Pregnancy and childbirth is a wonderful thing that any mother and family should be excited about. And every mother wants to have the healthiest baby possible. Naturally, pregnancy can make you anxious and unfortunately leave you with more questions than answers. Dystocia, which is defined as “abnormal labor or childbirth” is often a concern. Let’s shed some light on the subject.
According to Williams Obstetrics dystocia can be caused by three primary factors: Abnormalities of the expulsive forces, Abnormalities of the maternal bony pelvis, and Abnormalities of presentation, position, or development of the fetus. These are more commonly referred to as Power, Passage, and Passenger respectively.
The first reason for dystocia is the inability to create the proper forces to push the baby sufficiently. This makes sense. Sufficient forces are necessary to deliver a baby naturally. But why would a woman not be able to produce enough force? There could be a myriad of reasons, but one of the most common issues is an inadequate nerve supply. Your nervous function is imperative in coordinating contractions of the uterus in order to efface and dilate the cervix.
The second reason is constriction of the pelvis. During pregnancy, the baby grows and develops in the mother’s pelvic bowl. Then, in order for the baby to travel through the mother’s pelvic outlet, the mother’s pelvis must have adequate space. Improper alignment or biomechanics within the pelvis can restrict the diameter of the pelvic outlet and cause dystocia during labor.
The final reason according to Williams, is the baby itself. Unfortunately, not every baby follows the rules of a perfect pregnancy. Sometimes they baby can become what is called breech or have a breech presentation. Though breech presentations are usually uneventful, they can increase the risk involved with the pregnancy. This issue is also related to the passage issue because of improper alignment of the pelvis. Holding the uterus in place are ligaments that span from the uterus to the bony pelvis. When the pelvis is improperly aligned, it may pull and create torsion on the uterus ultimately leading to decreased fetal space for movement and increase the likelihood of a breech presentation.
Why does a Chiropractor care about this?
I’m glad you asked! Chiropractors safely, naturally, and effectively realign misalignments in a person’s spine and pelvis. Realignment of the spine and pelvis a.) reduces interference of your nervous system (Power) b.) creates proper biomechanics of the pelvis (Passage and Passenger) and c.) will reduce pain and discomfort that often accompanies pregnancy. All of this reduces stress on the mother and leads to a better environment for the growing baby making it a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Is it safe?
Absolutely! There are no know contraindications to chiropractic spinal and pelvic adjustments through pregnancy. The ICPA collected data from several hundred cases indicating no adverse side effects. However, some slight soreness after the first adjustment was noted in a handful of patients. This mild symptom was resolved by the second visit.
I recommend finding a Chiropractor that is certified in Webster Technique through the ICPA. They have specific training in prenatal care and are able to gently correct the misalignments of the pelvis. Chiropractors DO NOT turn babies. They simply realign the pelvis, restore nervous function, and allow the mother and baby to turn on their own.
If you would like to learn more about dystocia and what you can do to help yourself during pregnancy, visit our free event on October 18th. RSVP here.