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If you are pregnant, one of the best things you can do is see a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractic care provides so many things a pregnant body needs: a flexible and balanced spine, hips and pelvis; internal organs without postural stress-all essential for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Along with a better diet, exercise and avoiding drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, chiropractic care should be an essential part of a pregnant woman's healthcare regimen.

Carol Phillips, DC, who specializes in the care of pregnant and birthing mothers says, "So many women who received care during pregnancy say to us: 'how in the world do other women get through pregnancy without [chiropractic] adjustments?" A pregnant woman needs to have her body as healthy and strong as possible in order to handle the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth. Chiropractic care will help ensure that all body systems function properly especially the reproductive system including the uterus, ovaries and related organs and structures so essential for a healthy pregnancy. If the body structure is causing the slightest nerve interference to these systems it could adversely affect the mother and the developing fetus. Your chiropractor will examine your spinal column for spinal distortions that cause nerve stress. These distortions are known as vertebral subluxations. If your chiropractor finds subluxations in your body he/she will correct them with a chiropractic spinal adjustment.

Another great reason for chiropractic care during pregnancy is that it is drugless. Drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can harm the growing fetus. There is no such thing as a safe drug: It is….virtually impossible to specify any drug that will not result in an increased frequency of congenital malformations when administered, in a certain dose to a sufficiently large panel of different laboratory animals. No drugs should be prescribed during pregnancy without weighing the maternal need against the risk of fetal damage. Antibiotics (including tetracycline), aspirin, alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and cocaine, even cough syrup and cold and flu medications have been linked to fetal damage and miscarriage.

No proper studies have been done to determine if ultrasound has adverse effects on growth and development of children exposed in utero. Ultrasound has also been associated with a symptom of possible neurological damage. In addition the value of electronic fetal monitoring has been seriously questioned as to safety and efficacy. Robert Mendelsohn, MD has stated pregnant women should "stay away from X-rays, diagnostic ultrasound, doctor-prescribed medication, and every other form of dangerous obstetrical intervention."

Chiropractic care may help maintain pregnancy, control vomiting, deliver full-term infants with ease and produce healthier infants. Chiropractic has demonstrated success with back pain, premature contractions and back labor. One case of a woman experiencing premature contractions (32 weeks) with severe endometriosis was told she would never carry a baby to term. At the hospital she received spinal adjustments and the contractions stopped. After leaving the hospital, she continued care and had a normal labor and delivery at 40 weeks gestation. Practitioners of spinal care have observed: Manipulation can be of great value in normalizing the body functions of women with problems of pregnancy such as toxemia. Manipulative therapy…shortens labor by 50 to 60% and lessens medication requirement by at least 50%. Postpartum depression is a rarity in patients receiving…manipulative therapy.

Chiropractic has been able to correct breech presentations in which the baby isn't positioned properly for birth developed by the late Larry Webster, DC, the Webster Technique has been very successful in correcting breech presentations. In a survey of nurse-midwives, 93.9% recommended patients to alternative healthcare providers. 57.3% referred women to chiropractors.

Is chiropractic care safe in pregnancy?
Yes. Chiropractors are trained in adjusting the spines of pregnant women.

How late in pregnancy is it possible to get an adjustment?
Patients have received adjustments even during labor.

Do I have to have a problem in pregnancy to see a chiropractor?
Not at all. Periodic spinal checkups during pregnancy should be as common as periodic weight checkups

Can spinal care help postpartum depression?
Yes. For years chiropractic's beneficial effects on emotional stress and personality have been noted.

Can my baby receive chiropractic care?
Newborns have been given spinal checkups and adjustments (if needed). Infants and their mother should be checked for spinal misalignment (subluxation) after birth, especially since the birth process can be very stressful to the infant and mother.

Koren Publications Inc © 2005 Tedd Koren, D.C. All rights reserved   Koren Publications Inc.