While all chiropractors are versed in caring for pregnant women, there are chiropractors with special designations and certifications that you may want to consult for concerns about chiropractic adjustments during third trimester weeks, such as attempting to turn a breech baby.
Pregnancy and the Spine
As your body becomes more and more pregnant, more and more problems will arise. Not only does pregnancy pack on a lot of extra weight (generally between 25 and 55 pounds) in the span of nine months, but there are also internal adjustments that can further complicate your body's ability to cope with the extra weight. Essentially, all the extra weight must be carried by your spine, which can cause general back pain and also bring your spine out of alignment. Once your spine is no longer properly aligned, even more serious pain can occur.
As your uterus grows, it displaces several internal organs, muscles, and tissues. In the worst case scenario, your pelvis can become vulnerable, which not only causes pain, but may cause problems during childbirth. In order to help your body cope both with the extra demands of added weight on your spine, as well as the adjustments coming from within your abdomen, chiropractic adjustments throughout pregnancy can help keep your spine aligned and properly supporting your body. A healthy spine means reduced pain and better posture, further reducing back pain. In addition, a properly aligned spine and pelvis can help reduce the chances of your baby being delivered by cesarean section.
General Chiropractic Adjustments During Pregnancy
Any time that you experience back, neck, or shoulder pain during pregnancy, a visit to the chiropractor may be a good solution. Discuss the option with the doctor who is overseeing your pregnancy. Your doctor should also be able to recommend a chiropractor who might have additional certifications to treat pregnant women. While an additional certification is not necessary, it can provide you with peace of mind that the chiropractor is specialized in treating pregnant women.
For severe back pain, visiting a chiropractor is bound to help. For minor back pain, you might try pregnancy pillows in order to see if the pain is primarily being caused by your sleeping position at night. Pregnancy pillows can align your spine and support your neck, alleviating minor aches and pains. If you visit the chiropractor with severe pain and have an adjustment, it is a good idea to invest in pregnancy pillows to maintain the proper alignment afforded by the chiropractor so you don't end up back at the chiropractor every week with the same complaint.
Specialized Chiropractic Adjustments During Third Trimester
While pregnant women may also visit a chiropractor for spinal adjustments in the third trimester, it may be recommended that you visit a chiropractor during the third trimester if your baby is presenting in a breech position.
Webster Certified Chiropractors
A special certification allows chiropractors to work with pregnant mothers who are facing a breech delivery. In the United States, many breeched babies are delivered by cesarean section; a special chiropractic adjustment in the final weeks of pregnancy may encourage your baby to present head-down instead of breeched. While this adjustment is not 100 percent effective, it does work with some mothers, who then go on to a vaginal childbirth. You should also note that even if a breeched baby comes into a head-down position following chiropractic adjustment, the baby still may move back into the breech position before the mother goes into labor (this depends on how much space is available to the baby).
The doctor overseeing your pregnancy is the best place to start for a good recommendation. In addition, keep the following extra certifications in mind so that you know how much experience and/or training a given chiropractor has with treating pregnant women:
- DACCP: Signifies the chiropractor has a diploma from the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association), meaning that the chiropractor has the most advanced training possible for treating pregnant patients.
- CACCP: Signifies the chiropractor holds a certificate from the ICPA, which is a lower degree of training than the DACCP, but still an advanced training compared to a chiropractor who holds no such designation.
- ICPA Membership: A chiropractor who has membership in the ICPA shows that they have a special interest in treating pregnant women; these chiropractors may hold certificates or diplomas in the future.
- Webster Certified: This certification is important for chiropractic adjustments during third trimester for breeched babies. While any licensed chiropractor can perform spinal adjustments on pregnant women, specialized adjustments for breeched babies should only be performed by a Webster certified chiropractor.
Depending on the region where you live, you may have many highly trained chiropractors specialized in pregnancy, or you may find none of the special certifications explained above. Getting a recommendation through your doctor can help you choose the right chiropractor for you and your special needs during pregnancy.