Pregnancy can be one of the most magical and transformative times in a woman’s life, but let’s face it – it can also come with a whole host of aches, pains, and discomforts. From back pain to sciatica to headaches and more, it can feel like your body is going through the ringer.
But fear not, because we’ve got a secret weapon for you: prenatal chiropractic care!
That’s right, mamas – chiropractic care isn’t just for athletes or people with back injuries.
In fact, more and more pregnant women are turning to chiropractic care to help them feel better, be more comfortable, and more aligned during their pregnancies.
But what is prenatal chiropractic care, exactly? How does it work, and what can you expect from a session? And perhaps most importantly, is it safe for you and your growing baby?
From common misconceptions to specific treatment techniques, we’re diving into everything you need to know about this powerful and natural way to support your body during this incredible journey. So grab a cup of tea or whatever beverage you’re craving, sit back, and get ready to learn everything you ever wanted to know about prenatal chiropractic care.
Today I’m chatting with prenatal chiropractor Dr Cecilia Bettencourt (aka Dr Cece) of Simply Well Chiropractic, to answer all of your questions about chiropractic care during pregnancy!
What are some common pregnancy-related conditions that you treat with chiropractic care?
Pregnancy is this amazing transition where so many things are changing to accommodate new life. With Chiropractic our overall goal is to help mama’s neuro spinal system adapt more efficiently to those changes physically and even emotionally. One thing that gets missed is how beneficial consistent chiropractic care can be when it comes to labor and delivery. Most of our Mamas experience shorter labor times, a smoother birth process, a lesser need for birth intervention like epidurals and pitocin, and better connection between baby and mama. Often when we see things like low back pain, pubic bone discomfort, and hormonal changes (like sleep disruptions and headaches) we know those are signs that our neuro spinal system is struggling to adapt to its full potential.
What qualifications and certifications do you have in prenatal chiropractic care, and how do they make you uniquely qualified to treat pregnant women?
Unfortunately there is not a “requirement” to care for prenatal mamas and kids, and not much is taught in school about how to care for them. Meaning not every Chiropractor is trained to care for pregnant women and kids. I personally started learning how to provide this care when I was I was in graduate school through seminars, mainly from organizations like the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (where I got my Webster certification) EPIC Pediatrics, and a few tona seminars as well like Cranio-sacral and Suboccipital technique. Additionally through my clinic experience in school, I was able to intern with one of the best Pediatric Chiropractors in Texas and learned more than I could put into words.
More recently I dedicate one day a week to continuously keep up to date with protocols of care and applied neurology through an organization called the Pediatric Experience. They have a strong emphasis on neurological deficits/dysfunctions such as ADHD, SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). In short, I’m always learning!
Can you explain the Webster Technique, and how it can benefit pregnant women?
The Webster Technique is a specific technique that aligns and balances the pelvis in a gentler way that gets great results for pregnant women. A common misconception is that the Webster Technique is most utilized to turn breech babies when in reality we are able to create enough space in the pelvis which allows little ones to turn into an ideal position on their own which is the easy part. The more difficult problem is maintaining that position while Relaxin (the hormone that allows for ligament laxity for the birth process) is very active causing the pelvis to shift and change more frequently than some who are not pregnant.
The technique itself not only focuses on pelvic alignment, but also takes into account the tension that can occur from supportive ligaments and muscles in the pelvis, so I personally use the technique on a lot of kiddos (and adults) and get great results with things like constipation or gas.
How frequently should a pregnant mama see a chiropractor during their pregnancy? Is it necessary to continue care after giving birth?
Everyone is so different and there really isn’t a one size fits all model of care when it comes to prenatal chiropractic. For someone who haven’t been under chiropractic care during their preconception phase regularly and routinely, often those individuals have a higher frequency between 3-2 times a week up till delivery to maintain and accommodate the changes happening. We obviously have this to keep mama as comfortable and empowered as possible, but again this limits the need for any medical intervention that can later cause challenges for both baby and mama in postpartum.
With that being said, postpartum has turned into one of my favorite things to care for again as the body and nervous system undergo MASSIVE changes- physically, emotionally, and hormonally. In this phase of care we focus on restoring balance both physically and hormonally to rock motherhood and really enjoy it.
Within our practice a lot of mamas who started their care earlier typically have a smoother transition through all the trimesters, labor, and delivery. One of my favorite stories is how we had been seeing a mama through her preconception phase all the way to delivery, and after her planned home birth- that happened quicker than she expected which resulted in her catching her baby as the midwife was on the way- she showed up a week later at her routine appointment to our shock with a newborn and toddler to get adjusted. Talk about a rock star!
Are there any misconceptions or myths about prenatal chiropractic care that you find particularly frustrating that you’d like to dispel?
Oh boy there are a lot!
The most prominent that comes to mind is, treating pregnant women
the same way you treat someone who just has back pain. Basically, treating the symptoms of pregnancy like a holistic Tylenol with chiropractic. One adjustment every so often from any chiropractor isn’t going to get the results of what most moms want, which is usually a non-invasive labor and delivery. You will absolutely feel better, but there is so much more to it than that.
Another misconception, chiropractic isn’t safe for pregnant women and infants. Again, not everyone is trained to care for pregnant women and infants, which is why I always advise to do your research or get a trusted referral. But overall, a pregnant mamma and kiddo shouldn’t be receiving care like everyone else.
I wrote a post about How Chiropractic Care Helped My Family HERE if you’d like to read more about the benefits of being well adjusted at any stage in your life.
I hope this post has left you feeling informed, empowered, and excited! Remember, pregnancy is a time to celebrate and honor your incredible body, and chiropractic care is one of the many ways you can support it on this journey.
Click here to connect with Seal Beach Prenatal Chiropractor, Simply Well Chiropractic
I hope reading How Prenatal Chiropractic Care Can Support Your Whole Pregnancy Journey has given you a fresh perspective and excitement to work on some self love and get yourself well adjusted!
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