Is Chiropractic Care Safe During Pregnancy?
Updated: May 24, 2019
Carrying a child can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life…and also one of the most physically uncomfortable. Common discomforts that pop up throughout a pregnancy include back pain, leg pain, nerve pain, digestive discomforts, headaches, sleep disturbances and many more. Chiropractic care can bring relief to all of these symptoms in non-pregnant patients, but is chiropractic a safe option for pregnant women?
Surprisingly, the answer is both yes and no. Chiropractic care can be wonderfully therapeutic
for a pregnant woman when done correctly. Pregnant women should not be adjusted the same as non-pregnant patients for many reasons, yet many practitioners will adjust a woman the same when she is pregnant as when she is not. For example, many providers will adjust a pregnant woman laying on her side and with a twisting motion, just as they do with most of
their non-pregnant patients. This puts extra strain on ligaments that are already working
overtime supporting the baby and can actually cause the woman more discomfort than before her adjustment. One of our staff members had this experience before becoming a patient at New Life Chiropractic! Practitioners who do this obviously do not intend to cause harm; they simply have not been taught alternative techniques to use on pregnant women or been educated on the need for them.
Fortunately, there is training available for chiropractors wishing to learn best practices for
adjusting pregnant women. The Webster Technique Certification is additional education from
the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) above and beyond standard
chiropractic training that teaches practitioners what misalignments are unique to pregnancy
and how to treat them safely and effectively. For example, if a pregnant woman is experiencing low back pain, a Webster Technique-certified chiropractor will know to check both the sacrum and the pubic bone for misalignment and will know how to adjust them properly—meaning, without a twisting motion! Dr. Loveridge holds this certification and is very passionate about helping women maintain optimal alignment through their pregnancy not just for their own comfort, but also for the health of the baby! We will talk more about the effects of a mother’s misalignments on a baby in utero in a future article.
Many chiropractors will advertise that they know how to treat pregnant women but very few of these practitioners are actually certified in the Webster Technique. It is important to do your homework and choose a practitioner who has the special skills and knowledge on how to safely adjust your body during this special time.
To find a chiropractor certified in the Webster Technique in your area, go to http://www.ICPA4KIDS.org.