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How Often Should I Go To The Chiropractor During Pregnancy?

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Are you wondering how often should you go to the chiropractor while pregnant? Here’s everything you need to know, plus other helpful tips for new moms!

When I was a first time mom I had no idea going to the chiropractor is considered part of prenatal care.

But, it makes so much sense!

Pregnant women experience lots of “growing pains” which cause stress on the body. You may suffer from neck pain, low back pain, hip pain, and more.

And while these aches and pains are uncomfortable to deal with, some can actually lead to pregnancy complications.

So if you’re an expectant mother, plan to meet with a chiropractor throughout your pregnancy to keep things in shape.

Here are some important reasons to go to the chiropractor while pregnant, how often you should go, and what to know about risks!

RELATED: How does pregnancy make you feel?

Why do pregnant women go to the chiropractor?

Pregnant woman with exposed belly arches her back in pain while standing in bathroom.

There are lots of reasons to visit a chiropractor during pregnancy. But, most pregnant women initiate their first visit due to pain and discomfort.

Here are some of the main conditions chiropractors treat in pregnant women and why they occur.

Pregnancy Pain

Hormonal changes in pregnancy loosen muscles and ligaments in the body which can cause the skeletal system to become misaligned. Extra pregnancy weight may also put additional strain on these systems.

Because of that, many pregnant women feel pressure and discomfort in the spinal column, sciatic nerve, the pelvis, the neck, and other parts of the body.

Morning Sickness

Spinal misalignments can also interfere with hormone production, leading to increased nausea and morning sickness.

Intrauterine Constraint

Some pregnant women may also experience a condition called intrauterine constraint. This is when the baby’s movement is restricted in the womb due to pelvic misalignment.

What are the benefits of going to the chiropractor while pregnant?

Chiropractors do not use or prescribe medications, so it’s a safe and natural way to manage pregnancy discomfort.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, a pregnancy chiropractor can help readjust your body to provide pain relief and optimal alignment of the spine.

Spinal alignment encourages the nerves in the body to function properly. And as a result, the body and growing baby can be correctly positioned for more productive labor.

Your chiropractor may use a combination of stretching, counter-pressure, and massage. And you may be asked to use some of these techniques on your own at home.

If you have intrauterine constraint, your prenatal chiropractor will likely use what’s called the Webster technique.

This process involves adjustments to the sacrum (a sizeable bone at the bottom of the spine) and gentle massaging of the round ligament at the center of the pregnant belly.

Releasing tension in this ligament creates more pelvic room and restores pelvic balance. And this allows gravity to pull the baby downward when it’s time for labor. 

In short, regular chiropractic care during pregnancy may:

  • Improve pain including lower back and ligament pain
  • Alleviate morning sickness
  • Align the pelvis to lower the chance of breech presentation
  • Reduce pelvis and sacrum pain
  • Shorten the length of labor

You should work with your primary doctor or OB along with your chiropractor to form the best treatment plan for your unique pregnancy.

NOTE: Not all pregnancy pain is normal. If you ever experience severe abdominal pain or cramping, it’s likely not due to a simple misalignment.

This may be a sign of miscarriage, especially when accompanied by vaginal bleeding.

Be sure to reach out to your doctor right away or seek emergency medical care.

RELATED: Is cramping normal in early pregnancy?

How often should you go to the chiropractor while pregnant?

There’s no hard and fast rule for how often to go to the chiropractor while pregnant. And every woman and pregnancy is different.

If you’re not feeling aches and pains, you may not need to schedule regular adjustments. Listen to your body and the advice of your primary doctor to determine your needs.

If you do notice discomfort in the body or increased morning sickness, plan to meet with a chiropractor to establish regular treatment.

During the first trimester, regular visits are usually spread further apart. And by the third trimester, your chiropractor may want to see you as frequently as once a week.

Here’s a suggested frequency for prenatal chiropractic care:

  • For weeks 4-28 plan one visit per month
  • For weeks 28-35 plan one visit every two weeks
  • For weeks 35-40 plan on visiting the chiropractor weekly

Are there any risks to going to the chiropractor while pregnant?

A doctor places his hands on a woman's back to perform a spinal adjustment.

The American Pregnancy Association states there are no known contraindications to pregnancy chiropractic care.

These services are considered safe and gentle and may even prevent labor complications.

However, you shouldn’t see a chiropractor while pregnant if you’re experiencing emergency symptoms like heavy bleeding. Instead, you should reach out to your doctor or head to the emergency room as soon as possible.

How should pregnant women choose a chiropractor?

Make sure your chiropractor is a properly licensed professional!

All licensed chiropractors receive training to provide prenatal chiropractic adjustments. But, you can also see a chiropractor specializing in treating pregnant women.

These doctors undergo further training and receive additional certifications.

Common advanced designations are:

  • DACCP – Diplomate with ICPA reflecting the highest level of advanced training.
  • CACCP – Certified with the ICPA reflecting advanced training.
  • Member of ICPA reflecting special interest.
  • Webster Certified – trained to work specifically with pelvic balance in pregnancy.

The best way to find a good prenatal chiropractor is to ask around or check with your birthing center, hospital, or OBGYN for a referral.

A good chiropractor will leave a trail of happy clients!

FAQs

Pregnant woman stretches her back over a large pillow on the floor.
Are chiropractic adjustments safe during pregnancy?

Yes, the American Pregnancy Association states that chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy. Plus, they may help you have a safer and more productive delivery.

There are no known harms of chiropractic adjustments for pregnant women, meaning it most likely would not cause a miscarriage.

Can a chiropractor trigger labor?

Chiropractic care can help to trigger labor. Methods such as the Webster technique may provide natural labor induction.

Coordinate prenatal adjustments with your doctor and chiropractor to ensure the best care and practices for your unique pregnancy.

How late in pregnancy can you go to the chiropractor?

It is safe to go to the chiropractor throughout pregnancy and into the third trimester. In fact, your chiropractor may increase the frequency of your visits through weeks 35-40.

Also, it’s never too late to visit the chiropractor. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, but only have a few weeks of pregnancy left, it’s still worth a visit!

The Bottom Line

Pregnant woman in white shirt tied above exposed belly, cradles her stomach.

Here’s the bottom line:

  • Going to the chiropractor while pregnant is safe and may improve your pregnancy and delivery.
  • Regular chiropractic adjustments may:
    • Improve lower back pain
    • Alleviate morning sickness
    • Align the pelvis to lower the chance of a breech position
    • Reduce pelvis and sacrum pain
    • Shorten the length of labor
  • There’s no set frequency for prenatal chiropractic care. But a suggested schedule is once a month during the first trimester, twice a month during the second trimester, and a weekly visit during the third trimester.
  • Make sure you see a licensed chiropractor or a chiropractor that specializes in treating pregnant women. Ask your doctor or birthing center for a referral.

Want More?

Now that we’ve covered why and when to go to the chiropractor while pregnant, here are some other helpful first pregnancy tips for new moms!

Your Turn

Did I answer all your questions about going to the chiropractor while pregnant? Let me know if I missed anything in the comments!

Pinterest graphic with text and pregnant woman arching her back in pain.