Pregnancy Care

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The truth is most women experience back pain during pregnancy as their body undergoes the major changes necessary to bring a child to term. In fact back pain is reported by 50-70% of pregnant women (1) and rates are higher for those with a prior history of back pain.

                                           But why?

A growing tummy produces an average weight gain of 12 kgs, distributed primarily in the abdominal region. By the second trimester her uterus is no longer contained within the pelvis, but shifts forward stretching and weakening the abdominal muscles. With diminished core strength her posture is affected and her centre of gravity changes resulting in muscle fatigue, spasm and pain!

Simultaneously, the production of a hormone called Relaxin increases ten fold as the pregnancy progresses. This hormone causes ligaments to soften and stretch in preparation for labour, but in the meantime can cause relative instability of joints in the lower back and pelvis - a certain recipe for misalignments that cause pelvic pain especially from the sacroiliac joints or pubis.(1) 

The good news is Chiropractic care has a great track record of helping mums-to-be with highly favourable outcomes. A study by Skaggs et al(2) showed a fast decrease in pain using a questionnaire scale from 45 to 34 by the second visit. Another study(3) found ALL BUT 10% reporting improvement under chiropractic with 50% feeling very well and 25% with complete remission. And results published by Fallon (4) reported all women in their study enjoyed more than 50% improvement in their back pain.

In our office, chiropractic care of the pregnant patient is highly tailored.  Adjustments are carried out gently and with the extra care required. As chiropractors employing a holistic approach we cover nutritional aspects, the appropriate supplementation and physical exercises to support you through this very special time.

We also are proficient in the Webster technique developed by Larry Webster in 1978, a technique that has been shown to assist dramatically in helping mum's body turn breech babies in time for delivery. Intrauterine constraint refers to presentations where there is obstruction to the normal position or movement of the foetus. This can lead to minor congenital deformities and make a vaginal delivery difficult or risky, necessitating a caesarean section.

The Webster technique has been shown to enable 92% (4) of breech babies resolve to a head-down position. The secret is a pelvis with optimal alignment creating the largest possible pelvic inlet and outlet for baby to pass through. Please note this technique seeks to align mum's pelvis correctly and no direct contact is made with the foetus. With current caesarean rates at around 30% and the increased risk of negative flow-on health effects following a caesarean, we find parents are pleased to avoid a caesarean where possible.  

Did you know a consistent programme of chiropractic care for mum-to-be has been shown to shorten labour times on average by several hours? Fallon (5,6) has published a study showing a 24% reduction in labour time for first time mums and 33% for subsequent pregnancies.

When necessary we also offer acupuncture to help encourage the onset of  labour for those mums past their due date, or those expecting large babies that want to avoid becoming overdue.

In short, chiropractic care is gentle and beneficial through all stages of pregnancy. This is one of our special interest areas and we are constantly taking care of many mums-to-be and their newborns. We want you to have the most natural and comfortable pregnancy and reduce the chance of a prolonged labour.

So please call us with any questions and let's get your care underway. Phone 9979 7700

 

1. www.tg.org.au/etg_demo/desktop/tgc/rhg/5381.html

2. Skaggs CD, Prather H, Gross G et al. Back and pelvic pain in an undeserving United States pregnant population: a preliminary descriptive study. JMPT 2007;30(2) 130

3. Static Alterations of the Pelvic, Sacral and Lumbar Area due to Pregnancy. Chiropractic treatment in: Mazzarelli J. ed. Chirop Interprofessional Research Torino: Edizioni Minerva Medica 1982:59-68

4. Pistolese RA. The Webster technique. A Chiropractic Technique with Obstetric implications. JMPT 2002;25(6):e1-e9.

5. Fallon J.M. Textbook on Chiropractic and Pregnancy. Arlington, VA. International Chiropractic Association; 1994: 52,109

6. Fallon J.M. Chiropractic and Pregnancy: A partnership for the future. ICA Int Rev: Chiropr. 1990;46:(6):39-42

 

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