Is it safe to have a chiropractic adjustment when you are pregnant? Yes! Your body is going through incredible changes that can often lead to discomfort, stress and misalignment that is not typical when you are not expecting. Dr. Rob Lyons is well trained and versed in helping expectant moms relieve pregnancy discomfort simply by doing a specific technique, called the Webster Technique. The Webster Protocol was developed by chiropractor Dr. Larry Webster after his own daughter went through a hard labor and delivery. It has become the “go-to” adjustment for chiropractors trained in this specialized technique that is not only safe during pregnancy, but has led many mothers to more comfortable labors and can event prevent the need for more invasive procedures like like manual version by allowing breech babies to turn and present head down prior to labor. So what exactly is the Webster Technique?
The goal of the Webster Protocol is to “restore proper pelvic balance and function” and has led to “positive changes in baby positioning”. Gentle adjustments are used to help alleviate tension in the muscles and ligaments – specifically focusing on the round ligaments, which are constantly under stress while supporting the growing baby. It’s normal for expectant mothers to experience some pain and discomfort, but proper adjustments throughout the pregnancy are ideal to prevent the round ligaments from becoming too tense from the critical support they provide. The tighter these ligaments become, the more discomfort mom will experience and the more restricted baby will become. Unrestricted movement for the baby means far less pain for mom while baby can turn and present head down instead of being “stuck” in a breech position because of the restriction.
Dr. Rob’s Approach to Adjustments During Pregnancy
I absolutely love the opportunity to keep expectant moms comfy through their pregnancy. A visit utilizing the Webster technique usually begins with mom to be laying face down on a chiropractic table with her belly settled in to one of our pregnancy pillows that allow for comfort while laying on your stomach. We’re asked all the time by patients if they can take them home after experiencing how nice it is to be able to lay on their stomach comfortably. From there we analyze leg length and do several other specific tests to identify pelvic and sacral misalignment.
The series of adjustments that follow are light and comfortable. Typically utilizing gentle sustained pressure and a table capable of using the Thompson technique, which uses gravity and momentum to make the adjustment without applying much pressure. Typically the patient will not feel any “popping” or “cracking”.
Pregnancy presents an interesting challenge because not only is the body under more stress and strain than normal, but as mothers move closer to their due date a hormone called relaxin is produced in increasing amounts. Relaxin allows ligaments to relax and become more pliable, meaning the body is not as supportive as normal and misalignment and abnormal joint motion occur more readily. This of course creates an increased need for specific gentle chiropractic adjustments.
The occasional adjustment makes a huge difference in how good a mom to be can feel. Frequency of care can vary greatly depending on each individual's situation. Minor aches, pulls or pressures would likely respond well to a once a month adjustment where as a more serious conditions like sciatica may require one or two visits a week.
Each plan of action has to begin with an exam of course. If you or someone you know wants to have the best pregnancy, labor and delivery possible, we’d value to opportunity to help them reach that goal!