“The chiropractors at Core Therapies are all amazing. They have helped my family tremendously. I started going to them in 2007 when I was pregnant with my second child. Through treatment at Core, my indigestion and round ligament pain went away and I felt great for the rest of my pregnancy. They also helped heal a knee injury that I'd had for years and worked successfully with my children out with various issues. I am so grateful to have them as our chiropractors." - D.G.
Getting adjusted at any time helps remove stress and interference from our bodies, allowing us to function at our highest level. What more important time to be adjusted than before conception and during pregnancy when your body is working on creating and sustaining another human life?
More and more women are realizing the benefits of getting adjusted through their pregnancy. For many, seeing their chiropractor is one of the most important ways to prepare for a safer and easier birth for themselves and their babies. Chiropractors have been working with pregnant women for many years, but more women today are preparing for a natural birth and seeking providers who support this approach.
When choosing a chiropractor to adjust you during pregnancy, be sure to choose someone who is trained in gentle adjustments to help you and your baby. For a list of chiropractors who specialize in pre- and post-natal care, go to www.icpa4kids.org.
The Webster Technique
During pregnancy many hormones, such as relaxin, are released. These hormones help loosen your ligaments and allow shifting and stretching of the pelvis to allow room for a growing baby. At times because of the way we walk, stand, sit, etc., this shifting can cause misalignments in the pelvis leading to pain or discomfort. It may also interfere with optimal positioning of the baby.
The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment for pregnant women. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/SI joint dysfunction and thereby improve neuro-biomechanical function to the pelvis. Drs. Melissa Sonners and Meagan McGowan are both certified in Webster Technique and work closely with women throughout their pregnancies. A more detailed description of the Webster Technique is available from the website of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association at www.icpa4kids.org .
Acupuncture can naturally enhance the body’s function and health by releasing stagnant “qi” or energy. By influencing the autonomic nervous system, acupuncture can optimize endometrial receptivity and positively impact women trying to get pregnant. Recently, two teams of researchers in China and Germany found that adding acupuncture to the treatment plans of women trying to get pregnant and having difficulty conceiving improved their chances of success by up to 20%.
Acupuncture is also a great way to support your changing body during and after pregnancy. Many women seek acupuncture during pregnancy to help them feel their best. Acupuncture is a great way to provide natural relief for nausea, heartburn, headaches and any other discomforts experienced by some women during their pregnancy.
As the saying goes, “The healthier the soil, the healthier the crop.” One of the best things you can do when you are thinking of starting a family is to create the healthiest possible environment for the baby. Cutting out or severely limiting processed foods, alcohol, dairy, wheat and other toxic products at least a few months before getting pregnant and continuing those good habits throughout pregnancy can help ensure the healthiest environment for baby.
“The Infertility Cure -The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies” by Randine Lewis is a wonderful resource offering dietary guidelines appropriate for any woman, even if you haven’t been told that it might be difficult to become pregnant.
Taking vitamins during and before pregnancy can compensate for any lapses in mom’s diet. Folic acid, iron, calcium, probiotic and fish oil are particularly important. As always, food based supplements are absorbed better than synthetic ones. Look for whole food organic supplements whenever possible.
Because of the toxicity in our waters, it is very important to buy the highest quality fish oil supplement available. Fish oil is concentrated and has the potential to contain high levels of mercury if it is not from a clean source of fish. Be sure to only buy molecularly-distilled fish oil with at least 700mg EPA and 500 mg DHA.
Although exercise may not be the first thing on your mind when preparing or going through pregnancy, it’s one of the best things you can do for you and your baby. Here are just some of the benefits to mom from an appropriate exercise regimen:
● Helps prepare your body for birth
● Betters posture and core strength
● Improves energy and mood
● Enhance sleep
● Reduces constipation
● Helps you regain pre-pregnancy shape faster
● Keeps your joints healthy
● Gives a sense of control during changes in your body
Research is now showing that exercise can also help the baby by forging more blood vessels during the first trimester, resulting in greater bloodflow and essential nutrients to baby. Exercise has also been proven to lower the baby’s heart rate and increase heart rate variability, both signs of a strong, healthy heart.
Some research is also showing that at age one, babies born to moms that exercised during pregnancy do better on standardized developmental and intelligence tests and oral skills.
It is best during pregnancy to stick with an activity that is familiar to you and that your body is used to. Check with your practitioner if you have questions about what type of exercise is best
We strongly encourage women to seek out professional guidance when it comes to postpartum recovery. Common abdominal exercises as well as certain strength and conditioning movements should be avoided while core instability is present. It does not mean that you should avoid them forever, but if you experience signs of instability such as coning or tenting in the abdomen, incontinence, pain or pressure, your body is asking you to slow down and scale back giving it more time to recover.
Postpartum is forever. Whether you are 3 months postpartum or 30 years postpartum, core and pelvic dysfunction can and should be addressed.