Chiropractic care through pregnancy is not only safe, it is essential. We can look at the implications
of subluxation from a bio mechanical, hormonal and neurological standpoint. It is easy for all of us to see postural changes
through pregnancy-the centre of gravity changes, the weight of the baby places increased pressure on the spine and pelvis,
and towards the end of the pregnancy, changes are seen in gait pattern-the "waddle." What we can't see, are the millions of
different hormonal changes and chemical reactions occurring both in the mother and the developing baby--all of which are controlled
and coordinated through the nervous system.
Adjustments result in easier pregnancy, significantly decreased mean labour
time, and assists new mothers back to prepartum health. In one study, women receiving Chiropractic care through their first
pregnancy had 24% shorter labour times than the group not receiving Chiropractic, and multiparous subjects reported 39% shorter
labour times. Thirty-nine percent-that's a massive difference. In addition, 84% of women report relief of back pain during
pregnancy with Chiropractic care. Because the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis function better, there is significant less likelihood
of back labour when receiving Chiropractic care through pregnancy.
Body position during delivery is also critical.
Any late second stage labour position that denies postural sacral rotation denies the mother and the baby critical pelvic
outlet diameter and jams the tip of the sacrum up to 4cm into the pelvic outlet. In other words, the popular semi-recumbent
position places the labouring woman on her back onto the apex of the sacrum, which closes off the vital space needed for the
baby to get through the pelvic outlet.
This delivery position is the main reason why so many births are traumatic-labour
is stalled, the mom becomes fatigued and overwhelmed by pain, so the utilization of epidurals, forceps, episiotomy, vacuum
extraction and cesarian increases. Just consider the analogy my husband uses-how hard would it be to have a bowel movement
while lying on your back? You're right, very hard, and it may not happen. This is why squatting is the preferred position-gravity
works to help and the pelvic outlet can open to a greater degree. Squatting during delivery results in decreased use of forceps
and a shorter second stage of labour than the semi-recumbent position.
Greater complications during delivery result
in greater neurological insult to the newborn due to injury to the head and neck. Even after vaginal births, 4.6% of term
neonates suffer unexplained brain bleeds and 10% suffer neonatal encephalopathy. Because so many children had been injured
with forceps deliveries, (facial nerve palsy, tearing of cervical spine musculature) vacuum extraction was developed. Suction
cups are placed on the newborn's head, and the baby is literally sucked out of the mother.
When utilized, 120 pounds
of pressure goes through the baby's head and neck. Decapitation occurs at 140 pounds of pressure, to give you an idea of the
high forces involved. Remember when you were a little girl or boy and there was a new baby you were being introduced to? Our
parents always said, "Watch his head-you don't want to hurt him." We're careful because the fontanelles of the skull are so
pliable, and the neck and brain are fragile and unprotected. This is why so many babies sustain injuries to their heads and
neck during vacuum extraction-the force is far greater than their little bodies can tolerate.
Adjustments to newborns
contain only ounces of force. But that force is directed into the spine to facilitate health and remove subluxations. We adjust
babies as soon after birth as possible, to alleviate subluxations caused by in-utero constraint and the journey down through
the birth canal. There has been a lot in the media lately about children not needing Chiropractic care, but there is no better
way to get a head start in life. As you all know, Chiropractic care is not a cure for anything-it is a system of wellness
to help us be who we're supposed to be. It is not a cure for ear infections, for colic, for allergies, for asthma, for frequent
colds, nor for ADD/ADHD.
When we listen to mothers' stories of their pregnancy, labour and delivery, the children who
suffer the most from the above complaints, are the ones who've had the greatest trouble with their births. Even relatively
easy deliveries can result in subluxations. That's why every child should be checked, before problems with their health even
develop. That's preventive care in the truest sense-preventing subluxations in mothers to prevent subluxations in their babies
during childbirth. This is why every woman needs Chiropractic through pregnancy-so that the arrival of their baby is a "wonderful
experience", as one of my patients told me last week, after her son was born.