Why You Need a Chiropractor During Pregnancy

I’m often asked what a doula client can do to prepare for a faster, easier and less painful delivery. My answer is always the same — Webster Certified Chiropractic Care, exercise and childbirth classes!

I get asked a lot of follow up questions and although I’ve seen the benefit first hand in a birthing room, Chiropractors have 8 years of of specified training caring for human bodies.

I figured I’d let the experts explain the science behind the magic.

I asked Roswell Chiropractors Dr Steve and Lotem Lako of Lako Family Chiropractic to discuss how Webster Certified Chiropractic care during pregnancy can aid in an easier and faster labor.


My approach was simple, sincere, but also selfish. I asked the exact questions my doula clients ask me and will refer future couples to this post. As a doula, I can tell if a laboring person has had regular adjustments. Things just go smoother as baby is generally in the best position.


How can Chiropractic adjustments help with labor and delivery?

According to Williams Obstetrics, the 3 reasons for dystocia, or a difficult labor, are power, passage, and passenger.

1. Power– If the mom’s uterus isn’t able to create or sustain contractions, this can stall or stop labor, and then interventions happen. Chiropractic aids with Power because we make sure that the neural connections from the brain to the uterus are functioning at 100%. Our job is to open up the communication from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain.

2. Passage– Some women are told that their baby is too big to fit in the their pelvis or that their pelvis is too narrow. I believe that this is a very, very rare incidence. If the bony pelvis is misaligned, the pelvic outlet, where the baby comes out, is obstructed, and therefor, the baby will have an extremely difficult time exiting. By realigning the mother’s bony pelvis, we make sure that the physiology of birth can commence, uninterrupted, making for easier, shorter labors.

3. Passenger– This refers to the baby itself. If the baby is not in the most optimal positioning for delivery, natural birth can become increasingly difficult and sometimes impossible. These positions can include breech presentation, transverse presentation, and more. From a chiropractic perspective, we know that the uterus doesn’t just float around in the pelvis; it is actually anchored to the bones of the mom’s pelvis by ligaments. If the bony pelvis is misaligned, the ligaments can become stretched and pull, and that, in turn, will pull on the uterus itself, changing its shape. Then, baby has less room in the uterus and will get into whichever position is most comfortable for it. By performing the Webster Technique on a pregnant mom’s pelvis, we can release this tension, and then babies will go into the physiologically normal positioning, as nature intended.


What exactly is optimal baby positioning?

Well, I’m not an OB or a midwife, so I can only speak to my personal pregnancy experience, but the optimal baby positioning for delivery is what the pros refer to as LOA- Left Occiput Anterior. What that means is that the baby’s back is on the left side of mom’s belly, and the back of the back of baby’s head is facing the front of mom’s body (baby’s face is to the mom’s spine). But, as long as baby’s head is down and the back of baby’s head is facing forward, they know how to get out!


What is the Webster Technique and how is it different? Chiropractors say they “adjust pregnant women,” isn’t that the same?

The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis that was created by Dr. Larry Webster. The analysis is primarily used on pregnant mothers, however, it can be performed on anyone. In pregnancy, it is essential because of it’s analysis of the bony pelvis and the soft tissues and ligaments of the uterus. Not all chiropractors attain a certification in the Webster Technique. In fact, some chiropractic schools don’t even teach it. Although those chiropractors can adjust pregnant mothers, I personally feel as if they are missing a MAJOR chunk of analysis that is so crucial to the comfort and well-being of the mother, and the ultimate ease and success of her delivery.


When is a good time to start going to the Chiropractor when pregnant?

Honestly, I love when women come see me even before they conceive. That is the best case scenario. This is due to the fact that so much of a healthy pregnancy and baby is centered around preconception and the health of the mother. However, there is never a bad time to start seeing a chiropractor. I would say that the earlier in the pregnancy someone start under care, the better the pregnancy is. For example, I, myself, am a pediatric and prenatal chiropractor, and at 5 weeks pregnant, I woke up with excruciating sciatic pain. I couldn’t imagine making it through my pregnancy without chiropractic care. 


When is it too late to come in the pregnancy?

I would say that if you’re 38 weeks, that’s probably too late to start under care with the intention of changing something about the pregnancy. However, even at 35 or 36 weeks, with repetition, we have had women transform, but why would you want to suffer during your pregnancy with back pain, sciatic issues, etc, if you don’t have to?


How do you adjust a pregnant person when they can’t lay on their stomach?

We have specially designed chiropractic pregnancy pillows that allow pregnant mamas to lie face down! The pillows are cut out in the middle for the baby, so the belly just hangs down, and it is a ridiculously comfortable position to be in.


How can you tell where a patient needs adjustment if they are not getting an X-ray?

X-ray is just one of the tools we utilize to see if someone is a good candidate for chiropractic care, but obviously, we do not x-ray pregnant moms. In our office, we also have state-of-the-art nervous system analysis technology that allows us to see if you have nerve interference, where it is, and how long it’s been there. It uses infrared light, and is perfectly safe to use during pregnancy and even on newborn babies. In addition, our chiropractic analysis, when you’re actually on the table, is extremely specific and particularly sensitive. Your body tells us which segments need to be adjusted and which do not, so there’s truly no guesswork involved! 


If you’re adjusting a pelvis, how is that not making a baby uncomfortable? Aren’t you forcing the baby into a position they aren’t wanting?

Nope! In fact, the opposite is true. By realigning the bony pelvis, we’re opening it up and relieving the tension on the ligaments of the uterus, giving everything much more space. Babies LOVE when mom gets adjusted; often, they start moving and kicking as they now have more room to explore!


How many times do you recommend a patient come to see you in the 3rd trimester?

Truly, every single person is different, and we customize our care recommendations to each individual specifically. However, in general (and based on my personal experience as a pregnant mama), I would prefer to see pregnant moms at least twice a week. This is due to the fact that as the baby gets bigger, the mom’s center of gravity changes, mobility changes, and movement can become arduous, difficult, or even painful, and we want to prevent that altogether. In addition, there’s a hormone called Relaxin that is active in pregnant moms in order to loosen up her joints and ligaments. This is necessary for delivery. Pregnant women tend to move out of alignment more frequently than non-pregnant women due to this hormone. 


“Do I need to go to a Chiropractor if I’m planning on getting an epidural?”

Chiropractic care is an essential part of every pregnancy, regardless of your birth choices. We will discuss your choices with you during your consultation, and will aid you in every way possible to achieving the birth of your dreams.


Why would you want a patient to go to a Chiropractor if they’re not in any pain?

We absolutely want to see people before they’re in pain. We need to make sure that the body and the brain are able to communicate at 100%, allowing the body to heal itself. In fact, only 8-10% of the entire nervous system is responsible for anything you can feel, so that means that 90-92% of the nervous system, you actually have no conscious awareness of. Can you control how well your thyroid is working? Can you feel your pituitary gland? Of course not! So we want to make sure that all the parts and pieces of your body are working and healing properly, even before there are major aches, pains, diseases, and disorders to heal from.


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Interested in the ongoing care of an Atlanta Doula? Contact me today. I only take a few clients per month and I book up quickly.

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