WHAT ROLE CAN A CHIROPRACTOR PLAY IN PRENATAL CARE FOR AN EXPECTING MOTHER?
The role of a chiropractor in prenatal care is to establish pelvic balance and alignment, not only to reduce the mother/baby discomfort but also to allow the baby to be in the best position for delivery. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room for the developing baby to be comfortable and they may seek out a less than optimal positioning for birth. Dr. Scott has completed specialized chiropractic training to provide safe exercises, stretches and manipulations (adjustments) to the low back and pelvis to optimize alignment.
“Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends that women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout the pregnancy. With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether. Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and therefore results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.”
Most expectant mothers state that they feel like they walk better because there is fluid motion in the hip joints (SI joints).
HOW CAN A CHIROPRACTOR HELP DURING POSTNATAL CARE?
Often after birth, whether naturally or via C-section, the mother’s pelvic biomechanics change – these changes can bring discomfort with walking, nursing and sleeping. We restore the pelvic balance with similar manipulation, exercises and stretches that were used in the prenatal care. It can also be beneficial to mobilize the thoracic region due to positions during breastfeeding, bottle-feeding or simply rocking children. There is a tendency for new mothers to flex forward for long periods of time, which can aggravate the mid back area. Carrying car seats with infants in them also alters biomechanics.
CAN ACUPUNCTURE BE PERFORMED ON EXPECTING MOTHERS?
Yes. Dr. Scott often uses acupuncture to treat conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, upper back and neck irritations throughout pregnancy.
DOES THE OB-GYN HAVE TO REFER AN EXPECTING MOTHER?
No referral from your OB-GYN or GP is required. Dr. Scott will perform a complete history and physical examining on the expecting mother and will create an individualized treatment plan based upon her findings.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON CONDITIONS SEEN IN EXPECTING MOMS OR MOMS WHO JUST HAD A BABY?
The most common conditions Dr. Scott treats are pregnancy-related sciatic nerve or pelvic pain with walking, sitting and/or sleeping. She also treats middle back pain in postnatal mothers related to breast-feeding, bottle-feeding or simply rocking babies to sleep.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT WORKING WITH EXPECTING MOTHERS?
“I love to see my patient’s excitement about their upcoming new arrival! I also enjoy watching their pregnancies advance, and how my care can help support the mother throughout her journey!”
-Dr. Lauren Scott (Learn more about Dr. Scott here)
WHAT ROLE CAN A NATUROPATH PLAY IN PRENATAL CARE FOR AN EXPECTING MOTHER?
Naturopathic doctors are experts in finding safe, effective, natural solutions for concerns that arise throughout pregnancy. Many medications are not safe for pregnant women, so alternatives are important. Dr. Helferty enjoys using diet recommendations, nutritional supplementation, herbal medicine, and acupuncture in treating the following complaints during pregnancy:
Nausea and vomiting
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Varicose veins, swelling of the legs
Dr. Helferty has completed additional training in the monitoring and use of bio-identical progesterone, especially for preventing miscarriages.
Acupuncture can also be used to support labour induction, starting at 36 weeks. All pregnant women are welcome to book these appointments on a weekly basis with Dr. Helferty (regardless of whether they are a current patient).
HOW CAN A NATUROPATH HELP DURING POSTNATAL CARE?
Both mother and baby go through many changes after birth, and sometimes concerns arise. Naturopathic doctors can help educate new mothers on what is normal versus what requires further attention. Dr. Helferty treats the following post-partum concerns:
Varicose veins, swelling of the legs
Postpartum depression, anxiety
Skin concerns (e.g. rashes, eczema)
Dr. Helferty is also able to help women navigate the return to cycles and hormonal balance following pregnancy.