Women who receive chiropractic care while expecting can experience a more comfortable pregnancy with less need for interventions.
Before we dive right into the list of the top 10 reasons to see a chiropractor when you are expecting, can you talk about how your practice specializes in prenatal chiropractic care?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely. Our practice focuses on pediatric, maternity and family care. And the one thing I would caution anyone, if you’re going to seek chiropractic care while you’re pregnant or for an infant or child, you want to take a look and find someone who’s basically certified by the ICPA. That’s the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and you can find them at ICPA4Kids.com. They also have a thing where you can actually plug in your zip code and find a chiropractor who’s certified in Webster Technique, prenatal and postnatal care.
That is really the best indicator that they’ve done a little bit of extra training, and they’re more suited to see infants, children and expecting moms. So, I always recommend, if someone says, “Hey, I’m moving to California.” I usually send people to that site because I know that they have similar training.
There’s a little bit of advanced training in order to learn what you’re doing, working with the expecting mom and working with infants and children. I always recommend finding someone who’s certified and has some experience in that. So, we’ve done a little bit of extra training. we’ve been doing the pediatric and maternity care for almost 20 years now, and I just find it so fun and so rewarding helping moms through these difficult times.
Please list the top 10 reasons to see a chiropractor when you’re expecting a child.
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Chiropractic care helps women to be as healthy as they can be during pregnancy. Having your spine checked by a chiropractor ensures that your pelvis is sitting correctly to allow optimum room for the baby to grow and move. We never take x-rays on an expecting mom. Some moms get worried about that.
Here are 10 reasons pregnant women should seek chiropractic care:
- Provides Health Benefits: The number one reason to see a chiropractor is pretty much for anyone with a spine. We always talk about how back pain and neck pain is what people tend to focus on with chiropractors, but we’re really more nerve system doctors. A well-functioning nerve system enables a mother easily to combat many of the hurdles of pregnancy. Often women just learn to accept that pregnancy discomfort such as nausea, heartburn, shortness of breath, constipation, hemorrhoids, the frequent urination, they think that that’s normal and they have to go through those. In fact, they don’t necessarily need to.
There are a lot of things we can do with chiropractic naturally to help maintain the integrity of the spine with chiropractic adjustments, which can help alleviate the mid-back pain due to increased breast size. Sometimes women will associate shortness of breath and heartburn with those misalignments.
Maintaining the lumbar spine, the lower back, the flexibility and the freeing of misalignments or what we call subluxations, can help with other unnecessary discomforts such as constipation, sciatica, lower back pain, pubic symphysis pain and pelvic pain.
In addition to adjusting the spine and clearing out the nerve system, a maternity oriented chiropractor might talk to you about the importance of stretching, yoga, physical activities and all these other things. So, it’s really important to make sure that a mom is under care because when she has these aches and pains, she can’t really take any drugs, because she shares the bloodstream with that infant or the developing fetus. We can’t really do that, because then those chemicals affect the growth and development of all those rapidly dividing cells.
So, that’s kind of the main reason, the general benefits. And there are a lot of very specific things, particularly even prior to pregnancy.
- Improves Hormonal Balances: Sometimes adjusting and balancing the nerve system helps with the hormonal balances.
- Ensures Proper Nerve Supply: Chiropractic care ensures proper nerve supply to the reproductive organs and optimizes uterine function.
- Regulates Menstrual Cycle: Chiropractic care promotes regularity of the menstrual cycle and that can even in some cases enhance fertility challenges. That’s one of the great benefits.
- Relieves Pain Naturally: But really, what moms are generally coming in for, that they’re more aware of, is the back pain, neck pain, sciatica, other spinal conditions, especially when they can’t take those medications. Even round ligament pain.
- Helps Shorten Delivery Time: The biggest benefit of Webster Care shows that when moms are under care, it shows for shorter delivery times and less back labor. So, the number three reason is shorter delivery times, less pain.
- Lessens Need for Interventions: Most importantly, is less need for interventions, particularly Pitocin, epidurals and C-sections. All the research shows that if we provide chiropractic care up and through delivery, there’s less need for interventions. So those are the things that we tend to look at in that realm.
- Decreases Incidence of Preeclampsia: When we look at chiropractic care, it shows that there’s a lot of research that there’s decreased incidence of preeclampsia, which is the high blood pressure with or without protein in the urine. Some moms will see changes in vision, flashing lights, see spots, be sensitive to light or they get headaches that don’t go away, nausea, constantly feeling sick and if they’re actually vomiting or dizzy, and preeclampsia can be pretty serious. So sometimes when we see signs of that, we’ll also refer back to the OB-GYN.
- Makes Breastfeeding Easier: More comfort while breastfeeding and greater production of breast milk.
- Lowers Incidence of Postpartum Depression: By balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve system, it keeps mom’s chemicals and her hormonal balance much more stable. Then you don’t have these wild swings in those hormones which can lead to depression.
So those are the basic top 10 reasons. I know some of the reasons I listed had like three or four in there, and I know I covered a lot. Were there any questions or anything that I stated that requires clarification from you, Liz? Were there any other informational things? I know this is just a big list, not our normal Q&A.
When would an expecting mom come to see you, a chiropractor, or any chiropractor? At what stage in the pregnancy would she feel safe coming in to see a chiropractor?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well, Liz, we talk about this all the time. And you know what? I’m pretty sure this is our 99th podcast together and our 99th conversation. A lot of times we just go back to the same thing. Whereas I believe in my heart of hearts that if you have teeth, you need a dentist. If you have a car, you need a mechanic. If you have a spine, you need a chiropractor, and you should be getting care whether you’re pregnant or not. However, the trigger that drives most moms into our practice is either they’re having a lot of back pain or their OB-GYN is scaring them and telling them that the baby’s not in the right position.
Some moms will seek out Webster Care, because they know when we relax the round ligament and the utero sacral ligaments and we adjust the pelvis, that whole area is more relaxed and looser. So, the baby has more space and a little bit more likely to turn and move around. So usually, it’s either that they’re nervous that the baby’s not in the right position, or they’re having enough back pain or pelvic pain or round ligament pain where they need some help and they know that they can’t take medications. So, most moms will usually start showing up in our office somewhere around week 20.
A lot of the moms that we deal with have already been under care in our office and are usually wellness care patients and just continue with their care. And there’s a little bit of uptick in the amount of visits that they require as they gain weight and their center of gravity moves forward. But those are really the times when people start to come in, unless they’ve been really educated by their midwife or doula or their OB-GYN then says, “Hey, you should go to a chiropractor, and the research shows this.” So, some of the moms come in a little bit earlier, but most of them we see somewhere around 20 to 27 weeks.
To speak with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein, visit www.ChiropractorMidtown.com or call (212) 977-7094 to schedule an appointment.