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Chiropractic Care Is Essential for Pregnancy and Birth

028A1256 (1)No-one tells the story of chiropractic care through pregnancy better than this beautiful woman, Julia.
Having experienced the benefits of chiropractic care before falling pregnant, Julia knew her baby was already having the best possible start to life right from conception.

Julia valued health as one of her top priorities even before meeting us – she was eating whole foods, exercising regularly, using products as natural as possible and doing what she knew felt right in her gut. Despite the trust she had solidified so well in her body throughout her teens and 20’s, Julia was understandably nervous approaching pregnancy and birth. This was her and her partner’s first baby, they were entering foreign territory and on top of that… in a pandemic.

Cue masks, PPE, restricted appointments, limited contact and no way of knowing what state New Zealand would be in come time to birth this baby. They did the best they could, talked to friends, read books, asked their midwife and most importantly – they were regularly checked and adjusted by their chiropractor.

What We Know About Prenatal Stress

Is that it directly influences the nervous system of both mother and baby.

Our brains are carefully wired to respond to stress in an ongoing fashion – the way we run across the road when a car suddenly pulls out, or how fast your eyes fling open when you hear a noise in the night.
What should happen next is we should be able to disengage from this state, drop back into ease and regulate ourselves in a usual fashion.

However as stress accumulates, it becomes less likely that we do return to this state of ease and instead live our lives from high alert, vigilance, sensitivity and survival. This may play out differently to what you expect…

For some they will notice:

  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Tense shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty conceiving or maintaining pregnancy
  • Hormonal imbalances

And for others you may simply feel less like yourself.

Running on adrenaline, exhaustion and overwhelm is common. Scattered or foggy memory and gut imbalances such as constipation or diarrhoea.

Doesn’t sound very fun right?!

As if growing a baby wasn’t a huge undertaking on its own, trying to do so when our system is already taxed poses the potential for difficulty.

During pregnancy, it is of the utmost importance to be supporting our nervous system as we embark on this precious experience. The better we handle stress, the better our bodies are able to guide both the pregnancy and the birth and Julia knows all about how good that is!

This is where chiropractic comes in.

The Effects Of Stress On Birth Outcomes

Many, many women are able to carry and birth their babies. We know this for sure.
However, have you noticed what is happening around us?

The number of cesarean births are increasing, birth intervention and trauma is on the rise and women feeling empowered from their births is sometimes looked upon as a novelty or rare occurrence.

As chiropractors we are lucky enough to witness extraordinary stories of women who have birthed their babies in their dream setting, well supported, educated and empowered to approach the marathon of birth and its sometimes unexpected turns.

It All Comes Down To The Nervous System

An overwhelmed nervous system becomes stuck in “Go” mode and is more likely to bring about a tense and rigid body. Our structure (think pelvis) moves towards protection mode and we have less flexibility within the birth canal.

Have you ever walked into a room where people have been fighting or having a tense conversation, and without even hearing a thing you are intuitively aware of what’s going on? The whole energy of the room changes. Our bodies are cleverly designed to bring about physical changes in response to emotional perception and the birth setting is no exception to the rule.

We want our nervous systems to be in their best capacity for perceiving and responding with ease, only here can our beautiful body engage the physiology that brings about calm and natural birth.

For some women there may be additional circumstances here, and that is where having your support team and most trusted professionals around you is important as you continue to create the best possible experience for your needs.

We tend to find that women under regular chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy, generally have more straight forward births, better coordination of pelvic floor muscles for labour and more desirable birth outcomes (infact, we have a whole podcast on it which you can find here).

The fact of the matter is, their nervous system is well equipped to handle and respond to stress. For Julia that looked like the birth of her dreams.

She made contact with us in the early stages of labour – a decision Julia knew was right for her and would assist her nervous system in the hours to follow. Cue a quick and specific chiropractic check (on the swiss ball, and in-between surges), and we were in and out within a few minutes, leaving Julia to do her thing.
With a long and smooth progression of labour, we did not hear from her again until just after their baby girl was born.

Julia had laboured at home and reached her desired place of birth just minutes before her daughter entered the world. They were healthy, happy… and again ready to be checked by their chiropractor!

Although a dream outcome for Julia, the marathon of birth is no small feat and both her and baby were ready for their chiropractic checks as a new family of three. Had there been challenges or unexpected turns during labour (stalled contractions, unfavourable positions or stress to either mother or baby) we would have been back there in a heartbeat to assist their nervous system back towards proper function, however, that was not the case here.

Chiropractic was a core part of their early postnatal experience to assist with

  • Healing and recovery
  • Attachment and bonding
  • Learning to feed and establishing a good latch

Approaching the one year mark, this family continues to receive regular chiropractic care. They have noticed the help it has offered them with gut health, immune function, head turn preferences and maintaining optimal wellbeing.

The Final Piece

Although Julia’s chiropractic journey started preconception, we know there will be many parents reading this who have not yet experienced the magic and are eager to.

We encourage you to explore our website, podcast and Instagram for any more information you may be seeking and reach out to our team on 09 818 8015 to book your pregnancy or newborn checks.

This really is where the magic happens.

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