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Chiropractic and Pregnancy

Chiropractic care if you’re pregnant? ABSOLUTELY!

pregnancy Keeping your spine free from the vertebral subluxation complex is one of the best things you can do if you are pregnant. Pregnant women should see a chiropractor more than anyone else.

Your doctor of chiropractic will examine your spinal column for misalignments (called vertebral subluxation) causing spine and nerve stress. These subluxations damage the nervous system and affect the workings of the entire body. If subluxations are present, the chiropractor will correct them with a gentle chiropractic spinal adjustment in order to release the spinal stress. Without subluxations the body will function better, have higher resistance to disease and express more wholeness (health) than a body with uncorrected subluxations. That is the essential message of chiropractic.

All this is extremely important for the pregnant woman who needs to have her body as healthy and strong as possible in order to handle the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth. Chiropractic care will help ensure that the reproductive and other systems so essential for a healthy pregnancy receive a nerve supply from the spinal column without interference. The slightest interference to the nerve supply could adversely affect the mother and the developing fetus.

Another excellent reason for seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy is that it is a drugless health care system. Drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can harm the growing fetus.

There are so many things pregnant women worry about: staying pregnant, carrying the baby to full term, morning sickness, the baby developing normally, backaches, leg pain and if their labour will be safe and (hopefully) easy. Over the past 100 years chiropractic care has proven to help pregnant women by helping to maintain pregnancy, control vomiting during pregnancy, deliver full-term infants with ease and produce healthier infants.

Questions & answers regarding chiropractic & pregnancy:

Is chiropractic safe in pregnancy?
Chiropractic is very safe and very sensible for both mother and baby.

Is it difficult to receive a chiropractic adjustment when pregnant?
Not at all. Chiropractors are trained in adjusting the spines of pregnant women and many chiropractic adjusting tables have special modifications and pillows for the pregnant figure.

How late in pregnancy is it possible to get an adjustment?
Patients have received adjustments even during labour, as that is when movement/shifting happens in the mother’s pelvic area.

Can spinal care help postpartum depression?
For years chiropractic’s beneficial effects on emotional stress and personality have been noted. At least one journal has quoted a doctor as saying that “postpartum depression is a rarity in patients receiving chiropractic care”.

Can back pain be helped with chiropractic?
Chiropractic is not a treatment or therapy for back or spinal pain. However, with chiropractic spinal adjustments the body will be better able to heal its back and spinal pain, as well as many other health problems. Studies have shown a significant decrease in back and labour pains in mothers receiving chiropractic care.

Do I have to have a problem in pregnancy to see a chiropractor?
Not at all. Chiropractic should be used as preventive maintenance. Periodic spinal checkups during pregnancy should be as common as periodic weight checkups.

Can my baby receive chiropractic?
Infants a few hours old have been given spinal checkups and adjustments, if needed.


Birth

newborn babyA woman’s body is exquisitely designed to conceive, nurture, and birth another human being. After conception, a woman and unborn child will unite in an oceanic blend of energy and identity… where one ends and the other begins no one knows.

A woman becomes a parent at the moment of conception. Every decision made from that moment on will affect her unborn child in some way. In order for her influence to have a positive affect, a woman must be prepared to make educated and informed decisions concerning the foods she will consume, the thoughts and images she will imprint on her baby’s developing brain, and the birth model she will embrace – technological, holistic, or humanistic. A female child spends her entire early life preparing for the possibility of motherhood so she can inadvertently make those decisions.

During childhood, a young girl learns to parent by example. She watches her mother and records subconsciously what she observes. Later, a teenage girl prepares her body for motherhood. Without her conscious knowledge, a teenager stores some of the nutrients she consumes to insure she has the building blocks to form a body for future children. For example, she must consume folic acid to prevent birth defects; essential fatty acids to build the central nervous system and peripheral nerves of a future embryo; and calcium for future fetal bone growth. Nature does its best to insure that a woman is prepared for parenting, but the forces of nature are not enough if she is not an active participant. Her body can not store what she does not consume. Consequently, we must educate our young girls early on about the concept of preparing their bodies for conception.

Conceiving and nurturing the unborn child are only two of the most important concepts we must teach future parents. Entrusted with the guardianship of a new life, a pregnant mother must also learn that all decisions surrounding her pregnancy, labor, and delivery should be based on knowledge and confidence rather than fear or impatience. Therefore, one of the most important concepts a parent must educate herself about is the birth model she will choose to adopt.

There are three basic philosophical models that a pregnant parent may choose from. The first and most commonly adopted is the technocratic model. In this paradigm, a parent accepts that the human body functions like a machine. Robbie Davis-Floyd in Birth As An American Rite of Passage demonstrates how this model, which is the foundation of modern obstetrics, views the female body as unpredictable and inherently defective. Consequently, it may malfunction at any time. The basic tenet of this model of birth holds that some degree of intervention is necessary in all births. Women who embrace the technocratic model enter the birthing room believing that science is there to take care of them and save them from the pain and anguish of childbirth.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the holistic model. Within this paradigm of birth, the family is the significant social unit instead of the hospital. Under the holistic model, the human body is a living organism with its own innate wisdom, an energy field constantly responding to all other energy fields. Female physiological processes, including birth, are healthy and safe and need no medical intervention. Under this model, the mother’s mental and emotional attitudes affect her performance during birth, as do the beliefs and actions of the partner. It is almost impossible for a parent who adopts the holistic paradigm to deliver within the hospital environment because of the inherent institutional management of birth associated with the technocratic approach.

In-between these two diametrically opposed models of birth lie the humanistic model. When adopting this paradigm, a mother believes she is an individual and must be treated as such. She believes she has the right to promote shared decision-making and responsibility for all aspects of the birth process. This model views the parent holistically while remaining open to the use of technology if applied judiciously. When a pregnant parent adopts a humanistic model, she surrounds herself with loving people who are willing to assist her by walking with her, rubbing her back, helping her move in and out of the bath, holding her, encouraging her, and providing support for any decision she makes. Her birth may occur either in the home, a birthing center, or a hospital if she has a birth attendant who also adopts the humanistic model.

Before women can make decisions concerning which birth model best suits her own philosophical beliefs, she must know that she has several options. As a profession, we must educate ourselves and our patients about the two models that are most suited to our vitalistic belief system. If we all learn how to honor the inherent wisdom of women and developing newborns, we can have a positive impact on the mental, physical, and spiritual growth and development of the next generation.

By Carol Phillips D.C. Originally Printed in I.C.P.A. Newsletter January/February 1999
For Your Information: Illustrated with more than 150 emotionally charged, color photographs of chiropractic families witnessing the miracle of birth, “Hands of Love,” Dr Phillips’ new book can be ordered by contacting the ICPA office at 1800 670 KIDS.

Give our Ancaster chiropractic office a call today and let us help you live a long healthy life.

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