Pregnancy & Chiropractic: The Perfect Combination!

Posted on: April 11th, 2019

If you or someone you know is pregnant, then you probably know the struggle with symptoms such as lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, and nausea, just to name a few.

In addition to these symptoms, another challenge moms-to-be face is managing their symptoms without medication. Parents want to be as natural and healthy as they can be so that the new baby will also be healthy.

You don’t have to suffer through your whole pregnancy with these symptoms. There are things that can help you naturally, without medication.


Lower back and neck pain

The most common pregnancy problems, affecting about 50 percent of expecting moms, are lower back and neck pain. This happens because during pregnancy, body composition changes. The stomach and abdomen become larger and the lower back winds up changing the position it’s in. Structures become stressed and strained from the changes in physical position and posture.

A chiropractor can look to see where there are misalignments and less motion, particularly in the lower back and pelvis, to restore proper motion. This can reduce the level of pain experienced during pregnancy.

Headaches, nausea, sleeping difficulties

Along with lower back and neck pain, there are other symptoms that moms-to-be struggle with. These include headaches, nausea, and difficulty sleeping.

Research has found that chiropractic care can be a safe, effective way of managing these symptoms, particularly in the first and second trimesters.

In the first and second trimesters, the body is breaking down in response to the developing embryo implanting into the uterus. This is a natural response. However, the body can overreact to it and it winds up shutting it down and causing these symptoms.

One study took 150 random pregnant women and examined them to find out which symptoms they were experiencing.

The study applied chiropractic care to some of these women, giving them an adjustment up to three times. All but two women had resolved symptoms that did not come back throughout the entire pregnancy.

This article found that you don’t need to suffer through these symptoms. It also mentioned that if you have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), the number one option to relieve symptoms is chiropractic care, which can relieve the nerves that put pressure on the digestive system.

Improper position of the baby

Another challenge soon-to-be moms face is if the developing baby has a difficult time presenting in the proper position.

Proper position is with the baby’s head down to deliver head first, and this typically happens during the third trimester.

There is a technique using chiropractic care that has an 82 percent success rate and can help the baby shift into the proper position. This can be done as late as the 38th week of pregnancy. However, the earlier in pregnancy this is addressed, the less likely it winds up happening. But it’s better late than never.

So what can keep the baby from being in the proper position? This can happen for a variety of reasons.

The most common reason this happens is that at some point in the mom’s life, a shift or change in the lumbar spine or in the pelvis occurred, keeping the pelvis from shifting properly as the body releases some of its pregnancy hormones.

The most common hormone released is relaxin. Relaxin relaxes ligaments so they can stretch beyond typical stretch capacity. It allows for the pelvis and pelvic brim (where the baby is delivered through) to open up further than it typically can.

For a baby that’s not rotating properly or presenting breech, areas of the pelvis wind up getting locked up and as the baby tries to rotate, it can be bonding itself against a pelvis that’s not moving at all.

This could also be the first physical stress the baby experiences in his or her life.

It also creates frustrations for the mom, as well as lower back pain, and interventions may be needed. Eighty-six percent of breech babies wind up being delivered via cesarean section.

Your body can wind up being able to deliver the baby if your pelvis has the ability to move. If it can’t move, it can be difficult for the baby to be present properly.

How can you relieve your symptoms at home?

During pregnancy, it’s important to avoid the use of medications and to treat symptoms as naturally as possible. There are things you can do at home to help with this.

Stay active.

One of the biggest things you can do for yourself and your baby is to stay active, according to the Mayo Clinic. Staying active can help alleviate symptoms such as headache, migraine, sciatica, and lower back pain.

Activity winds up firing off the receptors in the bottom of your feet, which get to your brain faster than the pain does.

Activity may also make labor easier. Labor is like a strenuous workout. If you haven’t been active for months while you were pregnant, it makes labor even more strenuous and may also increase the need for other interventions.

Mobility exercises

In addition to staying active, there are two exercises for pregnancy that are essential to make sure labor winds up being quick, easy, and as pain-free as possible.

See the videos for a demonstration on how to properly perform these exercises.

Exercise #1

    • Sit on a wobble chair with the flat side up (or exercise ball if you have one).
    • Do this exercise on the bed or preferably in a chair so you can hold on to the arms.
    • Shift your hips side to side. This causes the vertebrae in your lower back to move individually. (During pregnancy, you lose mobility in your lumbar spine and that mobility is essential to keeping your discs hydrate, spine moving well, and to allow for flexibility as body composition changes.)
    • Make sure your hips and lower back is all that wind up moving.
    • Do this ten times in each direction, once or twice a day.
    • Flatten your lower back by moving your bottom forward, then extend it and round your lower back. This causes more mobility in the lower back.

Exercise #2 “Cat Cow”

    • This is done on your bed or the floor.
    • Get on all fours.
    • Drop your abdomen as far as you can.
    • Your head comes up to allow for more mobility.
    • Extend your lower back and bring it up as high as you can, and your head comes down. This is the “cat” part.
    • You should feel a stretch through your lower back.
    • Drop your abdomen and bring your head back up. This is the “cow” part.
    • Do this throughout your pregnancy.

Most moms-to-be don’t get in activity and do mobility exercises throughout pregnancy, and for most of them delivery winds up feeling like a 10 hour CrossFit class.

Make sure to get in movement and activity to plan for that. If you have concerns or hesitations about doing this, we may be able to help you to figure out why and come up with a solution.


Another thing you can do to relieve symptoms at home, pregnant or not, is aromatherapy. This especially helps with stress, tension, anxiety, and nausea.

Here are a few oils you can try:

    • Lavender is calming and relaxing for patients with neck and lower back pain. You can use it by placing a couple of drops in your hand, inhaling, and taking a few deep breaths. You can also use a diffuser to diffuse the aroma throughout your home.
    • This is in many supplements and is known to help with sleep and relaxation. It’s also helpful for anxiety and stress management.
    • Ginger is a massive antioxidant and helps relax the entire system. It’s a powerful aid for nausea and difficulty sleeping.

These natural, safe home treatments are a way to prepare for natural, pain-free, easier deliveries.

Still no relief? We may be able to help you.

If you’ve tried these methods and are still experiencing symptoms, you may want to look for some professional help such as chiropractic care.

The American Pregnancy Association found that chiropractic care helps reduce the amount of time in labor, making it easier for mom and baby, and also reducing the need for other interventions. It also reduces nausea, morning sickness, and helps maintain flexibility.

Chiropractic care is a safe and natural way to relieve these symptoms without medication. Your body will work better, feel better, and allow the baby to grow better.

One common question received is, “Is it safe for someone who’s pregnant to get chiropractic care?”

The answer is yes. Chiropractic care is pain-free, safe, gentle, and effective.

Adjustments can be done to make sure the neck and spine, as well as hips and pelvis, move properly.

You also may be wondering how you will be able to get adjusted on a table if pregnant.

There are a few different ways we are able to adjust you if you’re pregnant. First, we may lift the lower pelvic piece on the table to lift your hips and pelvis, dropping your abdomen to be more comfortable.

As you move further along in your pregnancy, there are additional tools we may use, such as a pillow with a hollow middle. The middle is hollow to allow your abdomen to fit comfortably. The headpiece will be moved up to keep the spine in alignment with your hips and pelvis.

See the video for a demonstration on how this works.

If you or someone you know is pregnant and experiencing any of these symptoms, contact us to see what we can do to help to relieve your symptoms and prepare for easier, healthier labor for you and your baby.

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