Is it safe to see a chiropractor while pregnant?

The short answer: Absolutely! Growing a baby is a wondrous thing that also asks a lot of the body. Aches and pains in pregnancy are quite common, but you do not have to walk alone through this experience, and a prenatal chiropractor can be a great addition to your care team! Seeing a prenatal chiropractor is a safe and natural alternative for pain relief to complement any other prenatal care you may be receiving. Common concerns that respond well to prenatal chiropractic care include:

  • Low back pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Hip pain
  • Rib pain (if baby is sitting high up for several months)
  • Pubic symphysis pain
  • Round ligament pain
  • Fetal positioning concerns

So friends, if you understandably find yourself seeking bodywork during pregnancy, best to do a little research beforehand and find a chiropractor who specializes in prenatal or perinatal care. In general, getting regularly adjusted while pregnant is a great way to relieve the added stress on your spine (especially that low back!) as your center of gravity shifts forward with baby’s growth. It’s also highly beneficial for optimal pelvic alignment to decrease pressure for both you (think hips and pubic bone) and baby (think intrauterine space).

Those of us who have trained in specific techniques via post-graduate programs, and focused our efforts on supporting all birthing persons in whatever capacity they may be needing or wanting, are the practitioners who will most likely resonate with you during this time! 🙂

Take for instance, the Webster Technique:

The Webster Technique is a pelvis balancing protocol designed to align the pelvis, hips, and low back, which allows for proper function of the uterus and it’s supporting structures.

Why does a technique like this even matter? Well, let’s dive in just a little bit on what’s happening in the body during pregnancy! The hormone relaxin is produced throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding to relax your ligaments [yes, on purpose!]. Your body needs this, as relaxed ligaments allow your joints to stretch and open so more space can be created for baby. However, this ligament laxity in the pelvis can mean less stability for your joints, which often results in increased muscle tension as the muscles that connect to all regions of the pelvis (sacrum, tailbone, pubic bone, and hip crests) work to support the pelvic bowl and baby (don’t forget about our internal pelvic floor muscles! They are like a hammock at the bottom of your core, and support internal structures just like your glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors support external structures). With all this laxity, the structure of the pelvis can also shift. This shifting can cause pain in the low back, sacrum, deep in the buttock, or in the front of the pelvis.

Thus enters the Webster Technique, developed by the founder of the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association). There are around 12 ligaments that attach the uterus to the pelvic bowl, and some of these ligaments can be reached with external work. With the Webster Technique, focus is placed on ligamentous releases, soft tissue (muscle) releases, and adjustments to relieve stressors and pressures around and among the pelvic bowl. If we manipulate a ligament or muscle that attaches to any bony structure of the pelvis (the sacrum, tailbone, pubic bone, or hip crests), there is a reflexive relaxation of the tensile stress and pressure placed on those structures. And when we adjust the SI joints, tailbone, or pubis directly — all through gentle, intuitive methods — we create optimal pelvic alignment. Further, if we reduce stress on the ligaments that attach the uterus to the pelvic bowl, we can decrease any intrauterine constraints that baby may be experiencing. A win/win for all — more comfort for you and your little!

So…yes! It is safe to receive chiropractic care during pregnancy 🙂 I guess my take home for you here is: visiting a Chiropractor trained in prenatal care can help to realign the bones and joints of the pelvis, reduce muscular and ligament tension, and eliminate intrauterine constraints, all of which relieve any pains or discomforts the birthing person may be experiencing, as well as giving baby any room they need to get into optimal birthing position for labor & delivery! 🙂

This work is my passion, and I am here to support in any role you may need! Yours in health – Dr. N