There is no time in a women’s life that is more exciting, more rewarding and more confusing, than when she is pregnant. This is a time of transformation, not only in terms of the future of the woman’s life, but in terms of her body as well. The boundaries of what’s normal and what is cause for concern are sometimes blurred, and for many this can lead to worry about making the right decisions in everything from what to eat, to how to perform their day-to-day activities.
A major aspect of pregnancy that can cause confusion for women involves seeking proper healthcare. For many years, chiropractic has proven its efficacy in resolving instances of adult back pain; however, until recent years little public attention has focused on the holistic and preventative aspect of care. At a time when a woman wants to be sure she is doing everything possible to ensure her own health and that of her unborn child, it’s important to take an all-inclusive view of health and wellness. For many pregnant women this includes regular supportive prenatal chiropractic care.
The doctor of chiropractic, who's enhanced in the field of structural care, seeks to restore optimal neurostructural function, through corrective adjustments of the spinal column, thus affecting the entire performance of the body. Dysfunction of the spinal structure does not always cause pain, so waiting for the time for something to hurt isn’t always the best thing. Any amount of stress or change to the body may cause these dysfunctional segments and with all the changes happening during pregnancy it is the perfect time to seek a structural assessment by a qualified practitioner.
While the changes in a woman’s figure and subsequent, how shall we say, shift in their center of gravity, would clearly be a catalyst for structural dysfunction, there are many other factors at play.
Body Change #1: The hormones in a female’s body change the dynamics of the female spinal and pelvic structures. Progesterone, although important in the transformation of the uterus to accommodate a full term pregnancy, in conjunction with Relaxin causes a laxity or loosening of the ligaments and joints throughout the body. Progesterone also affects smooth muscle, such as that of sphincters in the digestive tract, which may cause heartburn as well as early breast tenderness.
Body Change #2: For the baby to be able to have room to move and grow, the female body grows as well. If there are any dysfunctional areas or past traumas to the mother, the fetus may not have room to grow which may result in issues for the baby once it is born, the need for a C-section, or breech birth presentation. Of further concern, if there are structural dysfunctions in the mother’s pelvis, once labor starts the baby may have greater difficulty navigating the birth canal, increasing the pain of labor. This is where special techniques used by structural chiropractors, including techniques that help with uterine constraint, can be especially beneficial.
Body Change #3: The nervous system controls hormones throughout the body. If the body is not properly working together, it may not be able to start the birthing process, causing improper contractions or the stalling of birth all together. In addition, by improving the function of the nervous system, the immune system may be improved helping any female during her pregnancy to care for herself and to avoid any unneeded medication that may harm a fetus.
THE TAKE AWAY:
The physiological changes that occur throughout a healthy pregnancy can result in a multitude of changes that may or may not result in symptoms. These changes are a very normal part of pregnancy and yet can often be supported and enhanced with structural chiropractic care.
"A kindred spirit is embarking on the journey of birth. You are about to become a parent, grandparent, birth attendant, sibling or friend. Either way, a mother and her child should be treated with love, respect and compassion for they are embarking on a miraculous journey that has an enduring impact on the future of the human race."
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