Things come in waves, and in our office this month we’re seeing a wave of beautiful pregnant mothers! Some are expecting their first child, while others are well-versed in the all the changes they experience during pregnancy, labor and delivery.
There are so many great resources for pregnant moms and at the bottom of this post we’ll list some of our favorites. But for right now, we want to address the most common questions we hear in our office from parents-to-be.
How do does a pregnant women get adjusted? While it might seem impossible to lay face down, our tables have what we call a ‘breakaway’ section. The abdominal section of the table drops down and we add a couple of big pillows with missing centers for your beautiful belly. (think a couple of big donut pillows). Sometimes just laying face down feels good, not to even mention the adjustment! Once you’re comfortably laying face down on the table, our doctors use a technique called the Webster Technique. You can read all about it here, but to give you the Cliffs version, it was developed by a chiropractor (Dr. Larry Webster) “for laboring women to help with the ease of birth”. He found that malposition or subluxation of the sacrum often correlated to more pain during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and potential breech presentations of their baby. He found after years of research that clearing these subluxations and addressing the round ligaments, lead to better outcomes for all. Remember, your nervous system controls the function of every cell in your body, including your uterus and pelvic muscles – the main muscles of labor.
Does it hurt? Generally, no. For some, there may be some after adjustment discomfort but it generally doesn’t last and won’t be the case for all adjustments. Our style and preference is to be as gentle as possible and still get the motion needed to restore function to the body.
Are there stretches I can do on my own? Yes, and we’ll let you know which ones are right for you. In general, if you think about the pressures your body is about to go through, you’ll want to move in a way that will support those actions. Squatting for example is a great way to open hips and pelvis, stretch your inner thighs and strengthen legs. Butterfly pose is another great one to open hips and lengthen your spine, relieving low back stress. Even something as gentle as sitting in a straddle position on a swiss ball and gently moving forward, backward and side to side can start to open the pelvis. The important thing to remember is we have to do more than sit. Find a prenatal yoga class or a BirthFit class near you to meet other moms and make it a social event too! (but seriously, giving birth takes stamina, it’s a good idea to prepare)
Who should I have on my team? Your birth plan will dictate your players. For example, if a natural birth is important to you (it is to us, but we’re biased) then we recommend you have the following people to support you. (If you’re planning a C-section, or wind up with one due to complications, we hope you’ll consider vaginal seeding to give your baby’s microbiome a boost!)
- A midwife – If you are planning a C-section, have an OB. If you want a natural birth, opt for a mid-wife run practice. We’ll name some good ones below.
- A doula – when push comes to shove, and pain seems insurmountable, a doula can support you and gently help you remember your birth plan and desire for a drug free labor and delivery. Doulas provide emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The doula’s purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience.
- A chiropractor – check. Webster Technique adjustments help support a natural, vaginal delivery by keeping the pelvis perfectly aligned.
- A tribe – start connecting with mothers in a similar place in life. We used to have ”a village’, and now for many of us, we feel like we’re just on an island. Get off it and find your people. We talked about exercising above, what better place to find your people than a room full of pregnant women just like you! Parenting classes are another great place to connect.
- A lactation consultant – at first, nursing is very rarely the idyllic peaceful mother and baby experience they show us in the media (if they show it!). It hurts, especially if the latch isn’t right from the start. Connect with a professional right away and let them assess your baby’s latch and your nursing positions.
Below is a list we’ve compiled from our own experience (Dr. Aliya’s) as well as the recommendations of our patients.
Pregnancy, labor, delivery and parenting are each transformative experience! We’re honored to share the journey with you!
-Dr. Aliya is trained in Webster Technique and pursuing her diplomate through the ICPA for pediatric chiropractic. She delivered both of her sons naturally, the first in a hospital setting in Kansas City, and her second, here at the Women’s Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill. She attributes regular chiropractic care to her pain free pregnancies and is excited to share the benefits!