chiropractic adjustments and labor - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-18-2007, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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has anyone here had chiropractic adjustments in preparation for labor (so work with the sacrum, SI joint, and pelvis)?

at the recommendation of my yoga teacher, i am now going to a chiropractor (never been to one before) who tells me that my right SI joint is out of whack (it's tilted posterior) and he thinks that by doing adjustments we can ease fetal descent and get the baby in a good position for labor...baby has not dropped into the pelvis yet. (remember, my doctor started talking c/s because of this at my 36 WEEK APPOINTMENT : )

the chiropractor says doing the adjustments and getting the pelvis level all around could make the difference between a 24-36 hour labor and an 8-10 hour labor. (not sure how he could really know that...and he says about 50% of the pregnant women he sees have misalignments of the pelvis.)

anyway, it will be several adjustments over the next week and a half and it's going to be kind of costly...insurance partly covers it. i don't really feel that it's a rip-off necessarily, but i guess i'm a little suspicious, and i just don't know much about the subject. it would be nice to hear some positive stories about chiropractic care and labor, either from women who see chiropractors or from birth professionals.

dissertating wife of Boo, mama of one "mookie" lovin' 2 year old girl! intactlact:: CTA until 7/10 FF 1501dc
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:23 PM
 
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I've been seeing a chiro for the past ten weeks or so, also at the rec of my yoga teacher. Never seen one before, but I really do like her. At first she stayed away from my lower back/hips/si/pelvic area and adjusted my neck and upper back. A couple visits ago she did adjust me down low, near the baby but hasn't had to since b/c my body is holding the adjustment. I wasn't having "issues" necessarily, it was more of a maintenance thing for me to go, get the body as ready as I can.

I never went more than once every two weeks though, but it seems like you're close

So if you can afford it and feel comfortable doing it, I say go. You might want to make sure the chiro is "Webster technique" knowledgeable/certified (do they get certified for it??).

BTW, I haven't actually experienced the labor part yet...still waiting on the wee one, but I'll let you know!
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BrittanySmiles View Post

You might want to make sure the chiro is "Webster technique" knowledgeable/certified (do they get certified for it??).

BTW, I haven't actually experienced the labor part yet...still waiting on the wee one, but I'll let you know!

what is "webster technique?" i've heard it but don't actually know what it is. i know the chiro is really experienced with pregnancy...the two people i know who see him are both pg as well. so hopefully he knows what he's doing!

when are you "due?"

dissertating wife of Boo, mama of one "mookie" lovin' 2 year old girl! intactlact:: CTA until 7/10 FF 1501dc
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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I saw a chiro during my 2nd pregnancy. My first was born via emergency c without labor so I have no comparison but my chiro told me if he could keep me aligned I would have a shorter and less painful labor. I had 8 hours of labor and delivered drug free so he might have been on to something.

he explained to me that if you are out of alignment it compresses the already small birth canal even more which leads to more pain than labor would normally entail and longer labor as the baby has to push past the obstruction. It all sounds plausible to me. I'll be seeing my chiro regularily this pregnancy as well.
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Old 04-18-2007, 05:15 PM
 
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Basically Webster Technique is something named after a Dr. Webster. I don't know too extensively, but it's the adjustments that chiros do to your pelvic area, si joints, etc to "prepare" the pregnant body. I was lying on the table a few appts ago and asked my chiro if she knew the webster tech. She replied, "that's what I'm doing right now." For me, it involved massaging some of the ligaments on my back and near my sacrum on...the the left side I think. If he deals with pg women, then I'm sure he's capable, experienced, etc. Mine too sees a lot of pregnant women, even children as well.

And I'm sure you've noticed how much more flexible you are in yoga right now...the same is true for adjustments, so it's a good time to do them.

I was "due" last Sunday. It's my first, and we go late in my family, so your EDD might be more realistic for me,
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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I started seeing a chiro just 2 weeks before I got prego. I actually got adjusted the day I believe I implanted and I just have always had a feeling it's what helped this little one stick

So now I'm just about to enter my 3rd trimester so I don't know about labor yet but overall I have just felt better this pregnancy. My hips and back are sooo much better. Right now I don't go unless I feel off. Last Thursday I was forced to vacuum at work which killed me and the pain has been worse and worse everyday so I'm going to the chiro tomorrow. I know that stupid vacuum threw my left hip out of place, it doesn't feel right to me at all.

Of course this is all anecdotal but I just feel better with chiro adjustments and it just makes sense to me that if I am all lined up then baby can be lined up easier as well.

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:39 PM
 
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Well, obviously i can't tell you specifically if this guy is a rip-off, there are of course great, good and awful chiros as in any profession.

I will say that I firmly believe my baby would not have been born vaginally had it not been for the adjustments i got from my chiro. He completely opened up my pelvis (including one terrifyking move where he literally jumpoed on me to get all his weight behind it!).
I'd definitely see someone!

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Old 04-18-2007, 07:54 PM
 
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I am a complete chiro fan after my experience. Everything everyone has posted is right. Webster technique involves finding where ligaments are tight on one side and therefore pull the sacrum out of alignment. With gentle pressure a chiropractor can release these ligaments, allowing your sacrum to straighten out. THis opens up space in your pelvis for baby to a) turn, in the case of breech or posterior position, or b) descend.

My first birth 11/04 was 42 hours of back labor with pitocin induction at 36 hrs (2cm!) and an eventual posterior birth (grunt). I had had terrible hip pain for the last half of that pregnancy, and had persistent tail-area pain for months and months after. At 11months post-birth I finally went to a chiropractor, and will never turn back.

I continued with chiropractic during my 2nd pregnancy, with monthly adjustments at first and then 2x/wk toward the end. TWICE in the last tri my chiropractor was able to turn my breech baby with gentle Webster releases. And let me tell you, that my 3.5 hour labor, from first contraction to OUT, was absolutely wonderful. I firmly believe that my chiropractic care was responsible for my easy 2nd labor, and wish I had known about (or been unafraid of!!!) chiropractic the first time around!!! If it costs you $500 (it probably won't!) but saves you a c-section and the related costs, allows you to birth peacefully at home, and gives you a relatively pain-free last month of pregnancy and shorter labor, I say DO IT!!!!!!!!!!! Feel free to send me an email if you want to talk about it more! I just saw my chiro last night, and I'm feeling GOOD today
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:15 PM
 
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I've been seeing a chiro (who's actually an MDC mama - hi, chiro_kristen! ) since 20 weeks. And I wish I'd started even sooner.

Without my regular adjustments, I'm SURE that there is no way I'd have had as easy and comfortable a pregnancy as I've been lucky to have. In fact, I frequently notice that the day or so before an adjustment, my pelvis and SI joints start to feel bad. I get adjusted, and voila! All better!

Worth every penny. Do it!!!

Writer, wife to a great DH, AP mama to one sweet boy 6/07 and expecting a girl in October!
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Old 04-19-2007, 01:35 AM
 
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I'm a chiro fan. I was going daily at the beginning to help with NVP. I was getting mild adjustments and electronic accupressure. It helped so much. I will continue throughout the pg, probably with 1-2 times a week.

I think that if you have a good chiro that can help you stay in good alignment, that it will definitely help you and the baby. A good chiro can also help to gently turn a baby if need be. But like any doc, it can be hard to find a good chiro. I've seen three different ones and 2 were good, one was ok. I've heard of others around here that I just wouldn't visit.
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Old 04-19-2007, 01:39 AM
 
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I would definitely recommend it. I had horrible sciatic nerve pain with both of my pregnancies, I never seen the chiro until late in my second pregnancy. I found that my neck was so far out of alignment that it was affecting my hips, causing the sciatica.

Labor one, no chiro-care, 25 hours, back labor, extremely painful.

Labor two, went to the chiro twice a week for the last 5-6 weeks of pregnancy, labor was a little over 2 hours from start to finish, very easy.

Of course there are other factors as well but I think some of it had to do with my spine being aligned correctly allowing for better positioning of the baby. With me the difference between a great labor and a horrible one all had to do with baby's position.
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Old 04-19-2007, 01:52 AM
 
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hi mama-
i was adjusted throughout my PGs with my kiddos.

i had an 'in labor' adjustment once. i swear it turned a long and ineffective labor around. it was fabulous. i could actually feel my spine just sort of slip into place, and everything perked up, my energy was totally renewed to go on for five more hours.

i sing it from the rooftops.
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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Dumb question, but how do they find out what to do without x rays? A while back there was a chiro at prenatal health fair, and they said they needed to do x rays to see what was what, which my guess would be a big no no during pregnancy, how do they tell what to do? I am thinking of asking my family dr for info on physio/chiro care, as I get really bad back/hip and pubic area pain ever since the birth of my first daughter, and I read that being out of alignment can cause malpositioning, which both my girls were posterior with both hands compounded.

Nancy, Mom to Kyra (2005), Zoe (2006), Callie (2007) (2008), and Xavier (2009)
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Old 04-19-2007, 03:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by canadiannancy View Post
Dumb question, but how do they find out what to do without x rays? A while back there was a chiro at prenatal health fair, and they said they needed to do x rays to see what was what, which my guess would be a big no no during pregnancy, how do they tell what to do? I am thinking of asking my family dr for info on physio/chiro care, as I get really bad back/hip and pubic area pain ever since the birth of my first daughter, and I read that being out of alignment can cause malpositioning, which both my girls were posterior with both hands compounded.
Mine always starts by massaging my neck with yummy smelling oils for about 10 minutes and assesses where my vertebrae are. My first visit she had me sit and stand for her and she looked at my posture and range of motion I suppose. When looking at my sacrum I was on my belly (the tables are made for this) and she looked at my hips, legs, ankles and feet, then bent my legs up. HTH
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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i started seeing a chiro at 30 weeks this past pg (for sciatica) that cleared up after one visit and i went three more times after that. i don't know if it helped or not, but this labor was 10 hours (last one was 30) and very "smooth". it was intense and painful, of course, but i had only a couple hours of active labor and a lot less pushing time. oh and no back labor (last time i had back labor due to tilted uterus)

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Old 04-19-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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I have been seeing a chiro for about the last month to help with lower back and tailbone pain. it has made such a world of a difference. When I was researching it I saw that on average women who had chiro care during pg had 40% shorter labors. I asked the chiro about it and his response was since the spine controls every organ and muscle in the body and healthy aligned spine makes for healthy optimized organs and muscles.

I have said before that between the chiro and the RRL tea I should just plop this baby out without any labor at all

It has been expensive but being able to mostly keep up with dd has made it worth it.

Tracy, Wifey to Jeff . Mama to Maya-Papaya 7/04 and Carolina Bean-a 5/07 and Jack 7/4/10!!
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:21 PM
 
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I've been doing it for a couple weeks and am kicking myself for not doing it in my last to pregnancies. I feel so much better. She could tell what needed to be done by feeling the bones in my back. She also could tell that my legs were uneven and how to correct it. I'm now a believer.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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I've never seen a chiro, and my DH thinks they are totally not legitimate, but I've been thinking I will see one regularly during my pregnancy- everything I've heard is positive, and not just here. I know of one who is totally trained in prenatal chiro.

My question for all of you experienced mamas- how often would you recommend going during a pregnancy?

Sorry if this is a hijack, OP!
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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I've been having pelvic pain since 8.5 weeks and finally got myself in to see a chiropractor last Friday, just before 17 weeks. I seemed to be a big twisted mess (I know my alignment has been off since I was in high school, and one hip basically sits further back than the other), so I was a pretty worried about how it would affect my labor (as well as how much pain I'd be in later on, since it started hurting so early!). After last week's appointment, I felt a little bit better but was starting to worry about having to go back every week until the birth--I just can't afford it! I went back today, however, and she was very happy with my progress and said I was "adjusting easily." She told me to come back either when I feel I need it, or in a couple months, and then we'd do every two weeks or so for the remaining two months or so before the birth. I feel MUCH better after today's adjustment and she gave me some exercises to do and things to watch out for (sitting with my legs crossed or with my tailbone lower than my knees). I definitely plan to go back when I feel like I need it and in preparation for the birth; this thread makes me feel so much better about the choice to go, DH believes it's money well spent to make sure things go as smoothly as possible at the end of this pregnancy!

Rachel, mama to Lucy, born 9.9.07, and Caroline, born 2.25.10!
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ralphie76 View Post
My question for all of you experienced mamas- how often would you recommend going during a pregnancy?
Not that experienced, but here's my take:

Depends on what you're experiencing, I would think...if you have sciatica for example, or if you have a lot of previous injuries.

I went every few weeks during the last few months, as I didn't start going until I was about 30w.

Once a month maybe at first? Depends on what your body needs and how it holds adjustments. I would strongly recommend massages as well, I tried to get them within the same week as my adjustments. Speaking of...I'm due for one...
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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I went to a chiropractor while pregnant with DD2 at 33wks. DD1s birth wasnt good, she never decended into my pelvis and had to have a c/s. My chiro found that i had a twisted pelvis and adjusted me, i went again 2 days later and that afternoon DD2 engaged into my pelvis. It made a huge difference to me and am still going now and again when i need it, as i get more further long in my pregnancy i will go more often, probably once a week from 34wks.

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Old 04-21-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ralphie76 View Post
My question for all of you experienced mamas- how often would you recommend going during a pregnancy?
This would completely depend on you and your alignment.

I am going quite frequently for adjustments and for accupressure. But between all the pregnancy sickness (I usually get hyperemysis, but this time probably only had extremely severe morning sickness.) and my alignment - I really need it.
Now that I am doing better I will continue going weekly to help with my alignment for a few reasons...

1) My last baby was HUGE and came down with his head turned. He completely separate my pelvis. When it went back together it was crooked and extremely painful. After much PT, I'm better but still need a little help now and then.

2) My right femur is 8 mm shorter than my left. Crazy, huh? So add that to some relaxin flowing around and I have trouble keeping everything in line.

3) I already have a little lumbar lordosis curvature. Add a big ol' baby in front of my short frame and you get lots of low back pain.

But I LOVE being pregnant, really! All of it, except the sickness and pain.
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:09 AM
 
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I saw a chiro throughout my 2nd pgcy and ever since, now into my 3rd pgcy. She came to me during labor (at home) with my 2nd and it made a HUGE difference in my labor pattern. I'm one who doesn't "hold" adjustments well, so I wasn't too surprised to need more help at that point. My MW told me that by my ctx pattern that I was working on positioning the baby - same as what happened with my first, though I didn't know it.

So I called the chiro and she came over and worked on my back and pelvis for quite a while. She had only done Webster from 16 weeks on so this was the first time she really moved things around more. My ctxs slowed down and were very regular from then on. Of course I felt like a failure because it slowed down, but what I later realized was that it WORKED! Baby got positioned and now my body could work on actual laboring - and I was still just in early labor. It FELT like I was in active labor just getting baby in position, but once that was done, it eased up for another day, and then we had a baby.

I have seen so much good come of seeing a chiro that I highly recommend it to everyone!!

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:39 AM
 
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I went for a 32 week U/S and they announced there that my baby was breech. Went to a chiro to get the Webster technique done, once a week until last Monday. The chiro said she "felt a good release" at that treatment and to go home and have a nice bath with epsom salts. I didn't think much of it since I had had a ton of these treatments before and was actually getting a bit impatient with the whole "turning baby" obsession.

I had the crappiest sleep that night, because the babe was just SO squirmy and pokey, all night long! I didn't sleep well all night, and got up the next morning to feel a really weird pressure in my pelvis and lower back. I went in to have a 36 week U/S three days ago...and the baby had turned!!! I am SUCH a fan of chiro...
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Old 04-22-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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I went to a chiropractor during my third pregnancy from the third month onwards and it was my easiest labor. My first two labors were long, posterior labors and my second labor was preceded by intense sciatic nerve pain and a pulled psoas and piriformas pain.

It helped.

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Old 04-23-2007, 02:00 PM
 
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Depends on what you're experiencing... I went 2x/week for sciatica, probably would have went 3x if I could have.

They used a heat sensor probe and ran it up my neck to produce a computer generated image of my vertabrae.

Sorry, I didn't quote the ?'s these are in response to, typing one handed
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:58 AM
 
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My husband is a chiro, so naturally I was adjusted throughout both of my pregnancies...and both went very well with easy labors. We see tons of pregos and families in our practice and that seems to be a common experience.
A chiro can be certified for the Webster Technique, but it isn't necessary- it's a simple technique that's easy to learn, so you can simply ask if they know it. An excellent resource is the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association . They have a list of docs that should all know Webster whether they are certified or not.
A doctor should be able to tell what's going on with your spine through palpation (by feeling your vertebrae with their hands), range of motion tests (asking you to move your head and torso in certain ways), and by simply looking at your posture (head tilted to side, pelvis twisted, 1 shoulder high, etc.). X-rays give more information so they are ideal, but obviously not safe during pregnancy! There are many technological tools some use too, but I believe they are more for the patient's benefit- chiros can tell just about everything through the natural and easy techniques listed above. X-rays can help show improvement if you're looking to correct your spine beyond pregnancy.
Some docs will recommend you visit more than once a week at first so your body can retrain itself into better alignment. Others will say once a week is ok, and others will let you go when you want. It really depends on their philosophy and what you're looking for- to get out of pain, to correct your spine, etc. During pregnancy your ligaments are very pliable and flexible, which means you can often be more easily adjusted...and it also means you may not hold your adjustments as well. It depends on your body.
My best advice in terms of finding a chiro is to ask LOTS of questions, and find one that goes at your pace. I believe a healer is someone who honors you right where you are and spends time helping you get what you want. Watch and notice: do they listen well? do they address you as a whole person? do they really give attention to your kids? are they open to what's important to you? is the atmosphere at the office warm and welcoming? Regardless of their technique and philosophy, I think they can help you if they live with integrity. HTH
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:35 AM
 
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I am a Chiropractor who was adjusted on a weekly basis during my entire pregnancy (luckily for me, I was still in Chiropractic College, so I did not have to pay for my treatments). My then-boyfriend (who had already graduated and is now my husband) would also adjust me if there were any times that I could not make it to the Student clinic.

I was adjusted the morning I went into labor at around 7am; I went on to class for a few hours, and adjusted several of my patients in the clinic, all the while breathing through contractions. I went home, my now-husband adjusted me again around 2pm, we went to my midwife at 4pm, to the hospital by 5:30pm, and had my son by 8:08pm, with no interventions of any kind.

My son, Ayden, was adjusted at four days old ( I had to wait that long because I had to take National Boards 36 hours after giving birth, and our school clinic was closed until Monday). Ayden gets adjusted only when needed, has never been vaccinated, and is a bright, loving child who has never taken any medication of any kind.

Chiropractic is a wonderful tool for pregnant women to use to help them function at their best not only during the 40 +/- weeks they are carrying their child, but it also helps to speed the labor process, and make the mother the most comfortable she can be for the marathon she is about to go through. Also, Chiropractic has a technique that is used to help breech babies turn head-down that is called the Webster Breech Turning Technique that has worked wonders for my friends whose children didn't want to turn. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, love yourself, your health, and your child enough to make payment arrangements if need be to get the treatment you deserve and need. Thank goodness your yoga instructor cares about her clients enough to refer you to a healthy, holistic healthcare option!
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by canadiannancy View Post
Dumb question, but how do they find out what to do without x rays? A while back there was a chiro at prenatal health fair, and they said they needed to do x rays to see what was what, which my guess would be a big no no during pregnancy, how do they tell what to do? I am thinking of asking my family dr for info on physio/chiro care, as I get really bad back/hip and pubic area pain ever since the birth of my first daughter, and I read that being out of alignment can cause malpositioning, which both my girls were posterior with both hands compounded.
We (Chiropractors) are very in tune to the texture of tissues in the body, and we are constantly "palpating" the bones through soft tissue. We are able to passively move the bones in several directions of movement, and when we feel an area that is "stuck," we will adjust the joint that is not moving properly.
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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I was diagnosed with minor scoliosis when I was 11, and that's when I first went to a chiro. The difference it made to my life was HUGE. Then, I stopped going for a few years.

My hips got so bad, I almost dropped a child (8-year-old) I was lifting, and my knees, feet, back, and neck were ALWAYS sore. I also had headaches every morning.

So, I went back, and haven't stopped since. I went all throughout my pregnancy. I LOVED being able to lie on my tummy! lol It was the greatest feeling!

I went for my last adjustment an hour before checking into the hospital for induction, at 41 wks 3 days. It took 2 doses of Cervadil, a Foley catheter, 12 hours of oxytocin, and 49 hours of walking and doing "Birthing From Within" exercises to finally birth my boy.

So.....I guess it didn't work too well for me....lol, but I would still do it again!! Who knows what might have happened if I didn't have chiropractic care!

My son and I both went for adjustments 4 days after the birth. VERY good adjustment, I must say! lol

Mom to two amazing boys, C (July 2005) and D (May 2010)

Founder/leader of a Babywearing group, and loving it!

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