Prenatal Chiropractic care and pregnancy – what is the connection? In general, the connection is one of function. The joints and soft-tissues that are addressed with chiropractic treatment have a physical connection to the uterus and their overall function is so important during the birthing process.
“Mommy, can you pleeez go see the back Doctor again…”
“feels like you’re coming home”
Discomfort When Lying on the Side
This can be caused by stress or irritation through the Sacroiliac joints of the pelvis. These joints are so important and specifically related to changes during pregnancy. The reason being is the connection to the uterus. The sacrum (tailbone) which is the triangle bone at the bottom of the spine has a ligamentous connection to the uterus. As the uterus expands and grows the movement of the SI joints and the tension through the ligaments can change and essentially shift the alignment of the sacrum and as a result the SI joints. If there is a shift or misalignment women usually experience pain or discomfort in the SI joint region (the lowest part of the back).
Mid to Late Stage Pregnancy & Lower Back Pain
The pregnant body goes through different types of mechanical stresses and the baby grows and the body accommodates. One of the reasons for lower back pain is a result of the forward shift in the center of gravity. As the belly grows andexpands the center of gravity gets shifted forward, as a result the pelvis tilts and the natural curve in the low back increases. The joints and muscles of the low back and pelvis end up taking on majority of the load. In an attempt to compensate with this shift the upper back and neck can start to feel tight and stiff as well.
Chiropractic Can Help You Have Better Delivery….
The functionality and ease movement in the SI joints is not just important for comfort during pregnancy but also in the birthing process. As the baby descends towards the birth canal it will pass through the boney ring structure of the pelvis. This boney ring is formed by 3 joints, at the back is the 2 SI joints and at the front the pubic symphysis (pubic bone). During this process, ease of movement of the sacrum and SI joints is so important to allow space for the baby to pass through. The sacrum will only be able to move as it needs to if the joints on either side (the SI joints) are balanced and mobile. Going into the birthing process with balance, mobility and ease of movement in the pelvic joints allows them to move as they need to and can result in a quicker labour and delivery.
What is the Webster Technique?
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) certification program defines the Webster technique as specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment where the goal is to reduce the effects of the SI joint dysfunction (a result of malposition of the sacrum (tailbone) and the adjoining joints, the SI joints. In doing so the biomechanical (how the pelvis moves) function in the sacral/pelvis region is improved. The ICPA recognizes that in a theoretical and clinical framework of the Webster Technique in the care of pregnant women, the SI joint dysfunction may contribute to difficult labor (dystocia). Dystocia is caused by 3 things; inadequate uterine function, pelvic contraction, and baby malpresentation. The correction of the SI joint dysfunction/sacral misalignment (with the Webster technique) may have a positive effect on all causes of dystocia. The sacral misalignment/Si Joint dysfunction may contribute to the causes of dystocia (difficult labour) because of uterine nerve interference, pelvic misalignment and tightening /torsion of specific pelvis muscles and ligaments. The resulting tense muscles and ligaments and their aberrant effect in the uterus may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth.
In short… the position or alignment in the bones of the pelvis may effect how the uterus functions during labour, how pelvis moves during labor and how the baby is able to position itself for birth. When the misalignment with corrected with the Webster technique it may have a positive effect on these things that contribute to difficult labour… and therefore help prepare you for a safer, easier birth.
Dr. (Smith) Sawyer explains the Webster Technique in an interview with Amy Deagle, Midwife & educator.
Check out Dr.Gillian Sawyer’s website. There you will find lots of information about prenatal and postnatal care including treatments for newborns.