Guest Post Written by: Dr. Janina Duliunas
Pregnancy is an amazing and wonderful time in a woman’s life. Pregnant women experience many changes during this time. Their body changes as the little human growing inside them gets bigger and bigger, their hormones are changing and life as a whole will change drastically. These changes are all individual to each woman and can be very exciting but can also be very overwhelming. Support is essential during this time.
The human body is an amazing machine. Pregnancy proves how resilient and adaptable the human body is.
Due to weight gain and postural changes during pregnancy this may increase:
demand and fatigue on spinal and pelvic muscles, they have to work harder!
joint stress which causes misalignments in the spine and sacroiliac joints, which can cause pain
a less active lifestyle
stress on spinal and pelvic ligaments, which can also cause pain
Factors that influence pain during pregnancy making the spine more vulnerable:
hormone production (elastin) makes the joints more mobile and less stable
weight gain of 20-25 pounds during pregnancy is typical, which is distributed mainly around the abdominal area
the body attempts to compensate for these changes and so the center of gravity is altered causing increased postural strain and pain
Chiropractic care and pregnancy
Chiropractors such as myself work with the natural healing capabilities of the body and its ability to adapt and function the way it is meant to. Throughout pregnancy, chiropractic is vital to the normal and optimal function of both the mother and baby. If a mom, or mom-to-be had any postural alterations or back pain before pregnancy, this is typically exacerbated throughout pregnancy.
My personal approach is very wholistic and all-encompassing in nature. In my initial examination I take time to find out about you. I find out about what your journey was before you became pregnant, what is happening now in real time and what your journey will be postpartum. I focus on four primary pillars of health which are; thinking well (relaxation and mindfulness), eating well (whole nutritious foods), moving well (daily movement) and having a highly functioning nervous system (chiropractic).
From there we move onto the physical examination where I look at posture, ranges of motion, specific orthopedic/nerve testing, check for diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles) and identify areas of the spine that may not be moving so well. I am a Webster certified practitioner and so I also identify any potential problems that may be occurring in the sacrum and pelvis.
The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment taught by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). It reduces stress on the nervous system and improves pelvic function. Its purpose is to detect and correct sacral misalignments and pelvis joint dysfunction.
From there, I do a report of findings where I thoroughly explain my findings, provide a detailed report that includes goals, recommendations and a treatment plan. I am a big advocate for education and therefore do ensure that each and every woman I see feels empowered, confident and safe with the care she is receiving.
A woman’s body has changed quite a bit before, during and after pregnancy in a relatively short amount of time. Because of this I always do recommend care or at minimum a spinal check post-partum to ensure mum’s (and even baby) body is aligned and functioning at the most optimal level.
Potential benefits of Chiropractic care:
For the mother:
in creating a state of balance in the pelvis, muscles and ligaments this in turn prepares the pelvis for an easier pregnancy and birth
decreases/resolves back and pelvic pain throughout pregnancy
helps with sleep patterns, a more restful sleep!
improved ability to stay active throughout birth
with optimal fetal positioning there is a decrease in the risk for dystocia (abnormal labour/childbirth) and birth
For the baby:
by reducing stress on the mothers’ nervous system this in turn allows for better baby development
with the pelvis balanced, the baby has more room to develop without restrictions and allows the baby to have more room to move into the best position for birth
in being in the proper position this decreases the risk of dystocia with birth
Is chiropractic care safe during pregnancy?
As always a thorough history and physical examination is done to ensure the pregnant woman is a good candidate for chiropractic care.
There are no known contraindications to chiropractic spinal and pelvic adjustments throughout pregnancy other than those affecting any non-pregnant individual, most commonly being some muscle/joint soreness after treatment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Janina Duliunas is a chiropractor that works in both the Toronto and Mississauga areas. She is an energetic and passionate healer that is dedicated to help and empower women to trust and love their bodies throughout very stage of life. She has a special interest in women’s health, pregnancy and pediatrics. Dr. Janina has a well-rounded background in areas of nutrition, wellness, active living, mindfulness and chiropractic care. Her approach is wholistic in nature and she tailors her care to the individual needs of each person.
Connect on Instagram @drjaninaduliunas