Our bodies contain great wisdom. When we cut ourselves, our bodies know how to stitch us back together. When we break a bone, our bodies weave new bone. Admittedly, sometimes this healing occurs more readily with a little assistance. We might squeeze the cut shut with a Band-Aid, or set the bone for optimal healing, but ultimately it is our bodies that do the real work. The same holds true for most of medicine. My role as a doctor is not to heal my patients, but simply to help guide the body’s natural healing ability so it works in the optimal way. Your body heals itself. Your body does the work. Your body contains great wisdom.
This is especially true during pregnancy and throughout the birth process. A woman’s body is programmed with everything it needs to know about making a baby and bringing it into the world. However, we do not live optimal lives and most of our bodies have undergone trauma on one level or another. From major car accidents, to minor repetitive injuries, to simply the act of sitting in a chair all day, our bodies are often not operating at their best. While many of us are unaware of this in our daily lives, it is more critical than in almost any other time of life to optimize the body’s function during pregnancy. After all, mom’s systems and organs are now providing for two, and their ideal function is critical for the baby’s healthy development.
All the changes happening in a woman’s body while pregnant require compensations throughout her pelvis and spine, and this can lead to imbalances in pelvic muscles and ligaments. Some of these ligaments support her growing uterus. When the pelvic bones are balanced, the uterus is able to enlarge symmetrically with the growing baby. When they are out of balance, these ligaments pull on the uterus unequally, and may cause it to torque, reducing the amount of room for the developing baby. This is called intrauterine constraint.
In some cases, this constraint can prevent the baby from getting into the best possible position for birth. When this occurs it is known as a breech or malposition, and it can lead to longer, more painful labors with increased medical interventions, including c-sections.
The Webster Technique, developed by Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, works to gently balance the bones, muscles and ligaments of the pelvis allowing the baby to get into the best possible position for birth. This leads to easier and safer delivery for both mother and baby. It is for this reason that many birth care providers are seeking Doctors of Chiropractic who are trained in this technique.
Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy allows for healthier function of the mother and baby and can be of great benefit in dealing with many of the common complaints of pregnancy, such as back pain, swelling of hands and feet, abdominal tension, reflux, etc. Seeking care early in pregnancy is a safe and effective method of supporting the natural birth process.