Chiropractic care has become part of birth preparation for many pregnant women. To understand the way that Chiropractic care can contribute to a better birth it is important to pay attention to the mom and baby’s biomechanics throughout pregnancy.
The mother’s pelvis has various key ligaments that support her uterus. As the baby grows, their role becomes increasingly important. The ideal is to have the mom’s pelvis biomechanically balanced. This allows the baby optimal room “in utero” for movement and development free of any constraints.
The pelvic floor can be thought of as a muscular basket suspended from the pelvis. Any distortion in its bony support or ligaments will change the tensions in regions of this muscular basket.
The floor of this muscular basket needs to dilate greatly to allow for the delivery. If it is twisted and distorted due to pelvic rotation, logic and experience indicate that the process of the birth can be more and difficult for both child and the mother.
Misalignments of the pelvis, either caused by ligament or muscle imbalances, can create an uneven pulling effect, which explains why some women complain of sensitivity on one side more than another. Intra-uterine constraint can create torsion in the uterus, limiting available space for the developing baby. This can not only compromise fetal position; it can impair the future health of the baby.
When a baby is presenting breech or posterior, it can often be associated with an imbalance of the mother’s pelvis forcing the baby into a compromised position.
In Sacral Occipital Technic (SOT™), there is a specific, very gentle, prenatal protocol. There are also postnatal and care protocols.
Hormonal changes such as relaxin and elastin, especially in that last trimester, relax the ligaments, creating laxity. The potential for damage in pregnancy and during the postpartum time to a woman’s musculoskeletal structure is great. Especially at this time, I do not recommend the typical side posture high velocity low amplitude style of lumbo-pelvic chiropractic adjustment. All of our chiropractors are familiar with low force non-thrust methods of adjusting.
It would be my recommendation that a pregnant woman, without serious complaints, receive monthly chiropractic care, up until the third trimester. After which, receive bi-monthly treatments until the beginning of the last month, and then weekly until the delivery.
Research: Fallon (1991) in a comparative study of 65 women undergoing Chiropractic care through pregnancy, showed a 24% shorter labor time in primagravidae and 39% shorter labor in multigravis subjects.