below!) Of course, comfort in body and mind is a top priority and accommodations can be made to provide care in a seated or side lying position as well. A visit will typically start with a Webster assessment followed by the necessary adjustments and corrections that will help to create a balanced, at ease pelvis. Next, body work, or pregnancy specific activities may be performed or recommended. Programs such as Spinning Babies have many awesome and effective activities to help prepare the body for a safe and gentle birth.
Ensuring a balanced pelvis and optimal space may help to decrease risk of slow or stalled labor (dystocia). By addressing the nervous system through chiropractic adjustments the muscular system is also influenced. The body has the best chance for strong and regular
contractions when the muscular system is functioning at its ideal capacity.
Adjustments also help to take the mother out of a fight or flight (sympathetic) state to a rest (parasympathetic) state, which may decrease fetal distress. This may allow for a safer, easier, and more comfortable labor and birth.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy helps to balance the pelvis, create optimal room for the baby to grow and develop, and may provide favorable space for the baby to get into a good position for birth.
Looking for a Webster certified chiropractor in your area? Click here!
Learn more about the Webster Technique here.