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How does a chiropractor treat pregnant patients?

You’re like other people – just pregnant!

Chiropractors care for their pregnant patients in much the same way as they do their normal patients. After all, you are a human being first, who happens to also be pregnant! Obviously, special care is taken with our pregnant patients to provide care that is safe and comfortable for both mother and baby. You can find more detail on that in the next article, ‘Won’t chiropractic adjustments harm me or my baby?’

We’re thorough!

As with any new patient visit to Canberra Spine Centre, firstly we gather details by taking a thorough history. We not only want to find out the main reason you’re here (eg. back pain, concern for baby position, or just want to be your best), but we want to identify the underlying cause of any problems you are experiencing and see if you are a good candidate for chiropractic care. There are many aspects that chiropractic care can help with during pregnancy, but some, such as placenta previa (placenta implanted at the bottom of the uterus) or preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) are outside of our scope of practice. We need to identify these issues and either refer or co-manage in these cases. A thorough history helps us to know what to do and what not to do – ensuring that we provide you with the safest, most appropriate and effective care.

Examination to find what’s causing your problems.

Next comes the examination. Our chiropractors will assess the alignment of your pelvis and sacrum. This area will heavily influence your comfort as well as the positioning and delivery of your baby. See more in our article, ‘How can chiropractic help during pregnancy?’ We’ll also check the rest of your spine. Poor motion and alignment of spinal bones alters the messages passing between the body and brain and can influence other aspects of your health and function. Just as with our other patients, we want our pregnant patients to be functioning at their best. The examination may also encompass other screening neurological, orthopaedic and pregnancy-related tests, depending on how far through your pregnancy you are.

Tailored treatment.

Finally, after gathering the data we need to ensure our best standard of care, we can begin with treatment. As with our regular patients at Canberra Spine Centre, chiropractic care has a focus on adjusting poorly moving areas of the spine to influence nervous system function. For our pregnant patients, we’ll use a variety of gentle techniques to help restore proper movement and function, including those focussed more on pelvic alignment such as the Webster Technique. As you progress through your pregnancy, the techniques we choose, the positions we place you in and the areas we focus on will change to suit your specific needs. Our chiropractors will also give advice on posture, movement and exercise to help suit your stage in pregnancy and preparation for birth.

Sometimes we don’t get to see women until quite late in pregnancy, such as those concerned with breech or other non-ideal baby positions. We find that our pregnant patients who decide to continue chiropractic care through their pregnancy, or begin early, will get the best results in terms of comfort and better function during pregnancy and labour.