Chiropractic for Pregnancy, Labour and Birth Research

Chiropractic Health benefits for the mother and the unborn child:

  • With chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy – the need for pain killers was reduced by 50%.
  • In a study by chiropractor and medical doctor, “Static alterations of the pelvic, sacral and lumbar area due to pregnancy helped by chiropractic treatment” Chiropractic inter-professional research 1982: 75% that received chiropractic stated they benefited from less back pain, neck pain headaches and vertigo.
  • Back pain during pregnancy and labour: JMPT 1991: Significant improvement on symptoms in this study: The majority of the woman who were undergoing chiropractic care experienced no back pain during labour.
  • “The effect of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labour: A comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of chiropractic, Fallon, J DC 1991: First time pregnancy, labour time reduced from 14 hours to only 8-9 hours. In second or more pregnancy, labour was reduced from 8-9 hours to ONLY 4-5 hours. 

So chiropractic can reduce back pain during pregnancy, back pain during labour and reduce labour time!! So doesn’t chiropractic care during pregnancy just make sense?

  • Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health Jan/Feb 2006: “Chiropractic spinal manipulation for low back pain in pregnancy: A retrospective case series” : Chiropractic was safe and effective in reducing pain intensity.
  • Chiropractic and pregnancy, a narrative review of the literature” Chiropractic Med Spring 2007: Chiropractic evaluation and treatment during pregnancy is a safe and effective form of care for the pregnant patient.
  • Depending on individual choice regarding obstetric intervention during pregnancy labour and birth, these factors can be minimised if needs be. Research supports the benefits of natural childbirth. Dr. Robert Mendelsohn (paediatrician) in his book: “How to Raise a Healthy Child” : “In a substantial percentage of births, obstetric intervention adversely affects the physical or intellectual capacity of the child for the rest of their life
  • Any form of birth assisted delivery is associated with risks for the new born. Birth by caesarean poses various problems for the new born child compared to babies born naturally. C section babies are at a greater risk of health complications, like respiratory complications.
  • Breastfeeding benefits for the infant are also well documented. Research has demonstrated that a caesarean birth makes it more difficult for the mother to initiate and establish breastfeeding.
  • Research also establishes a link between caesarean and later development of asthma. Norway and Swedish research: “Mode and Place of Delivery, gastrointestinal microbiota, and their influence on asthma and atopy (eczema (atopic dermatitis), allergic rhinitis (hay fever), or allergic asthma.).” The Journal of Allergy and Immunology. Nov 2011. “Delivery by Caesarean section and early childhood respiratory symptoms and disorders: the Norwegian mother and child cohort study” American Journal of Epidemiology Dec 2011.
  • “Mode of delivery and asthma: Is there a connection?” Paediatric Research July 2002. The 5.3% of the 60 000 infants delivered by Ceasarian were 3 times more likely to be asthmatic at age 31.
  • Planned caesareans increase the risk of neonatal death. 2006 “Infant neonatal mortality for primary caesarean and vaginal birth to women with ‘no indicated risk’. They were almost 3 times more likely to die within the first 4 weeks of life than new-borns of natural birth.
  • British Medical Journal 1979: “Forceps: association with neonatal morbidity and mortality” Incidence of delayed onset respiration 17.4%, birth trauma 15.1%. Abnormal neurological behaviour 23.3% and mortality 3.5 %. These all significantly exceeded those born naturally.
  • Vacuum extraction: high forces are utilised in this form of intervention and serious neurological damage can occur with this amount of force.

Regardless of delivery and history, we believe all new-borns should be checked by a chiropractor to rule out any potential problems caused by in-utero constraint, the journey down the birth canal or external interventions with the delivery itself. An unhealthy spine may cause interference in the nervous system and may cause health problems in infancy and later in life.

A study of 1250 babies 5 days after birth, 211 suffered from vomiting, hyperactivity and sleeplessness. Manual examination revealed neck strain in 95% of them. After chiropractic treatment it resulted in “immediate quieting, cessation of crying, muscular relaxation, and sleepiness. While seeing a chiropractor IS NOT a substitute for visiting your Gynae/ obstetrician, chiropractic should be part of your overall health plan for a safe and comfortable happy pregnancy. We believe as caring parents, you would want to make informed decisions when it comes to your child’s health as well as your own, giving you each the best chance of being as healthy as you can be. In some cases, despite a pregnant mother’s best intention to have a natural and undisturbed birth, complications may arise that require medical attention. In these circumstances, the best approach will be to utilize whatever interventions may protect the health and safety of the unborn child and mother.

The important thing to realise is that as expectant couples, you DO HAVE CHOICES… Naturally your choices will vary depending on your values, health views and other circumstances.