Pregnancy may be an important time for a woman to be under chiropractic care. From the moment of conception a females body changes dramatically. Some changes are easy to spot: a growing belly, change in posture, a change in walking – that characteristic pregnant “waddle’. Other changes are less easy to spot. As a chiropractor, I have had the privilege of treating many pregnant women, including my wife.
Some research shows that having your spine checked and adjusted by a Chiropractor may ensure a more comfortable pregnancy and birth.1 One study even found that first time mums under Chiropractic care experienced a 24% shorter labour time, whilst a 39% decrease was noted in second time mothers.2 Chiropractic care during pregnancy makes sense.
Tips for Caring for Your Spine During Pregnancy
- Avoid one-sided positions and repetitive motions to one-side.
- Avoid carrying older siblings on your hips.
- When sitting, tilt your pelvis forward and avoid long periods of time in semi-reclining positions, such as car seats, lying on the couch or reclining chairs. Your knees should never be higher than your hips.
- Avoid crossing your legs. This can put the pelvis in a slight twist.
- When sleeping, lay on your side (left is best) and prop pillows or folded towels between your knees for comfort. You spend approximately one third of your life in bed, so get comfortable. Use a supportive pillow and mattress for spinal support. See the guys at Back to Sleep for more information on which support is best for you.
- Avoid wearing high heels.
- Don’t try to sit straight up from a lying position using your abdominal muscles. Instead, bend your knees, turn onto your side and push yourself up with your arms.
- Avoid standing with your hands on your hips and pushing your tummy forward. Remember to unlock or bend your knees slightly when standing.
- Let others lift heavy items for you.
- Avoid remaining in one position for too long. If you need to stand for an extended period, place one foot on a small box in front of you to reduce the load on your back. Swap legs.
- Keep active. Swimming and yoga are great forms of prenatal exercise. Use common sense though and avoid any high impact activities or anything that will raise your body temperature too high.
- Stretch your body gently every day.
- Henderson, I. MD. American Medical Association records released in 1987 during trial in U.S. District Court, Northern Illinois, Eastern Division, No. 76C 3777. May 1987
- The Effect of Chiropractic Treatment on Pregnancy and Labour: A Comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic, 1991:24-31
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