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A woman's center of gravity shifts forward to the front of her pelvis during pregnancy. This additional front weight causes stress on the pelvis and low back joints. As the baby grows, the added weight causes an increase in the curvature of her lower back, placing extra stress on the fragile facet joints on the back side of the spine. As the spine and pelvis become overtaxed, any pre-existing spinal problems tend to be exacerbated, which often leads to pain and difficulty performing normal daily activities. We see this daily at our Arlington Heights Chiropractic location.
Studies find that approximately half of all expectant mothers develop low back pain at some point during their pregnancy. This is particularly true during the third trimester when the baby's body gains the most weight. When administered throughout pregnancy, chiropractic care can relieve and even prevent the pain and discomfort frequently experienced in pregnancy and promotes an easier, safer delivery. Chiropractic care also ensures a safe and effective way to restore a state of balance and helps the spine and pelvis cope with the rapid increase in physical stress. In fact, most women find that chiropractic care helps them avoid the use of pain medications during pregnancy, and studies show that chiropractic adjustments help to reduce time in labor. By providing adjustments and offering nutritional, ergonomic, and exercise advice, your chiropractor can be your partner for a healthy pregnancy.
Chiropractic tips for pregnant women:
Be sure to get adjusted regularly. Chiropractic care is important in helping to maintain a healthy skeletal structure and nervous system function throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
Perform gentle exercises each day. Walking, swimming, and stationary cycling are relatively safe cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women. Avoid activities involving jerking or bouncing movements, and stop exercise immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, or weakness.
Wear flat shoes with arch supports. Your feet become more susceptible to injury during pregnancy, not only due to rapidly increasing body weight but also because the | ligaments | supporting the feet become more lax.
When picking up children, bend from the knees, not the waist. Your low back is much more prone to injury during pregnancy.
When sleeping, lie on your side and place a pillow between your knees to take pressure off your lower back. Full-length body pillows or pregnancy wedges are very popular and can be helpful.
Rather than eating three large meals a day, try eating several small meals or snacks every few hours. This will help alleviate nausea, stabilize blood sugar, and allow your body to extract the maximum amount of nutrients from the foods you eat.
Take a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day; 800 micrograms is even better. Folic acid has been shown to dramatically reduce the risk of neural tube defects in a developing fetus. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any vitamin or herbal |supplement to make sure it's safe for you and your baby.