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Chiropractic Care During and After Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Welcoming a new life into the world is one of the most wonderful things that can happen to a woman. It’s a transformative experience both figuratively and literally, as a woman’s body undergoes physical changes to accommodate and sustain a growing life. However, these changes do not come without challenges; they can lead to discomfort, pain, and shifts in posture. Some of this pain can be draining and make pregnancy more uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the options for medications and treatments are limited as an expecting mother needs to weigh whether it will be safe or harmful for the baby. 

One possible treatment to consider is chiropractic care, as its focus is on the musculoskeletal system, it can address these discomforts and promote overall well-being. But one question that often arises is whether chiropractic care is safe during this crucial period. Let’s explore the benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women, address common concerns, and discuss postpartum chiropractic care.

A pregnant woman sitting on a blue chiropractic bed waiting to start the chiropractic session

Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Chiropractic care during pregnancy goes beyond merely addressing physical discomfort; it aims to enhance overall well-being, promote optimal pelvic function for childbirth, and, in some cases, alleviate pregnancy-related symptoms like morning sickness. As with any medical decisions during pregnancy, it’s crucial for expectant mothers to consult with their healthcare providers to ensure that chiropractic care aligns with their individual needs and situation.

1. Pain Relief

One of the most common concerns during pregnancy is the onset of various pains, such as back pain, pelvic pain, and sciatica. The added weight and shifts in posture can lead to musculoskeletal imbalances, contributing to discomfort. Chiropractic adjustments focus on realigning the spine and pelvis, providing relief from these common aches. By addressing the root cause of the pain, chiropractic care offers a non-invasive and drug-free alternative for pregnant women seeking relief.

2. Optimizing Pelvic Alignment for a Better Birthing Experience

Proper pelvic alignment is crucial not only for comfort but also for the potential impact on the birthing process. Chiropractors, particularly those skilled in prenatal care, employ specialized techniques like the Webster Technique. This method aims to balance the pelvic muscles and ligaments, creating an optimal environment for the baby to move into the best position for delivery. By enhancing pelvic alignment, chiropractic care contributes to a smoother and potentially less complicated childbirth experience.

3. Nausea Reduction

Morning sickness, a common early pregnancy symptom, can be challenging to navigate. Some pregnant women have reported finding relief from nausea through chiropractic care. The adjustments made by chiropractors may positively influence the nervous system, potentially easing the symptoms of morning sickness. While individual responses may vary, this aspect of chiropractic care showcases its holistic approach, considering the interconnectedness of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.

Image of a pregnant lady having her leg stretched during chiropractic session.

Is chiropractic care during pregnancy safe?

Safety considerations during chiropractic care for pregnant women involve several important factors to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the baby.

1. Specialized Techniques

Chiropractors specializing in prenatal care are trained in using specialized techniques and adjustments tailored to the unique needs of pregnant women. These techniques are gentle and specifically designed to accommodate the changes occurring in a pregnant woman’s body. They focus on relieving discomfort, realigning the spine, and promoting optimal pelvic alignment to support a healthy pregnancy and facilitate a smoother delivery.

2. Communication with Healthcare Providers

Open and transparent communication between your chiropractor and prenatal healthcare team is essential. Your chiropractor should be informed about any prenatal complications, medical history, or ongoing treatments to ensure a collaborative and safe approach to chiropractic care. Likewise, your prenatal healthcare provider should be aware of any chiropractic adjustments or treatments you receive to coordinate care effectively and address any concerns that may arise during pregnancy.

By following these two considerations, pregnant women can safely benefit from chiropractic care to alleviate discomfort, support overall well-being, and promote a healthy pregnancy journey.

Risks and Common Concerns on Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

1. Risk of Miscarriage

Research indicates that chiropractic care is generally safe during pregnancy, posing a low risk of complications. However, it is important to have open discussions about your individual situation with both your obstetrician and chiropractor. Sharing details about your medical history, any complications during the current pregnancy, or pre-existing conditions ensures that the chiropractic care plan is tailored to your specific needs, prioritizing safety for both you and your baby.

2. X-rays and Adjustments

Concerns about X-rays during pregnancy are valid, and chiropractors are well aware of this. They can employ techniques that entirely exclude X-rays when working with pregnant women. Instead, gentle adjustments, which involve targeted, precise movements, are often used to provide relief. These adjustments focus on realigning the spine, reducing discomfort, and optimizing pelvic alignment without the need for any potentially harmful radiation. Before any procedure, your chiropractor should discuss the approach and address any concerns you may have, ensuring you feel comfortable and informed throughout the process.

What Our Curis Chiropractors Say: Insights from Dr. Stephanie Maj

“My goal as a prenatal chiropractor is to prepare the woman’s body for delivery. That entails balancing the pelvis, calming the nerves, encouraging the proper position of the baby via the Webster technique, and helping in anyway, and relieving the stress on the mom’s body as the baby gets bigger and bigger.”

Image of a pregnant woman at a chiropractic session, getting her spine adjusted by a chiropractor.

Postpartum Chiropractic Care

Postpartum chiropractic care is a holistic and gentle way for women to address physical challenges associated with childbirth, promoting a smoother recovery and helping them adapt to the changes that come with the postpartum period. 

1. Recovery and Healing

The postpartum period is also a time of physical adjustments. Chiropractic care during this phase can aid in the recovery process by addressing common issues such as pelvic misalignment and back pain. The body’s alignment may shift during pregnancy and childbirth, and chiropractic adjustments can provide targeted realignment, helping to alleviate discomfort and support the body’s natural healing processes.

2. Restoring Pelvic Health

Childbirth, especially vaginal delivery, can impact pelvic health. Postpartum chiropractic adjustments are designed to contribute to the restoration of pelvic health. By focusing on the alignment of the pelvis and spine, chiropractors can assist women in regaining stability and balance. This is particularly beneficial for those who experienced pelvic changes during childbirth, offering a non-invasive and supportive approach to enhance overall postpartum recovery.

Choosing the Right Chiropractor

Selecting the right chiropractor during and after pregnancy is a critical decision that can significantly impact your overall well-being. Here are key factors to consider:

1. Prenatal Experience

It’s essential to choose a chiropractor with specialized experience in prenatal and postpartum care. Chiropractors familiar with the unique needs and considerations of pregnant and postpartum women are well-equipped to provide tailored care that ensures safety and effectiveness. Inquire about their specific training or certifications in prenatal chiropractic techniques, as this demonstrates their commitment to understanding and addressing the intricacies of pregnancy-related musculoskeletal issues. These are the professional designations of chiropractors who have specialized in pregnancy wellness:

  • DACCP – Diplomate with ICPA reflecting the highest level of advanced training
  • CACCP – Certified with the ICPA reflecting advanced training
  • Member of ICPA reflecting special interest
  • Webster Certified – trained to work specifically with pelvic balance in pregnancy

2. Patient Testimonials

Reading testimonials and experiences shared by other pregnant women who have received chiropractic care from a particular practitioner can offer valuable insights. Look for reviews that specifically highlight the chiropractor’s approach during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Positive testimonials not only indicate the chiropractor’s proficiency in addressing pregnancy-related concerns but also provide a sense of the supportive and comforting environment they create for their patients. You may also seek recommendations from friends, family, or healthcare providers who have firsthand knowledge of chiropractors with expertise in prenatal and postpartum care.

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Self-Care Tips for Expecting and New Mothers

Pregnancy and the postpartum period involves self-care strategies that complement chiropractic care. Here are some essential self-care tips for expecting and new mothers:

1. Stay Active

Engaging in gentle exercises and stretches, as recommended by your healthcare team, can complement the benefits of chiropractic care. These activities help maintain flexibility, alleviate muscle tension, and support overall well-being during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Consult with both your chiropractor and obstetrician to create a tailored plan that considers your unique needs and stage of pregnancy.

2. Hydration and Nutrition

Proper hydration and a balanced diet are crucial components of self-care for pregnant and postpartum women. Adequate hydration supports overall bodily functions, while a nutrient-rich diet contributes to both your health and the development of your baby. Consult with your healthcare providers, including your chiropractor, to ensure your nutritional choices align with your specific needs and any existing health considerations.

3. Rest and Relaxation

Prioritizing rest is essential during this transformative time. Allow your body the necessary time to recover and rejuvenate, especially after childbirth. Quality sleep and moments of relaxation contribute to physical and mental well-being, aiding in the recovery process. Incorporate practices such as deep breathing, gentle stretching, or mindfulness to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
Chiropractic care during and after pregnancy can be a valuable and safe addition to a woman’s prenatal and postpartum healthcare plan. If you’re considering chiropractic care during pregnancy or postpartum, our expert and experienced chiropractors are here to provide a pain-free pregnancy journey.

Chiro While Pregnant, Chiropractic Care During and After Pregnancy


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