Preparing for a Cesarean Birth with Chiropractic Care
April was Cesarean Awareness Month and I saw more posts than usual online about it, but it’s a topic that comes up often in my office. Cesarean delivery — also known as a C-section — is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through incisions in the mother’s abdomen and uterus (Read all about it here). It is a major abdominal surgery. The World Health Organization considers an ideal cesarean rate to be between 10% and 15%, yet nearly one third of all babies born in the United States are born via cesarean section, with one in five first-time mamas undergoing this surgical birth process (CDC 2016).
Many of the women I care for as a prenatal chiropractor are preparing for vaginal, or even VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) births, but what if you have chosen a surgical birth? Or you planned for a vaginal birth, but in the end a cesarean was the safest delivery for you and your sweet baby? Is prenatal chiropractic care all for naught? Did you even need to be adjusted if your baby didn’t pass through your pelvis?
Why You Need to See a Chiropractor if You’re Planning a Cesarean Birth
In my Webster Certification training through the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association), we learned about Williams Obstetrics’ Three P’s of labor, and the influence chiropractic has on them:
EVERYTHING is your body is controlled by your nervous system. As a chiropractor, it’s my job to find areas where joint misalignment or uneven movement is causing irritation to nerves and make an adjustment to restore motion which in turn reduces nerve interference. The uterus isn’t just there to contract so you can birth your baby. That incredible organ has been working hard growing an entire organ inside of itself (the placenta, aka your baby’s wombmate) and housing your growing baby, so we want to make sure we keep the lights all the way on (nerve flow) so it’s able to do its job optimally. (And speaking of the uterus contracting, check out our blog on In-Labor Pre-Emergency Cesarean Birth).
As much as I love tiny babies, I don’t get to care for them until after birth. However, as I work with mothers to align the pelvis and create balance in the ligaments and muscles in that area, babies are given space and a better opportunity to assume a more optimal position, such as LOA, allowing for a more comfortable pregnancy for mother and baby.
Passage (and Prehab)
The Webster Technique does a fantastic job restoring normal motion to the pelvis, the passage for your baby, so it’s able to rock and roll through labor and birth. But your pelvis doesn’t only play a part in a vaginal birth. As your baby and belly grow, your center of gravity is altered, extra stress is placed on your pelvis, hips, and spine. Your biomechanics are altered. And just when your body had adapted to this new load, you give birth to your baby, your center of gravity again changes, and you spend a lot of your time sitting in a flexed position holding and loving on the beautiful baby you created. Chiropractic care during pregnancy supports your pelvis through these changes, optimizing functionality, to enable you to maintain function after your surgical birth.
Whether you schedule your C-section months in advance, or make the decision just hours before it happens, chiropractic care from a Webster Certified Chiropractor plays a vital role in supporting a healthy pregnancy, (surgical) birth, and postpartum period.
Dr. JosiahBIRTHFIT Oklahoma City @birthfitokc