There’s nothing more exciting than anticipating a new addition to the family. Whether it’s your first baby or your fourth welcoming another member to the clan is a joy.
As a Chiropractor there is nothing better than helping a pregnant woman be more comfortable throughout the duration of her pregnancy. I often get women in there last trimester asking for a spinal alignment to help with the pending delivery, but the best time to get adjusted is in the beginning of the pregnancy.
At the moment of conception a woman’s body begins to change. Hormonal changes are rapid and immediately the woman will feel new sensations.
One hormone known as “relaxin” causes the ligaments in the body to relax. This is important in the birthing process because it helps the pelvis to open up thereby allowing the baby to exit.
Because relaxin starts to be released shortly after the baby is conceived, women will usually experience cracking noises when they move as their bones shift easily due to the ligaments being extra loose.
Blood volume levels increase to the degree where 33% more blood circulates through a woman’s body. This places increased stress on the heart.
As the baby grows the center of gravity shifts this is especially noticeable in the third trimester of pregnancy as women waddle rather than walk comfortably.
The increase load a woman carries in the front as her belly expands often causes lower back discomfort. The muscles in the lower back region start to tighten up more and more while the baby grows. These tightened muscles can put pressure on the nerves that exit the spine in the lower back area. These are the very same nerves that send signals from the brain to the uterus. The uterus is where the baby is housed. Like bad cellphone reception, if those nerves are interfered with the messages the brain sends to the uterus will be garbled. It is vital for pregnancy that 100% of these messages get through to the uterus.
The lower back nerves also control the blood supply. Those same nerves tell the blood vessels to become dilated if needed or to constrict. Remember this is especially important given the increase in overall blood volume.
In the early stages of pregnancy, with the ligaments relaxed any misalignments which a woman had before she got pregnant will begin to exhibit symptoms. Like a house built on a crooked foundation the furniture in the house will shift. Imagine cooking eggs on the stove and having the eggs slide to one side of the pan. Same thing occurs in the woman’s body, with all the expansion, and growth taking place, increased blood volume and relaxed ligaments, the body becomes extra stressed out.
It’s not uncommon for a woman to experience symptoms like carpal tunnel, acid reflux, high blood pressure, diabetes and other symptoms related to the skeleton being off kilter.
As a side note these same symptoms that a woman experiences during pregnancy she likely will develop in the later stages of her life, years after she has given birth. The reason this occurs is because all the weak links in the chain start to expose themselves as the woman gets larger and those areas of the spine become overly taxed.
The weight increase although temporary, demonstrates the spinal areas of future degeneration. For this reason it is recommended that women get adjusted from the moment they find out that they are pregnant and continue to do so throughout their pregnancy. This will do so much to keep the symptoms at bay, keep the woman comfortable and thereby maximize the pregnancy experience for the woman during this exciting time.
If you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy, please call the office for an introductory consultation at (727) 235-3265.