As chiropractors that care for pregnant moms in Newport Beach, we know that pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in your family’s life. Your pregnancy should be one of comfort and joy and not full of aches and pains. When a woman carries a growing and developing child in her uterus (womb), her body is constantly adapting to the dynamic changes that she is experiencing. While the body is intelligent and knows what to do, this can be uncomfortable. Despite these transitions over the 9 months of pregnancy, it is a worthwhile and life-changing experience that culminates in the birth of a new life, which should be celebrated! Pregnancy is not a “medical condition” and should be treated as a normal, natural process of life.
The most common challenges that tend to present during pregnancy are neurological and musculoskeletal in nature. Natural changes in posture, movement, muscle balance, joint mobility, and nerve interference can cause a decrease in the mother’s body function or produce nerve pain such as sciatica. The most common change to occur is a “swayback” which increases the lumbar spine curve (low back). This causes the pelvis to shift forward, which creates postural and muscle imbalance. This can allow for nerve interference which not only causes pain but disturbs the mother’s maternal functions.
Another cause of discomfort is the release of a hormone called “Relaxin” in the body. Relaxin is responsible for relaxing ligaments, tendons, and joints so that the birth canal can widen, and the baby can be delivered vaginally. Although Relaxin doesn’t just affect the pelvic structures., it courses through the bloodstream and can affect all the joints and ligaments of the body. This can lead to widespread discomfort in many different locations.
Because of the numerous and dynamic changes in the body, chiropractors are extremely well-positioned to help pregnant women experience a more comfortable pregnancy and a smooth labor and delivery process. At Priestley Family Chiropractic, our doctors have helped thousands of women navigate their pregnancies and the various challenges that arise. They correct problems early before they become bigger problems. We provide our best recommendations for care to naturally treat pregnancy-related pain without the need for potentially harmful medications. Pregnancy should be an enjoyable and memorable experience, and it is our goal to assist in creating this experience for our expecting patients.
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A Comprehensive Workup to Address All Health Concerns
How Our Pregnancy Care Plan Works
We will perform an in-depth consultation, palpate your spine for misalignments, and document your posture. Nerve scans will tell us exactly where pressure on your nervous system is causing muscle tension and affecting organ function. A chiropractor will also do a stress test and, if necessary, take digital x-rays.
2. Receive A
Plan Of Action
The chiropractor will review your test results and have you come back the next day to review their findings. They will give you their best recommendations on where to begin correcting your problem and the most cost effective way to take care of your health challenges. Each body is different and needs individualized care.
3. Get Back
To Living Life
At Priestley Family Chiropractic, each chiropractor believes you should be able to live your life the way you choose, without physical limitations or fears of injury. When your nervous system is functioning at its best you feel better, have more energy, sleep better, concentrate properly, and are an overall better person.
How We Care for Pregnant Moms in Newport Beach, CA
Whether you are pregnant or not, every new patient at Priestley Family Chiropractic starts with a new patient consultation and exam. During the consultation, our doctors really get to know your story and the struggles you may be experiencing during your pregnancy. This provides valuable information that helps our doctors best understand the cause of your health concerns so that they can provide you with the right care and recommendations.
Pregnant patients require specialized tests and our doctors have over 60 years of combined experience in the evaluation and care of our expecting mothers. Necessary non-invasive safe procedures will be done to evaluate your current health status fully. All our prenatal care is very safe and comfortable for you and your baby. We have cutting-edge non-invasive testing to evaluate any abnormal changes to a patient’s posture that may be present. Abnormal postural changes can be an indication of more serious changes that can be addressed by our Priestley Family Chiropractic experts. This can aid in a healthier pregnancy and a more natural birth.
A common finding in expecting mothers is called vertebral subluxation. Subluxations occur when one or more of the vertebrae in the spine move/shift away from their normal alignment. The changes in the body biomechanics during pregnancy can contribute to subluxations and our doctors are experts in the detection and correction of subluxations. These subluxations can cause changes in the function of the nerve system and alter the brain’s ability to have full control over how the body is functioning. When bones shift, the brain’s communication with the body is altered, and malfunction of the body can result.
These subluxations can produce:
- Low back pain
- Pain in the extremities such as the hand’s feet, knees, calves, elbows, etc.
- Swelling of the lower extremities
- Lengthened labor times
- Increased pain during labor
- Pelvic pain in the region of sacral iliac joints or pubic bone
- Suboptimal fetal position such as sunny side up or posterior breech presentation
The doctors at Priestley Family Chiropractic will perform a gentle safe chiropractic adjustment to our prenatal patients to correct subluxations. This will allow the nervous system to heal and adapt and function as best as possible. This is all done without the risk of drugs or invasive procedures. The adjustments done to prenatal patients are safe for both the mother and baby.
At our office, the doctors are trained by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) to perform the Webster Technique. This technique removes tension on the intra and uterus ligaments. The uterus is suspended by twelve specialized ligaments. Subluxations can cause unwanted tension on these ligaments and result in uterus constraints which would prevent the fetus to move freely in the uterus so it can present with its optimal desired position.
When these tensions are removed, the body can move more freely and has been known to move the baby from its breech position to head-down position in a more optimal position for birth. This allows both birth and delivery a smoother experience by eliminating any unwanted intervention such as C-section, forceps, or vacuum extraction.
Our care at Priestley Family Chiropractic would also include specific exercises that are great for prenatal patients which can help them adapt to the changes in their bodies and help them prepare for a natural birth. Our doctors can tailor-make an exercise protocol just for you to help you be more comfortable during your pregnancy.
At our office, our doctors are experts in prenatal nutrition, and you can create a dietary plan of action to grow a healthy baby. There is so much information available regarding prenatal diets and vitamins. Our doctors can help you make sense of it all.
On Monday evenings we have a birthing class; please contact us for more information!
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Common Causes of Pregnancy Pain
Low Back Pain and Sciatica
Low back pain and sciatica are the most common pregnancy pains due to extensive lordosis (increased bend) and massive amounts of additional weight that pulls the belly forward putting stress on the lumbar spine and the nerves of the low back region. In addition to the excess weight, postural pelvic, and hormonal changes put additional stress on the muscles and ligaments causing low back pain in expecting mothers. Muscle separation in the abdominal muscles causes the lumbar spine to be weaker and less stable, while the hormone Relaxin furthers spinal instability by causing the ligaments to loosen.
Thankfully, lower back pain from pregnancy can be managed naturally, effectively, and safely here at Priestley Family Chiropractic. Chiropractic adjustments can alleviate pain due to joint misalignment and take the pressure off the nervous system.
Pelvic pain is another extremely common pain that is experienced during pregnancy, and it is completely understandable. After all, the pelvis undergoes some of the most drastic changes that are required for the baby to develop and be delivered.
Hormones released during pregnancy cause the ligaments to stretch and make room for the growing baby. When ligaments are stretched, specifically the round ligament, it causes intense pain in the front or the sides of the pelvic area, sometimes even in the back of the pelvis. Depending on where the baby is sitting, they can apply pressure directly to those ligaments and tendons. From a biomechanical standpoint, chiropractic adjustments help ease pelvic pain by ensuring the sacroiliac joints are in proper alignments.
Sciatica is a painful condition in which pain travels down one or both legs. It usually stems from a problem in your spine in which the nerves are being compressed, either by vertebrae that are out of place (subluxation) or a disc herniation which is a bulge that is irritating the nerve. Sciatica is very prevalent during pregnancy primarily because of the extra weight in the belly that causes the lower back to increase the curve. The great news for expecting mothers who are suffering from sciatica is that there are ways to treat sciatica effectively, naturally, and safely. Chiropractic adjustments are a wonderful and effective way to correct subluxation patterns that are contributing to your sciatic symptoms.
Symphysis Pubis Disorder (SPD)
60% of women will develop some sort of experience with symphysis pubic pain. The symphysis pubis is the front part of the lowest part of your pelvis, right in between your legs. Hormonal changes and ligament changes due to the expansion of the pubis, in addition to the movement and kicking of the baby, will give rise to this type of pain. The good news is that it can be managed by our doctors at Priestley Family Chiropractic. We utilize special adjusting techniques to help alleviate the pressure and pain on this joint and provide some much-needed relief.
Round Ligament Pain
10-30% of expectant moms usually develop round ligament pain in the first or second trimester. They are often referred to as “growing pains” as the baby begins to grow rapidly. During the second trimester, the uterus anchors itself to the body using the round ligament. The expansion of the uterus pulls abnormally on the normal ligament – stretching and tightening the ligament and causing pain.
Moms often feel like they must hunch over because standing up straight pulls on the round ligament. Standing or changing positions, coughing, sneezing, walking, and exercise can exacerbate this achy, crampy, sharp, stabbing pain. Through adjustments and soft tissue work of the ligament, chiropractors can help relieve round ligament pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is chiropractic safe during pregnancy?
Absolutely! You should find a chiropractic office like Priestley Family Chiropractic which specializes in caring for pregnant moms and have extensive training in prenatal cases. There are many changes that happen to the spine and pelvis during pregnancy. Chiropractors can help manage any pain or discomfort of pregnancy so that expecting moms can enjoy their pregnancy and be able to perform activities of daily living with as little discomfort as possible. We are also able to maximize the mom’s body’s normal functions and optimize her nerve supply for her health and the health of her developing baby.
When should you start seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy?
As soon as you know you are pregnant! You want to have the healthiest growth and development of your baby. Expecting moms should start as soon as they know they’re pregnant to make sure that their spine, health, and nerve supply is exactly where it’s supposed to be to help support their growing baby.
Is it normal to have lower back pain during pregnancy?
Absolutely. There are many dynamic changes occurring during your pregnancy. These changes can cause pain and discomfort in your low back, but that doesn’t mean you have to just deal with the pain for the entire duration of your pregnancy! At Priestley Family Chiropractic we can help decrease your low back pain so you can get back to living your everyday life while your little one grows and develops each day.
Can chiropractic adjustments cause miscarriage?
No, chiropractic is a gentle, natural, and safe way to adjust the spine to affect the nervous system. It helps the expecting mother’s spine function more optimally. This in turn keeps the mom healthier and stronger! There are no risks whatsoever to the baby in the uterus.
How do I lay on the table to get adjusted?
We have specialized tables that allow expecting moms to be able to lay on our tables comfortably.