Chiropractic prenatal care and Webster’s technique are safe and effective treatments that can be very beneficial throughout pregnancy and postnatal care following delivery. During pregnancy there are several physiological and hormonal changes that occur to create the optimal environment for the developing baby. A mother’s weight gain will ideally reach between 25-35 lbs, which often leads to postural distortions. As her centre of gravity shifts forward to accommodate her growing belly, the natural curves of the spine, particularly in the lumbar region, become exaggerated and additional pressure is placed on the spine and pelvis. To stabilize the body, the hips may expand laterally, which puts increased pressure on the sacra-iliac joints. In preparation for childbirth, the hormone relaxin causes the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the pelvis to soften and more more pliable, causing further postural distortions. As the mother’s body continually changes throughout pregnancy, this often results in spinal restrictions (hypomobility), pinched nerves, tight muscles, and decreased overall flexibility. With all of the hormonal fluctuations, muscle and spinal imbalances, this can often result in the mother suffering from conditions such as headaches, neck pain, upper back and rib pain, low back pain, sciatica, round ligament and groin pain, and thoracic outlet syndrome.
A doctor of chiropractic is trained to detect and gently correct spinal dysfunctions and muscle imbalances so that those precious nine months and beyond are as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Ideally, chiropractic treatments should begin early in the pregnancy so that an individualized treatment plan can be developed to ensure a comfortable pregnancy journey and address any issues before they arise. A chiropractor uses specific chiropractic adjustments to the pelvis along with soft tissue therapy to the tight ligaments in order to reduce in-utero constraint. This allows the baby room to develop, allows the pelvis to open during delivery, and can help reduce pain and the length of the labour.
Chiropractic adjustments result in an easier pregnancy, significantly decreased time in labour, and assist new mothers back to optimal pre-partum health. Studies have shown that women receiving chiropractic care throughout their first pregnancy had 24% shorter labour times than the group which was not adjusted, and multiparous subjects reported 39% shorter labour times.
Dr. Kate Durnin is the chiropractor at Peak Health & Performance who is specially trained in treating expectant mothers, babies, and youth. She has taken numerous courses through the ICPA (International Chiropractic Paediatric Association) and is certified in Webster’s technique. As a mother herself, Dr. Kate Durnin has a strong passion for treating expectant moms, because a healthier pregnancy means an easier labour and delivery, and a better transition for the baby.