Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

By Dr. Cynthia Horner

Chiropractic care during pregnancy:

  • dispels fears
  • stabilizes structure
  • removes nerve interference

There are many decisions expecting parents must make , one of them should be to find a chiropractor to provide chiropractic care during pregnancy. A chiropractor trained in the management, and care for pregnant women provides information, care, and support to encourage a drug-less delivery, reduced intervention, and prevent needless discomfort throughout pregnancy.

Fear begins as the medical world treats pregnancy as an illness needing a battery of tests

It starts with a blood test called CBC, or complete blood count to measure several things. One is your hemoglobin and hematocrit, these indicate your potential for anemia, or lack of iron in the blood.  A CBC also  measures your platelet count. In a traumatic birth a low platelet count means an inability to clot.  Neither of these are common findings in healthy middle-class women, but yet a standard test. Another blood test, checks for blood type, and Rh status. This test is important, it must be known if a mother, and baby have compatible Rh factors.

A urine test screening for bladder infections is performed on all pregnant women even if there is no history, or symptoms of UTIs.

Syphilis screening is performed along with, Hep B and HIV.

Rubella screening, although Rubella is rare in the U.S., testing for it is not. This test will be positive if you never had Rubella, or do not have evidence of the antibodies for Rubella. If you were immunized as a child the effects of the vaccination may have ‘worn off ‘.

A pap smear is done to look for precancerous changes in your cervix, many times a pap smear is followed by a colonoscopy, and cervix biopsy. The pap smear also is used to check for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and group B Strep.

A glucose screening test is performed on all expectant mothers although it has been found that only 2 to 3 % of all expectant women develop gestational diabetes. In this test, you will be asked to drink 50 milligrams of glucose sugar, then have your blood tested. I would not recommend consuming 50 milligrams of sugar when not in early pregnancy, the stress it puts on the body at this early stage of development is not helpful to a newly growing fetus.

Well if just hearing about all these test doesn’t instill fear of what problems could be lurking in pregnancy, having them performed on you surely does. A chiropractor trained in the care for pregnant women reminds, and reinforces the expectant mom about just how capable her body is to grow and deliver her baby. Fear can be the source of pain, and delayed labor in childbirth. Our bodies are designed be in either growth mode, or protection mode, but can not be in both at the same time. Fear puts a pregnant woman in protect mode, and growth stops. Growing, and birthing a baby is part of growth mode, failure to progress in labor is often simply the result of fear, and anxiety. Empowering a woman to be confident in her ability to successfully birth her baby starts at the beginning of pregnancy.

Specific exercises stabilize structure

Working with pregnant women for years, I have found two common structural problems. Whetherpelvis you feel pain, or not you may have either a  misaligned pelvis, or tight hip flexor muscles, or both. Your pelvis is made up of triangular shaped bone called the sacrum in the back, and two wing shaped bones called ilium, on either side. The wings of the ilium come together in the front to form what we know as our pubic bone, and their upper side make your hips.

There are joints in your pelvis that create a small amount of  gliding, sliding, and rolling to allow freedom of movement.  A  joint is where any two bones come together. Your pelvis has four joints, two on each side where your sacrum touches your ilium, and in the front where your pubic bones touch, and on top of the sacrum where the last movable vertebrae sits on a disc on the sacrum. When a joint becomes misaligned it restricts movement and creates instability this allows pressure, and uneven weight distribution to further mis-align the joint, often resulting in pain, and or restriction of the uterus.

A simple exercise, shown, below helps maintain proper alignment of the pelvis in all four joints.

Stretch for pregnant women to mobilize pelvic joints.

This stretch will mobilize pelvic joints, It can be done lying on back also.


Targeting the hip flexor muscles in stretching exercises, supports your low back, and pelvis. One of the four muscles call your quadriceps is anchored on your pelvis, and travels down to attach across the knee. When the upper fibers are flexed, or contracted, it pulls your thigh up toward your torso. Prolonged sitting tightens the upper quadriceps muscle pulling it at its anchor on the pelvis. Two ways to correct tight hip flexors are: work the opposite muscle (the antagonist) and gently stretch the full length of the quadriceps muscle. A gentle stretch for the hip flexors is illustrated below.

Pregnant women need to stretch hip flexors muscles

This is stretch will allow relaxation of the hip flexors or sitting muscles

 Removing nerve interference allows organs to work efficiently

There are times when the vertebrae, and pelvis become so misaligned that exercises are not enough to restore them to proper alignment. Chiropractors are the only health professionals licensed, and trained to correct misaligned vertebrae, called subluxations. A subluxation is not a single thing, but a number of things, or events that take place in your body when vertebra lose their optimal alignment. First the vertebra develops abnormal movement, and it rubs, or irritates the surrounding tissue. This irritation often becomes inflamed, accompanied by swelling, heat, and pain. Next  the swollen tissue puts pressure on the nerve root, causing changes in the transmission of messages over the nerve. The nerves exiting between the low back vertebrae travel to the uterus, cervix, skeletal muscles, blood vessels, and other organs that are vital to fetal growth, and delivery.

When vertebrae stay misaligned for weeks, months, or longer the muscles, and ligaments that are supposed to support your body become overstretched, or shortened, holding them out of place. A common subluxation in pregnant women is of the pelvis. Ligaments attached from the pelvis to the uterus cause problems in the uterus, when the pelvis is misaligned. A technique referred to as The Webster Protocol or Webster Technique, corrects subluxations of the pelvis to eliminate restriction of the uterus.

The things you can control during pregnancy are: the thoughts you put in your head, and what you do with your body. Receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy will result in a more comfortable pregnancy and easier delivery.


What my patients have taught me: “In order to be healthy people need to be educated, motivated and supported.”




One Response to Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

  • Henry Garcia says:

    greatttt article i must say… well researched and beautifully putted together… and those lil pictures along with the content were highly helpful !! =) …please keep up the good work and keep more of such articles coming in… thanks a lot !