Dr. Stephanie Bonn,DC,FICPA
A woman’s spine and pelvis undergo many changes and adaptations to compensate for her developing infant in each trimester of pregnancy. Previous stresses and injuries (years at a workstation or athletic injuries) as well as present physical, mental and chemical stressors can cause imbalances in her nervous system which may cause symptoms like pain or the baby to be in the incorrect position for birth. Chiropractic care prior to the onset of labour, ideally throughout each stage of pregnancy and even before conception, can assist with a more comfortable pregnancy, foetal positioning, decreased strain on the infant while developing in utero and a less invasive birth for your baby.
As a mother moves through each trimester, her weight increases, centre of gravity shifts and her ligaments become more lax due to
the hormonal changes of pregnancy. These structural and hormonal changes may cause symptoms such as back pain, neck tension, headaches, rib strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis and reflux. Spinal misalignments may also contribute to conditions such as torticollis (neck strain) in the infant due to a torque in the uterus from a pelvic imbalance, leaving less space for the baby to be in the optimal position prior to birth. When the spine and pelvis are aligned, the baby is in a better position to support his/her developing spine as well as for the birth itself. If the baby is not in the proper position at 32 weeks of pregnancy, the chiropractic Webster Technique can be performed which helps the infant move into the head down occiput anterior position as well as assist with more effective external versions and less complicated breech vaginal deliveries.
Another factor to consider comes from a study reported in the European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology on hypolumbarlordosis. Women with hypolumbarlordosis (decreased lumbar spine curves) are more likely to have preeclampsia as well as decreased blood flow to the iliac artery than women with average lumbar spinal curves. With chiropractic, the function of the low back can improve to decrease the chance of preeclampsia in women with flattened lumbar spines.
More mobility and less strain allows the mother to be more active throughout her pregnancy which assists with her having to work or care for other children as well as a faster postpartum recovery following the birth. Within one to two weeks postnatal, it is highly beneficial for the mother to have a realignment as well as a newborn assessment to decrease any stress in the infant’s neuromusculoskeletal system. Paediatric chiropractic adjustments are very gentle and can assist with common newborn issues such as gas and colickiness, latch problems, trouble with sleep, oversensitivity, reflux and torticollis.
Along with exercise, nutritional support, ergonomic awareness, adequate sleep and stress-relieving techniques, chiropractic care is an integral component for a healthy
pregnancy and in preparation for a non-invasive labour and delivery. Benefits will continue with postnatal care to assist with the healing from the pregnancy and birth, neck and back tension from caring for your newborn and neurologically boosting your immune system which can be compromised from unavoidable sleep deprivation. Paediatric chiropractic will help to decrease any strain in your infant’s system and natural support with issues they may have in their growth and development especially the first year of their life.
Dr. Stephanie Bonn, BSc, BPHE, DC
Dr. Stephanie is dedicated to optimizing health and wellness through chiropractic care. From newborn to adolescence to adulthood, Dr. Stephanie uses techniques specific to the individual to bring balance to the spine. Dr. Stephanie is dedicated towards helping families have healthy pregnancies and births. As a mother of three following doula and midwifery-assisted homebirths, she supports attachment-parenting and helps families through the challenges of breastfeeding, co-sleeping and baby-wearing. As an advocate for holistic healing, Dr. Stephanie helps clients surpass their health goals. Dr. Stephanie is active in the community presenting seminars and writing articles ranging from perinatal care, stress management and ergonomic assessments to backpack safety and injury prevention. As an avid runner and enthusiastic mother, she integrates her knowledge and experience into her family practice in the Yaletown community.
Stephanie can be seen personally as the guest speaker at our postpartum class on Babywearing, on Monday 19th March 2018, 12:30 – 2pm.