CHIROPRACTIC FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
Pregnancy and birth are a wonderful dance of two lives entwined. Women’s bodies are amazingly designed to survive and thrive during this time of change and growth. However, the added weight and metabolic demands of the baby can present challenges for the pregnant woman, and pregnancy-related lower back pain is one of the most common. Sometimes the low back pain can radiate down the sciatic nerve, causing a condition known as sciatica.
This is easy to understand when you think about the pelvic bones and lower back vertebrae. The baby’s head must pass through the pelvis, so the mother’s body makes a hormone called relaxin, which softens up the connections where the pelvic bones meet. The difficulty arises as the baby, uterus, and placenta grow and expand. They become heavier and more unwieldy, jamming the lumbar vertebrae back and the pelvic bones down and apart, until the mother starts to feel the strain. Keeping the pelvis and lower back supple and well-aligned can prevent the pain that comes from this.
Many women will ask their obstetrician for drugs to kill the pain, only to be reminded that most pain-killing drugs are not safe during pregnancy. Chiropractic is a drug-free healing modality. Many local obstetricians and nurse midwives refer their patients to Whole Health for chiropractic care for this reason. Dr. Dwyer is board certified in pediatric and prenatal chiropractic. She has been known to attend a patient’s delivery and adjust both mother and baby within minutes of the birth.
THE WEBSTER TECHNIQUE
Because the baby has to settle comfortably into the pelvis in order for birth to take place, alignment of the sacrum, pelvis and ligaments is very important. When the pelvis is twisted or misaligned, the baby cannot engage, and the delivery may be one of several types of breech births.
Some obstetricians will allow a woman who has already had a baby vaginally to deliver a frank breech baby. But a face or shoulder presentation, or other than a straight-on breech (like with one foot or arm coming first), is not safe to deliver normally and a caesarean or C-section is necessary.
Dr. Dwyer was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to study the Webster Technique with Dr. Lawrence Webster himself. The Webster Technique combines a leg-check analysis with traditional chiropractic adjusting of the sacrum and gentle soft-tissue releasing of the ligaments which suspend the uterus in the middle of the pelvis. This will usually release the constraints holding the baby out of position and allow the birth to occur.