Back pain and other discomforts are common during pregnancy, and it may seem like nothing short of giving birth will make your aches and pains go away. However, chiropractic treatment during pregnancy can alleviate pain and discomfort and make you feel your best.
A typical period of gestation can last anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks from the date of conception. The first trimester of pregnancy, about the first 13 weeks, brings little musculoskeletal discomfort, although nausea and fatigue are quite common.
During the second trimester, the baby continues to grow, and your baby bump starts to show. For many women, morning sickness goes away at this time, although some women experience morning sickness for the whole nine months!
Beginning around week 28, you are considered to be in your third trimester. As your baby grows, they have less space to move around, at the same time they are becoming more active. Your baby’s increasing weight along with increased activity can begin to make you uncomfortable. Your center of gravity, normally centered around your hips, shifts upward, putting extra pressure on your lumbar spine. You may feel your baby kicking or poking you in the ribs, spine and pelvic floor. Sometimes the extra stress on your nerves can lead to compressed discs and sciatica, causing pain, tingling and numbness.
Many practitioners recognize the time after birth as the fourth trimester, although a mathematician would call it a quarter. During that time, your body is healing from childbirth, getting back to a new normal. Your center of gravity shifts downward once again, relieving pressure from your lumbar spine. You will likely have some muscular imbalances due to the load you have been carrying for nine months, where some muscles will be tight and others lax. Things may be out of whack for several weeks, and you may need chiropractic care to help get you back in alignment.
You may have some concerns about seeking chiropractic care while you are pregnant…after all, it’s not just about you any more, and your baby’s safety is your primary concern! Research has revealed however that there are many benefits to chiropractic treatment during pregnancy. A 2009 review of literature on the subject found a number of benefits, including:
● Increased maternal comfort
● Reduced complications during labor and delivery
● Reduced back and neck pain during pregnancy and labor
● Performing the Webster Technique to turn the baby from breach to head-down position
Your chiropractor can become an invaluable partner in your birth plan, making your pregnancy, labor and delivery comfortable, enjoyable and safe. They can also help you restore healthy posture and alignment after the baby is born.