Next on our list, are two providers you may not have considered: a chiropractor and acupuncturist. Both can provide exceptional benefits and support during your pregnancy, and beyond. In addition, and with any healthcare decision during pregnancy, make sure you consult your obstetrician to make sure these types of care are suitable based on your individual needs while you are expecting.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy is a non-invasive and drug-free approach that can be tremendously helpful for managing various discomforts associated with pregnancy…and there can be a lot of them!
We caught up with Dr. Valerie Farino, DC, to discuss the ways in which chiropractic care can support expecting moms, and her top tips for utilizing the care of a chiropractor during pregnancy. If you choose to take advantage of this type of care, please make sure you find a DC who specializes and is trained in treating patients during pregnancy!
Here are some ways in which chiropractors may help during pregnancy:
- Pain Relief – prenatal chiropractic care can effectively address common discomforts such as lower back pain and pelvic pain associated with the changes in the body during pregnancy
- Optimal Pelvic Alignment/Improved Birth Position – chiropractic adjustments can help maintain proper pelvic alignment, potentially reducing the likelihood of breech or posterior birth positions, thereby promoting a smoother delivery
- Shorter Labor Times/Optimized Pelvic Function – studies suggest that regular chiropractic care during pregnancy may be associated with shorter labor times and reduced intervention rates
- Prevention of Sciatica – chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate pressure on the sciatic nerve, reducing or preventing symptoms of sciatica that can be exacerbated during pregnancy
- Stress Reduction and Increased Energy – chiropractic care often includes soft tissue work and relaxation techniques that can help reduce stress, address physical discomfort, and promote overall wellness, which in turn may contribute to increased energy levels and improved quality of life during pregnancy
- Better Posture – as the body undergoes significant changes, chiropractic care can assist in maintaining proper posture, reducing strain on the spine, and preventing associated discomfort
- Enhanced Nervous System Function – chiropractic adjustments aim to ensure optimal nervous system function which can positively influence various bodily functions and contribute to overall well-being
Dr. Val’s Tips for Pregnancy
- Be mindful of proper posture especially as your belly grows
- Incorporate gentle stretching exercises into your routine to enhance flexibility and reduce muscle tension
- Invest in a supportive pregnancy pillow to maintain a comfortable sleep position
- Stay well hydrated and maintain a balanced and diet rich in nutrients
- Engage in exercises you’ve been doing regularly pre pregnancy and/or begin to engage in low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga
- Engage in pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the pelvic organs
- Educate Yourself – attend prenatal classes to learn about birthing options, labor positions, and strategies for managing pain
- Listen to your body
- Schedule regular chiropractic care to ensure proper spinal alignment and pelvic balance
If you are interested in seeing Dr. Val, please visit her website or reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Many women turn to acupuncture as a complementary therapy during pregnancy to help with various aspects of their health.
We spoke with Dr. Christine Sanmiquel, L.Ac, DAOM, about ways acupuncture can be helpful for expecting moms, and of course, made sure to grab her top tips for pregnancy!
Here are ways in which acupuncture may support you during pregnancy:
- Morning Sickness: Acupuncture has been proposed as a method to alleviate symptoms of morning sickness. Some studies suggest that acupuncture may help reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women.
- Pain Relief: Acupuncture may provide relief for various pregnancy-related pains, such as back pain, pelvic pain, and sciatica. The release of endorphins and the promotion of blood circulation are thought to contribute to pain reduction.
- Stress and Anxiety Reduction: Pregnancy can be a stressful time for some women. Acupuncture is believed to help regulate the body’s stress response and promote relaxation by influencing the release of neurotransmitters.
- Breech Presentation: Some women explore acupuncture as a possible way to encourage a breech baby to turn into the proper head-down position before labor begins. This involves stimulating specific acupuncture points associated with fetal movement.
- Labor Preparation: Towards the end of pregnancy, some women use acupuncture to prepare their bodies for labor. Acupuncture may be employed to promote cervical ripening and encourage the onset of labor.
Dr. Christine’s Top Tips:
- Prioritize Emotional Wellness – In Chinese medicine, the mental health of the mother is paramount to a healthy pregnancy and post-partum time. Be sure to find ways to feel centered and calm, and mindful of any emotions that need to be expressed. Consider incorporating regular acupuncture sessions and Qigong practices into your routine to support emotional wellness during pregnancy and postpartum. Acupuncture can help balance the flow of energy, promoting a sense of calm and emotional stability. Meanwhile, Qigong, with its gentle movements and mindful breathing, can enhance overall well-being and emotional resilience.
- Choose Warm Food and Drink: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, warm foods are often recommended, especially during pregnancy, to support digestion and maintain the body’s internal warmth. Opt for nourishing soups, stews, and cooked meals over raw or cold foods This is because the mother’s body is working very hard and the warm nourishment supports the systems to function optimally. Warm and cooked foods are believed to be gentler on the digestive system and can help preserve the body’s Qi and Yang energy.
- Keep Those Feet Warm: Traditional Chinese Medicine places importance on maintaining warmth in certain areas of the body, particularly the lower abdomen, lower back, and feet. During pregnancy, keeping these regions warm is thought to promote the smooth flow of Qi and Blood, supporting the health of the developing baby. Consider wearing warm clothing and using blankets or heating pads to keep these areas cozy, especially during colder seasons.
Questions for Dr. Christine, or wish to schedule time with her for a visit? You can find her at White Phoenix Wellness in Costa Mesa, or on Instagram @om_mami_.
In our next and final blog in this series, Beyond Your OB: Building Your Best Pregnancy Support Team, we will discuss the support a Registered Dietician and Maternal Mental Health Provider can give you while you are pregnant, and of course postpartum.