Should Pregnant Women Go To A Chiropractor?

a pregnant woman being worked on by a chiropractor

Many mothers will agree: back pain is a part of pregnancy. Pregnant women experience many changes to their bodies in the nine months before giving birth. As the baby grows, more pressure is put on the spine and the extra weight can push vertebrae and discs out of place.

The pain associated with pregnancy can be relieved with the right method. Chiropractic care is one way expectant mothers can ease aches and other negative pregnancy symptoms.

Here’s what you need to know about seeing a chiropractor while pregnant:

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is the art and science of identifying misaligned joints, called subluxations, and adjusting them so they’re back in place. Chiropractors can adjust joints throughout the body but primarily focus on the spine.

One woman points to a model of a spine while another woman looks on.Chiropractic care can relieve pain in the spine.

The spinal column provides a highway of sorts through which nerves travel and extend to the rest of the body. When vertebrae or discs are out of place, they can cause nerve stress, in addition to joint and back pain, which can negatively impact the rest of the body. By adjusting areas that are out of place, chiropractic keeps the body healthy, the American Pregnancy Association explained.

What should I look for in a chiropractor during pregnancy?

All chiropractors have been trained on how to work with pregnant women. However, there are some who have pursued additional training or who focus on pre- and postnatal care.

Chiropractors who are Webster Certified have learned in-depth about sacral subluxations, which can cause painful pregnancies and labors. They are also experienced in adjusting pregnant women, according to The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

Beyond becoming Webster Certified, it’s a good sign if the chiropractor is active with the ICPA and has earned either the Certification by the Academy Council of Chiropractic Pediatrics or the Diplomate in the Academy Council of Chiropractic Pediatrics designation.

What pregnancy symptoms can chiropractic relieve?

Chiropractic care can ease back pain during pregnancy, but that’s not the end of the benefits this practice can provide. In some cases, getting adjusted can help ease nausea, especially if a pinched nerve is contributing to this symptom.

A correctly aligned pelvis can also make labor faster and less painful. On the other hand, a misaligned pelvis can make it harder for the baby to get into position for birth. Babies in the breech or posterior positions often require birth interventions like a Cesarean section; when the pelvis is correctly aligned and the baby can more easily get into position, this possibility becomes less likely.

An article published in the July/August 2002 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported an 82 percent success rate of correcting the breech position through the Webster Technique – which all chiropractors with the Webster Certification are trained on.

Some women even choose to have their chiropractor in the room while they’re giving birth to offer adjustments throughout the process, Modern Alternative Pregnancy noted. This should be discussed with the doctor and/or midwife.

Should I see a chiropractor after giving birth?

Giving birth is hard on the body – both yours and your baby’s. Seeing a chiropractor after giving birth can realign any subluxations you sustained throughout labor and delivery. Chiropractors are trained to adjust newborn infants as well. They can gently find subluxations in the baby’s body and adjust them.

Molly Ploe comes from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and enjoys hiking, baking and reading. Her favorite Saturday is rainy with bread in the oven and a new book.