Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

It is a common observation that birthing seems to be more comfortable for women who were under chiropractic care during pregnancy. The following studies mention how common spinal problems are resolved during pregnancy (up to 90%) and best of all how Chiropractic is safe, effective and most of all a drug free approach which is ideally suited for the health and well being of both mother and child.

The role of chiropractic in pregnancy. Vallone S. Int’l Chiropractic Assn. Review Summer 2002. p 47-51.

“By encouraging regular chiropractic and maternal self care (which includes good nutrition, regular stretching and exercise and stress management) we can improve our patient’s probability of a successful natural delivery.”

Complementary and alternative medicine in pregnancy: a survey of North Carolina certified nurse-midwives. Allaire AD, Moos WK, Wells SR. Obstet Gynecol 2000;95(1):19-23.

In this survey of 82 certified nurse-midwives, 93.9% reported that they recommended patients to alternative health care providers. 57.3% said they referred women to chiropractors.

Follow-up of patients with low back pain during pregnancy. Brynhildsen J, Hansson A, Persson A, Hammar M. In: Obstetrics & Gynecology, Feb 1998; 91(2): 182-6.

Women with severe low back pain during pregnancy have an extremely high risk for experiencing a new episode of more severe low back pain during future pregnancies and when not pregnant.

Note: According to revised guidelines from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vaginal delivery should be routine in women who previously underwent cesarean section birth, Journal Of The American Osteopathic Association, Feb.1989, Vol.89 No.2, p.164.

An effective drug-free approach to premature contractions. Phillips C. ICA Review Oct. 1998.

Dr. Carol Phillips has done an amazing job of integrating chiropractic with CranioSacral T therapy to develop a number of techniques to help women in labor and pregnancy. Using simple procedures, she teaches healthcare providers unique methods of helping their pregnant patients and young children.

She writes:

”What is it about chiropractic care and pregnancy? Why do so many women who receive care during pregnancy always ask us, ” How in the world do other women get through pregnancy without adjustments?”

This paper presents a simple procedure that doctors can teach spouses and birth assistants in order to prevent and correct “one of the most serious complaints associated with imbalance – premature contractions.”

Back Labor: a possible solution for a painful situation. Phillips C. ICA Review July/August 1997.

From 50-75% of pregnant women experience the acute, severe, low back pain that is categorized as back labor. Dr. Phillips writes: “many first time mothers mistakenly think back labor is what childbirth is supposed to feel like. Let me assure you IT IS NOT.” Dr. Phillips offers a biomechanical approach to back labor. Dr. Phillips states, “Back labor is not a very common finding in patients who have received chiropractic and craniosacral therapy throughout pregnancy.”

Dr. Phillips offers approaches that will help the baby turn so as to prevent back labor and methods that a chiropractor, labor companion or any birth attendant may use to help a woman in labor relax the pelvis, reduce pelvic tension and permit a back labor presentation to turn the baby to a more natural position for delivery.

Hypolumbarlordosis: a predisposing factor for preeclampsia. Kanayama N. Maradny EE, Kajiwara Y. et al. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 1997;75: 115-121.

About 1 in 200 pregnant women suffer from preeclampsia with hypertension and albuminaria (protein in urine) and which can lead to seizures, coma and death. No one knows what causes it.

The authors studied pregnant women to see if there was a relationship between their spinal shape, particularly the lumbar (lower back) spinal shape and preeclampsia. It was revealed that women with decreased lumbar spine curves had more preeclampsia. Interestingly, they also found that patients with reduced lumbar curves had decreased blood flow to the iliac artery than normal pregnant women.

Case history: premature labor. Cohen Eddy, D.C., F.I.C.A. Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 1 No. 4 May 1995.

A chiropractor’s wife experienced premature labor at 32 weeks of gestation. She was also diagnosed with severe endometriosis resulting in inflammation of the ovaries and was informed that she would never be able to become pregnant and recommendation for treatment was laparoscopic surgery.

Patient refused treatment. She went to a hospital where the M.D.s wished to inject oxytocin to stop her contractions. The author writes:

“While at the hospital, the patient’s husband adjusted her. The intensity of the contractions decreased somewhat. However the contractions maintained the same frequency of every five minutes.” She was adjusted C-2, using the toggle recoil technique. Contractions reduced markedly and then discontinued completely “Patient then continued with weekly adjustments until the occurrence of labor and delivery at 40 weeks gestation, with no complications. The patient’s newborn infant was checked and adjusted 20 hours after the birth.”

Some preterm labor may have a neurologic condition that responds to correcting/reducing vertebral subluxation complex. Chiropractic and prenatal reference manual. Peet, JB, The Baby Adjusters, Inc. 1992. Shelburne, VT.

The effects of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: a comprehensive study. Fallon J. Proceedings of the world chiropractic congress. 1991; 24-31.

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can change the shape of the spinal curves and overall posture which can affect organ systems.

In this study Dr. Fallon describes her work with 65 women who received chiropractic care from at least the tenth week of pregnancy through labor and delivery. These women experienced mean labor times significantly reduced compared to controls.

Women who were primagravidae (first pregnancy) who received chiropractic care averaged 24% shorter labor times than average for primagravidae women.

Women who were multiparous (had had at least one child prior) averaged 39% shorter labor times versus controls.

Adjustive procedures for the pregnant chiropractic patient. Esch S., Zachman Z. Chiropractic Technique. May 1991; 3(2): 66-71.

This is a discussion of the technique and modifications needed to facilitate spinal adjustments for the pregnant patient. The authors used pillows under the abdomen and flexed the knees while prone to reduce stress on the low back.

Back pain during pregnancy and labor. Diakow, PRP, Gadsby, TA, Gadsby JB et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther Vol. 14, No. 2 Feb. 1991.

From the abstract:

An interview of 170 consecutive female patients: of the 170 pregnancies with reported back pain, 72% also reported back labor…The treated group experienced less pain during labor.

Eighty-four per-cent of patients receiving spinal manipulative therapy reported relief of back pain during pregnancy. There was significantly less likelihood of back labor when spinal manipulative therapy was administered during pregnancy.

The effect of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: a comprehensive study. Fallon J. New York, NY: Yeshiva University. From 1991, World Chiropractic Congress Abstracts.

One half of all pregnant women complain to their obstetricians about backache (LeBan et al. 1983); it can be demonstrated that chiropractic care significantly reduces the mean labor time. /