Pregnancy and childbirth are truly wonderous events. And, while we know that childbirth in and of itself isn’t the most comfortable of events (and, yes, we know, we’re putting that VERY mildly), the strain that pregnancy puts on the body can be problematic as well. The average weight gain in pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds and when you combine that with the stress that a growing baby can place on the body, it’s no wonder that back pain is such a common complaint amongst new and expectant mothers.
In fact, it’s estimated that at least 50% of all expectant mothers will develop low back pain at some point in their pregnancy – especially during the later months, when the baby’s head is pressing against the back, legs, buttocks, and sciatic nerve. For those who had back troubles pre-pregnancy, the pain they experience during those nine months can be excruciating.
Why is this? Well, aside from the weight gain, the growth of the baby dramatically changes the mother’s center of gravity, thrusting it all towards the front of the pelvis. During pregnancy hormones are released that aide in loosening ligaments throughout the body, including those attached to the pelvis. So, even though a woman’s body is designed to carry a child, the additional – and unevenly displaced – weight greatly increases the stress on her joints. The problems continue as the baby grows in size – the curvature of the back becomes more exaggerated which, in turn, places additional stress on the intervertebral discs.
As chiropractic care during pregnancy continues to become more mainstream, more and more women are realizing the immense amount of relief that can be provided via adjustments and what not. Chiropractic care can be especially helpful for those women with pre-existing back conditions who are attempting to avoid taking additional medications during their pregnancy. And, it’s not just adjustments that chiropractors have the ability to offer – doctors of chiropractic medicine are able to provide a wealth of assistance, including nutrition and exercise advice to help achieve the healthiest pregnancy possible. Chiropractic care has also been reported to help with easing labor pain and may help achieve a quick labor.
Chiropractic care can help after the little one has arrived, too. In the months following labor and delivery the ligaments that loosened up so much during the pregnancy begin to tighten back up again and, if possible, working with patients prior to that happening – to ease muscle tension, shoulder problems, headaches, etc – can be of great benefit.
Pregnancy and motherhood are a beautiful time to be savored and enjoyed – not endured because of pain and discomfort. If you’d like more information on how chiropractic care during pregnancy – and beyond – can benefit you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call…the providers here at Fletcher Chiropractic in Lincoln, Nebraska are here to help you through!