Chiropractic adjustments quicken may recovery time and may assist the body in normalizing overall pelvic and spinal biomechanics.
- Regular Chiropractic Adjustments
- Proper Diet and Nutrition
- Exercise / Physical Activity Program
- Soft Tissue Work
Regular Chiropractic Adjustments
Regular chiropractic adjustments may play an integral role in the prenatal and postpartum periods. The adjustments help counter the effects of increased weight gain, altered weight distribution, and excessive ligament laxity. This keeps the spinal and pelvic regions healthy, biomechanically sound, and minimizes soft tissue irritation and discomfort.
Proper Diet and Nutrition
Maintaining a complete nutritious diet accompanied with supplementation is critical for mom's health and the health of the developing fetus. Making appropriate nutritional choices during pregnancy can be confusing but your chiropractic doctor can help guide you or make the proper referral if necessary. Also, additional supplementation of prenatal vitamins and minerals is crucial; such as folic acid to prevent neural tube defects in your child.
Pregnancy requires an additional 300 calories per day in order to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Thus, those exercising should pay close attention to ensure adequate nutritional intake.
Exercise / Physical Activity Program
Except in special cases, mild to moderate physical activity and exercise during pregnancy is not only safe, but has been shown to be beneficial. However, please speak with your physician prior to starting any exercise program during pregnancy.
Kegel exercises are extremely important for the pregnant woman. They function to improve and maintain pelvic floor muscular tone which is vital during pregnancy and delivery. These exercises are best initiated early in pregnancy and continued throughout the term of the pregnancy. This ensures that during the delivery process the pelvic musculature is able to withstand the changes taking place during labor. They're also important in decreasing the likelihood of tearing during delivery as well as the later development of hemorrhoids.
These exercises are performed by squeezing the muscles of the pelvic floor. This is done by contracting and holding the same muscles used to start and stop urination in midstream.
Exercise In Pregnancy Is Safe (For Mother and Fetus)
A recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology finds that women who exercised prior to their pregnancy can continue to do so without negatively affecting the fetus' growth or the pregnancy itself. According to the researchers, "Our results indicate that healthy and well-conditioned women may take part in exercise during pregnancy without compromising fetal growth and development as judged by birth weight or complicating the course of pregnancy or labor." Forty-two women participated in either a medium or high intensity exercise program throughout their pregnancy, including 6 weeks postpartum. The women exercised 6 times per week, participating in strength, interval and endurance training. All 42 women had been physically active prior to the pregnancy.
Overall, researchers discovered no differences between the high and medium intensity exercise groups in terms of labor, fetal birth weight, or the health of the infant immediately after birth. The researchers did note that women who exercised more gained more weight during pregnancy and went into labor earlier if they had a girl.
- American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1998;178:280-286.
Soft Tissue Work
Soft tissue work includes massage, trigger point work, soft tissue mobilization, and other soft tissue procedures. These techniques assist in keeping muscles and other tissues relaxed and flexible while reducing bouts of muscle aches and pains.