Educating pregnant women on the benefits of chiropractic care is incredibly important because chiropractic can make the pregnancy, labor, and delivery an easier and healthier process. As a baby comes to full-term (36 weeks), one major concern for pregnant mothers and doctors is how the baby is positioned inside the womb. The normal position for a baby during labor is head down, or in the vertex position, which offers the greatest chance at a safe, healthy delivery. Unfortunately, 1 out of 25 full-term births are breech births. A breech presentation is when the baby’s feet and bottom are pointing downward and the head is at the top.
This scenario can be dangerous for the mother since the delivering doctor has to perform certain maneuvers to turn the baby into the proper position. The turning process becomes even more difficult when the baby is full-term because there is limited room in the uterus to change positions, which is why 86% of infants with breech presentations are delivered by cesarean section (C-section) in the United States. However, a C-section delivery is not only a traumatic, surgical intervention to both the mother and the baby, but also disrupts the baby’s nutrient supply and blood flow from the mother.
Many babies are in a breech presentation at some point during the pregnancy, but will spontaneously move into the proper vertex position by 34 weeks. However, after 34 weeks, very few babies will reposition without some form of intervention. Intrauterine constraints, or obstructions to the baby during pregnancy, are a major cause of breech presentations and structural defects to the baby. This is commonly caused by adhesions and constrictions in the mother’s hips and low back, mainly in the pelvis and sacrum. Chiropractic adjustments remove these restrictions and restore normal nerve flow and function. By regularly seeing a chiropractor before, during, and after pregnancy, the mother has a better chance to ensure normal function and biomechanics in the spine throughout the pregnancy. Maintaining an optimal structure encourages a healthy pregnancy, which provides plenty of space for the baby to grow without any limitations.
The practice of chiropractic should not be misconstrued with the practice of obstetrics. Rather, chiropractic focuses on correcting various musculoskeletal conditions that may cause intrauterine constraints that place pressure on the developing uterus. If you are pregnant, or expecting, make an appointment today to make sure your body is functioning optimally for the healthiest pregnancy possible!