Is Chiropractic Care Dangerous During Pregnancy?

Chiropractic care is generally safe during pregnancy. It is dangerous during pregnancy only if your chiropractor does not have the right certification or experience with treating pregnant patients. If you take the following steps, you can safely receive chiropractic care during pregnancy:

  • Thoroughly research whichever chiropractor you choose to visit
  • Tell the chiropractor that you are pregnant and discuss any concerns you have about your condition or treatment
  • Keep your chiropractor updated on how you feel and if you develop pregnancy complications

You might also want to communicate with your other doctors, such as your general practitioner and obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN) before attending regular chiropractic appointments.

Researching Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Is Chiropractic Care Dangerous During Pregnancy?

You can avoid almost all of the dangers of chiropractic care during pregnancy simply by choosing the right chiropractor.

How do you know which chiropractor is right for you? Start by researching online—you can look at websites and online reviews—or asking a friend who has been to a chiropractor. Then you can call up any chiropractor who seems good to you. During your first meeting, ask them:

  • If they have ever treated pregnant patients before
  • What chiropractic certifications they have received
  • To address any specific concerns you have about your condition or treatment

The signs of a good chiropractor include:

  • A willingness to take the time to answer your questions and address your concerns
  • Displaying diligence as they work with you to diagnose the source of your pain—for example, is it just pregnancy symptoms or something else?
  • Being honest and forthcoming about their experience and qualifications and if they think you could benefit from chiropractic care during pregnancy
  • A clean office with a friendly, helpful staff

Any chiropractor who cannot check all of these boxes or who makes you feel uncomfortable in other ways is not someone who can take good care of you during your pregnancy.

Why Get Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your body changes a great deal in a short time. Weight gain and changes to your center of gravity can cause aches and pains in the back, neck, legs, hips, and elsewhere. Some women also develop another medical condition, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica, due to bodily changes.

Pregnant patients may wish to avoid harsher forms of treatment, such as medication, to protect themselves and the fetus. Chiropractic care is gentle and noninvasive, making it a good choice for treating pregnancy symptoms and related conditions.

Getting Chiropractic Care While Pregnant

For many people, chiropractic adjustment is synonymous with chiropractic care. Adjustments involve allowing the chiropractor to manipulate and realign your spine.

Chiropractors can also provide other forms of treatment, depending on the patient’s condition and preferences. Other common chiropractic treatments include:

  • Massage therapy
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Electrical muscle stimulation therapy
  • Exercises and stretches
  • Lifestyle changes

Before starting you on any treatment, your chiropractor will make sure that it is safe, given your current condition and overall health.

If you are pregnant, your chiropractor may have to alter their normal treatment style. For example, as Mayo Clinic explains, chiropractic patients typically lie on their stomachs during chiropractic adjustments. As your pregnancy advances, this position may no longer be safe, so the chiropractor may position you another way.

Determining Which Treatment Is Right for You

Instinctively, you may gravitate towards some chiropractic treatments more than others, but which ones are safe for you to undergo while pregnant? Which ones will efficiently address your symptoms and condition?

It is your chiropractor’s job to diagnose the specific cause of your pain, examine your medical history, and help you determine which treatments are right for you. Expect them to do some or all of the following on your first visit:

  • Ask you a series of verbal and/or written questions about your symptoms and how long you have had them
  • Ask about any treatments you are currently undergoing or have already completed
  • Contact your primary care provider for a copy of your medical records
  • Conduct a physical examination during your first visit—for example, if you have lost range of motion, they may ask you to demonstrate
  • Ask you to have an x-ray or another type of test

Based on the information they obtain, your chiropractor can pinpoint the source of your symptoms. They will then explain how they arrived at their diagnosis, tell you about the treatment options that may work for you, and how long they expect treatment to take.

Updating Your Chiropractor About Your Pregnancy

Chiropractic care is not typically dangerous during pregnancy, but if you have a high-risk pregnancy, you should be extra careful before engaging in any new activity, including medical treatment.

Be honest with your chiropractor about:

  • What your other healthcare providers have said about your pregnancy and general health
  • Any changes or complications that arise during your pregnancy
  • Unexpected symptoms or side effects that may be related to your chiropractic care

If, for any reason, you and your chiropractor decide against chiropractic adjustments, you may still benefit from other forms of chiropractic care. Your chiropractor can help you decide which methods are most effective for you.

Side Effects of Chiropractic Care

For many, chiropractic care offers effective pain relief with no drawbacks or side effects. However, you should still be aware of the possible side effects and, if you experience any, tell your chiropractor right away.

Side effects of chiropractic adjustments are generally mild. They are usually limited to pain or soreness at the treatment site. Most patients successfully cope with these side effects without needing any treatment.

If you experience significant pain or your side effects last for more than a few days, tell your chiropractor. They may:

  • Offer ways to ease the side effects
  • Stop this treatment and try another
  • Adjust your treatment schedule

Potential Benefits of Seeking Chiropractic Care While Pregnant

Whether you developed a health condition during pregnancy or are thinking about starting regular visits to the chiropractor in preparation for your newborn, there are several benefits to seeking chiropractic care. Some of the potential benefits you may consider when thinking about starting to see a chiropractor include:

It Can Help Ease Low Back and Hip Pain

Pregnant women often experience lower back pain. As your baby grows and your body adjusts to pregnancy, lower back pain can occur, causing issues with your posture and back muscles.

Regular visits to your chiropractor can help improve spinal alignment, muscle tension, and pain in your back.

Similarly, your hips may become uncomfortable and sore throughout your pregnancy. Walking may be more difficult as your posture changes, and your hips might feel the stress of this. Your chiropractor can recommend exercises and treatment options to help your hips stay mobile and pain-free.

It May Help You Have a Shorter Labor and Delivery Experience

While there are several factors that contribute to the length of your labor and delivery, chiropractic medicine may help you have a smoother, faster process.

If you see a chiropractor consistently throughout your pregnancy, your body should be in proper alignment when you’re ready to deliver your baby. When your body is in the ideal alignment, natural birth may be easier.

It Can Help You Achieve Ideal Pelvic Alignment

Pelvic balance is crucial for your baby’s development and the delivery process. If your pelvis is misaligned, it can be difficult for your baby to find their way into the correct position when it’s time for you to give birth.

By seeing a chiropractor, you can achieve pelvic alignment. This gives your baby room to grow and helps encourage a safe delivery.

It Can Encourage Proper Nervous System Function

Your nervous system is important to several crucial bodily functions, especially during pregnancy. To ensure that your nervous system is in proper working order, you may seek chiropractic care in the form of spinal adjustments. Other chiropractic or physical therapy treatments can also help your nervous system improve.

It Reduces Reliance on Medications

While sometimes medications are necessary during pregnancy, many pregnant women want to avoid them. Physical therapy and chiropractic care can help reduce the need for pain medications.

It Might Help You Through Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is equally as serious of a health concern as physical pain conditions are. Many women face depression after giving birth. Seeing a chiropractor along with your regular mental health care provider can offer relief. Your chiropractor can ease any muscle or joint tension to help your body relax.

Chiropractic Care Offers Pregnant Patients Relief

Pregnancy is a uniquely stressful time, both physically and emotionally. Specific Care Chiropractic wants you to know that chiropractic care is not dangerous during pregnancy, and our team can provide you with the safe, gentle treatment you deserve.

Call us today to learn more and book an appointment today.