The third trimester is the most important as we grow closer to the date of birth. The main reason chiropractic exists, and why it’s beneficial to most people, is to detect and remove something called the vertebral subluxation. That’s when stress, tension, poor posture, accidents or falls create misalignments where the vertebrae get out of alignment. What’s important is that when the vertebrae are not lined up, they have a tendency to irritate the same nerves that they’re designed to protect.
When we take that and extrapolate it to a pregnant woman who’s in her third trimester, there are a lot of things going on that a chiropractor can help with.
1. A pregnant woman’s center of gravity is moved a couple inches anterior, which loads up the sacroiliac joint and stresses the pelvic girdle. This can leave them prone to misalignments in the lumbar spine. As a chiropractor, my job is to gently realign the vertebrae, and get the pressure off the nerves to allow normal function. Normal function is a product of normal communication, and really when we think about it, our nerve system is just a big old communication center that sends messages. If we have anything that interferes with those messages, then we don’t get clear, concise instructions from the brain, and that can result in malfunctioning in any area of the body.
2. Their body cranks out a hormone, relaxin, which is designed to make the ligaments more mobile and more stretchy, so when the baby is ready to come out the mom’s body isn’t harmed and there is increased flexibility to allow the baby to be delivered. When we have all that going on, we use special techniques during the third trimester to make sure that the treatment is safer and absolutely effective for the mother.
3. The sacral subluxations contribute to difficult labor, particularly dystocia, which can be caused by in uterine function or extra tension in the pelvis, particularly the contraction of the round ligaments or the uterine sacral ligaments. Sometimes the baby isn’t necessarily head down, and the Webster work can actually relax the ligaments, align the pelvic girdle and provide the optimal environment for birth.
Those are the big three. And obviously when moms have discomfort, lower back pain or neck pain or headaches and things like that, chiropractic always naturally helps alleviate those types of symptoms. Whether pregnant or not, pretty much anyone who has a spine can benefit from chiropractic by keeping the spine and neuro system healthy. So, whether in your first trimester, second trimester, or third trimester, there’s always an upside to making sure that your spine is well aligned, healthy, and flexible.