Discovering you’re pregnant is one of the most exciting moments in a woman’s life. It is likely you’ve become curious about your baby’s development and learned that each week, every day brings new growth. You are probably well aware of this growth through the changes you feel throughout your own body. Your nervous system regulates these changes whether physical, hormonal or mental/emotional. As your body grows, a shifting center of gravity and subtle pre-existing imbalances can change your entire experience of pregnancy.
Chiropractors are highly trained to remove interference in the nerve system. Care during pregnancy can not only remove aches and pains caused by your continually changing body, but can also optimize the messages your body is sending to your baby as it rapidly develops. Safe, specific adjustments to your spine and pelvic ligaments and bones can ensure your uterus is aligned, providing ample room for your baby to grow and possibly lead to an easier labor.
“Research shows that correct alignment of the pelvis and spine contributes to a more straightforward labor with less pain and trauma for mother and child, and may significantly reduce labor time.” ~ Well Adjusted Babies, 2nd edition.
The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that gently corrects pelvic and sacral imbalances or subluxations which may contribute to pelvic misalignment and inadequate function of the nerves and ligaments that travel to the uterus. This misalignment of the pelvis can cause torsion and torquing of the pelvic muscles and uterine ligaments for some leading to dystocia or difficult labor and a constraining effect which doesn’t allow the baby into the proper position for birth. By alleviating a sacral imbalance and optimizing pelvic neuro-biomechanics in the mother, it can optimize both the health of mom and baby, leading to a more comfortable labor for both.
Webster for breech. By about 32-33 weeks, babies are expected to be head down. If a baby has not turned head down by 34-35 weeks, it can indicate there is an issue with its position. A subtle imbalance in the pelvis and associated structures can prevent the baby from having the space to get into an optimal position for birth, which is known as intrauterine constraint. This condition is directly addressed through the Webster Technique which is proven to be successful in helping breech and transverse babies move into the proper head down position. If the baby’s position is something you are seeking care for, it is never too late to receive an adjustment, however it is ideal before 37 weeks.
Many midwives and OBs note that in actual labor, women who have received regular chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy have less delay and are likely to not suffer from dystocia in the labor process. It is noticeable that they have structurally and physically prepared themselves.
Are you physically prepared for birth?
It is imperative that while you receive chiropractic care to prepare your body for birth, you also engage in a regime of self care. We recommend integrating the following:
- Reduce stress – from day one!
- Bond with your baby – through voice, breath, music and meditation.
- Drink lots of water and eat well – invest in a high quality water filter and engage in nutritious habits.
- Choose and educate your birth team – every person involved in your birth needs to be on the same page as you and your partner.
- Regular exercise – move your body daily by walking, yoga or swimming to connect with the miraculous changes that are occurring.
If you need assistance with any of the above recommendations, please let us know or refer to our Resources page for a list of practitioners we trust and work with regularly.
The postpartum period is all about your new focus on your baby and it’s needs while you are healing from birth and likely becoming well aware of major changes in your body. Our guess is that delivering your baby was an empowering, gratifying experience and now you have your healthy baby, the greatest miracle of life. You also have a body that is completely different, is surging with new hormones, and is in need of some TLC.
Many new moms continue chiropractic care because they need gentle assistance in adapting to how differently they are using their bodies from hours of breastfeeding, sleeping differently, or not sleeping much at all, discomfort or tension in the neck and upper back from looking down and falling in love with your new baby, or baby wearing. As the daily stresses change, your body is in need of balance and support.
In postpartum care our goal is to assist your body in healing as well as to help you remain comfortable and adaptable to the new stresses of parenthood. We take advantage of the presence of the hormone relaxin and help to correct any underlying biomechanical imbalances in the pelvis and spine to create more comfort and to put your body back together. We share tips on sitting, lifting the baby in and out of carriers and cribs, as well as sleeping and baby wearing.
Getting your spine checked at any stage of pregnancy or postpartum will encourage your body’s natural ability to adapt and heal.
Dr. Ariel Provasoli, is Webster Technique Certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. She is experienced as a doula and works closely with local midwives and doulas. If you have any further questions about your pregnancy or postpartum stage or to make an appointment for care, please contact us.