Chiropractic for Pregnancy — Podcast Interview with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein

Listen or Read Dr. Rubinstein’s Monthly Podcast Interview!

Topic: Chiropractic for Pregnancy 

Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Gregg Rubinstein’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast.  You can either watch the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below.  Enjoy!

Podcast Interview:

RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading industry professionals across the United States.

In today’s episode we are speaking with chiropractor, Dr. Gregg Rubinstein. Dr. Rubinstein is the founder of 57th Street Chiropractic located right here in the heart of midtown Manhattan where he has been practicing since 1993. He specializes in pediatric and family care and Dr. Rubinstein is a long standing member of the International Pediatrics Chiropractic Association. He also serves as a board member of Friends of Fresh and Green Academy, a nonprofit organization that does extensive charity work in education in Ethiopia.

Dr. Rubinstein is widely considered to be one of the top chiropractors in the U.S. and is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.

RC: Hello Dr. Rubinstein, how are you doing today?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: I’m doing great Liz nice to speak with you!

RC: Thanks again for joining us. We are really glad to have you with us today and we’re going to talk about a very important topic which is Chiropractic for Pregnancy.

Question 1: Why would a pregnant woman need chiropractic care?

RC: If I could jump into our first question of the day which is, why would a pregnant woman need chiropractic care?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well that’s a great question but it begs us to answer a different question first which is, why would anyone need to see a chiropractor?

Understanding what a chiropractor does is really important. For most people, they think a chiropractor is a back doctor; someone to go to when you have back pain or neck pain. Again it’s great because we are able to help get pressure of those delicate spinal nerves and allow some of that pain to dissipate when people come in with misalignments that are putting pressure on the nerves or what we call a pinched nerve.

But it’s even more important for a pregnant woman because there are certain things that are going on in her body that make her a little bit more special.

The first thing and the most obvious is gaining weight. When you start to get heavier, it puts more stress on your spine which is definitely a piece of the puzzle. But also, as you’re pregnant and your abdominal cavity begins to expand with that baby growing, it moves your center of gravity forward which puts an awful lot of stress on the lower back and many of these women will start to get pain.

Now the most important thing to understand is when a pregnant woman has pain she can’t take aspirin.  She can’t take pain killers and she can’t take muscle relaxers because she shares the blood stream with that developing baby inside her and those things are very dangerous to a growing fetus inside. So it’s a great way to get safe and natural pain relief for a woman who is pregnant without having any negative side effects for the growing baby inside. So that is one of the most important reasons that a pregnant woman would need chiropractic care.

The other things that start to happen is as the center of gravity moves forward, their head also starts to move forward and that can create the shoulder, arm and hand syndrome that a lot of pregnant woman will start to see with numbness and tingling in the hand and some neck pain. So those are two common reasons that we see a lot of expecting moms coming into our office.

RC: Great.

Question 2: Is it the weight gain that causes expecting moms to get more back pain?

RC: Now I know you talked about the weight gain. So is it the weight gain that causes expecting moms to get more back pain?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely, that is a big piece of the puzzle, understanding that you put on another thirty pounds. The best example I can give, I want to just backtrack on that. Liz, if I gave you a backpack weighing thirty pounds and I told you to put it on. How long after you put that on, do you think you would want to take it off.

RC: Right! Now I had twins, Dr. Rubinstein, so I can tell you about the weight gain. People were shocked at how much weight I actually gained. But I didn’t experience a lot of back pain and I think it’s because I was treated with such great care throughout my pregnancy. Can you talk about someone who might need that extra special care that has gained a lot of weight?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely and that pretty much goes without saying with everyone and that’s really very simple. Again the mechanics that I explained before, you start to gain weight and if there is already any type of pre-existing misalignment, becoming pregnant can very often make those things much worse because now you have more weight piled on top of a pre-existing problem. Same thing, if someone has back pain and I give them that thirty pound backpack and I say put this on. They are not going to be very happy. So it’s really important to know that weight is definitely one thing – the mechanical changes.

But there is another great thing that happens when a mom is pregnant. Towards the later part, you secrete this hormone called relaxin which allows the pelvic girdle ligaments to loosen up a little bit to allow the passage of the baby through the birth canal. Well when that’s going on in the expecting mom’s body, it’s also an awesome time to make spinal correction because the body is much more receptive to it. So that’s another great thing that happens when a mom is expecting. So yes, you know the simple stuff, back pain and neck pain, great we can be really a lot of help to those things. But we also have a window of opportunity to correct pre-existing spinal problems as well.

Question 3: How safe are chiropractic treatments for mom and for baby?

RC: In treating the pregnant mother, how safe are chiropractic treatments for both the mother and the baby.

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Okay so we have a very special table that actually is spring-loaded and it has an abdominal drop which will actually support the baby and the abdomen while the mom lies face down. Now I can’t tell you how many times a day when a pregnant woman comes into the office and has the opportunity to lie face down, they would come and probably pay just for that part of the office visit alone. But the truth is that adjustments are very safe.  They are safe for the mom and they are safe for the baby and we take all the proper precautions. But in reality, it’s not that much different than the way you would adjust someone else. You just need to mind the pendulous abdomen and just make sure you don’t use too much energy because again when they have that relaxin coursing through their body they are going to be much easier to adjust and you’re going to use a lot less energy.

So the safety of chiropractic, I’ll put our safety record up against any other profession. The truth is, the way you determine how safe a profession really is, is you look at their malpractice insurance. I’m proud to tell you,  I pay twenty-eight hundred a year for my malpractice insurance. Whereas, a medical doctor pays probably close to ten thousand and an OBGYN probably pays twenty thousand. It all depends on how risky the procedures your profession provides and ours are very low and very safe. There are very few negative outcomes from chiropractic especially with a pregnant mom. So again, our safety record with respect to that is higher than just about any other profession and the malpractice rates truly back that up because if chiropractic was an unsafe procedure to practice, our malpractice would be much higher.

RC: Yes. Thank you! That is really good information with regard to the safety of chiropractic treatment.

Question 4: Can it help with more than just the back pain of pregnancy?

RC: We talked about back pain. Can chiropractic treatments for pregnant women help with more than just back pain?

Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely. When you really understand that chiropractic is a holistic practice and when you truly look at what we do, it is to detect and remove vertebral subluxations or the spinal misalignments that are irritating or choking off spinal nerve energy. The better your nerve system flows throughout the body, the better control your brain has over your body and the more efficient it is and the more likely it will do the proper functions that it’s designed to do all the time.

So keeping your nerve system healthy really allows your whole body to be healthy. If you ever notice there are people out there that have serious neurological complications. Their life span is always much shorter than people whose nerve systems are unaffected from neurological complications. Classic example: quadriplegics and paraplegics. You never see an eighty-five year old guy quadriplegic in a wheel chair. Because, their nerve system is so compromised they just never survive that long. It is extremely rare and that really demonstrates how important a properly functioning nerve system, a healthy nerve system and a healthy spine, leads to the overall health of the patient.

Pregnant or not pregnant, that principle holds true across anyone who has a spine and a nerve system and that is really important information for all of our listeners to understand. That chiropractic isn’t just about back pain. If you pay attention to pain and symptoms, that’s really only 10% of what your nerve system does. Sensing pain and moving muscle is the small part. It’s regulating your body’s heart, lungs, kidneys, spleen and all the other bodily functions that are controlled by the nerve system. That is the primary function of a chiropractor.

Question 5: I heard it can help with the delivery (less pain and faster delivery time) and positioning of the baby. Is that true?

RC: Okay and the next question I know every pregnant woman will want the answer to. Can chiropractic care help with deliveries? Is it going to be less painful and faster? And can chiropractic care help with the positioning of the baby and overall delivery?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well those are a couple of really great questions and you know that I’ve been a long standing member of the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association.  And when we really look at these things and the positioning of the baby, there is something called the Webster Technique that a lot of people will come to chiropractors for.

A chiropractic doctor, Larry Webster, developed this technique because he was getting people who were coming in who had what is called Uterine Constrain – where their body and the uterus and everything were so tight and there was so much mal-alignment in the pelvis that the baby really didn’t have the room to turn.

Now I don’t necessarily go in there and turn the baby or change the positioning. What I do is try and realign the pelvis to create more room and also relax that irritated nerve system so everything loosens up inside the uterus and then the baby has the ability to turn on its own. That’s all part of the natural process of birthing, is for the baby to turn. The other important aspect of it is again keeping the pelvis and the hips lined up properly because the better alignment you have there the easier it is for the baby to pass through the birth canal.

Last but not least, the most important part of all of this: That mother’s nerve system is what causes the contractions, what causes the hormones to release and all these other cascade of events that allow for a normal baby’s delivery is all controlled by the mother’s nerve system. If you give that mom an epidural and you shut off that nerve system, how does that body know when to contract, how does the mother know when to feel when she needs to push? If she can’t push and the contractions aren’t happening because you deadened or stopped those nerves, the doctor has to actually pull the baby out of the birth canal which can be traumatic to the infant.

So yes, it can help with all aspects of delivery. But I can’t promise you “Oh if you go to a chiropractor, you’re going to have the baby in thirty minutes and there’s guaranteed not any complications.” I would be fool-hearty to say something like that. But there is plenty of research put out by the ICPA which is that International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and lots of research that shows and supports all these statistics.

So it’s really great information and a great question to ask because I’m sure a lot of listeners want to know about that.

RC: Definitely and I’m glad you helped clarify some of those issues with regard to birthing.

Question 6 – In closing, why do you treat newborns sometimes just weeks after birth?

RC: Once the baby is born I’ve heard you treat newborns just within a few weeks of birth. Is that something that’s common and what’s your experience with treating newborns?

Gregg Rubinstein: Well Liz you asked a couple good questions within that question.

Is it common? I’m going to say that no, it’s not common that parents are going to walk into a chiropractic office with a two day old infant and just hand it over to their chiropractor if they weren’t educated. Most of the things that I’m talking about, the effect of the nerve system on the body and how the nerve system is the master system in controlling, most people don’t think that way. So only someone who is really educated as to the benefits would actually bring their infant into a chiropractor, and that’s my job and that’s why I’m so honored to be picked to have this time and speak to you and your listeners because this gives me an opportunity to educate more people as to what we do and why it’s important. And for the same reasons, if a mom is given an epidural during the birth process it shuts off the nerves and the muscles that actually cause the contractions in the uterus. It stops the neural control. So yes the doctor has to do more intervening and pulling or do a vacuum extraction or a forceps delivery and that pulling and bending and twisting on an infant’s gentle, delicate neck can cause subluxations. So the first subluxation can be caused at birth.

Not every child born is born subluxated, but they should at least get checked.  I had the distinct honor for one of my staff members. She started working for me, three months later she was pregnant. When the baby was delivered in the hospital she called and asked me to come over and check her baby. We were there, literally that baby was six hours old when it received its first adjustment because she had a whole host of issues and there was a lot of intervention in her birth process. And yes that baby was subluxated. Think about how delicate that spinal joint is when that baby is first born. So it’s very important to get your newborns checked and really understand the process.

Now I understand that most people don’t think that way. But a lot of people are being educated to the importance and that’s why a lot of mothers are seeking natural birthing centers or trying to have home births and all these different things because they realize that, you know what, the birthing process has been a little bit over-medicalized and more importantly the C-section rate should not be fifty percent in NY. That’s way too many. It’s like saying that fifty percent of the women in New York forgot how to give natural birth.

So there are definitely a lot of issues that are going on there. I’ve even seen that subject debated in the news very recently. So there’s a lot of information going around on that and I think people are starting to wake up to that. You know what, that natural inherent wisdom in our body probably knows a little bit more than some of these medical doctors do and we don’t need to intervene in every single birth.

So it is important to get your newborns checked then for other reasons as they grow up and they learn how to walk. They fall ten, twenty, thirty times a day. Then they wreck their bicycles, they get hurt on the playground and all these other things. That’s why we focus on the pediatric aspect of our practice because again a lot of the problems and painful conditions that we see as adults, can be managed and prevented. The stage is set early in childhood from all these subluxations accumulating and if they never get checked, by the time they are twenty or thirty, the problems are much more significant and then painful conditions actually result.

RC: Thank you Dr. Rubinstein I know your information today that you shared with us will help such a wide spectrum of our population from parents to babies and we really appreciate the time you have taken to speak with us so thank you so much.

Gregg Rubinstein: Like I said I’m honored to be here and share this information because I really feel it’s so important and people need to know that there are other options out there and other choices that they can make.

RC: Thank you Dr. Rubinstein.

For our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein,  you can either go online at or call (917) 534-6484 to schedule an appointment.

On behalf of our entire team at razorcast™ we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading industry professionals.   

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