It’s true, I love massages — and chiropractors. I don’t think I could “do” pregnancy, especially the last several weeks, without both. I did, the first time. But I won’t again.
There are, in fact, many benefits to both practices during pregnancy. Do you know all the ways that massage and chiropractic can help?
Most women can relate: in the last weeks of pregnancy, everything hurts. You’re tired, but you can’t sleep. No position is comfortable. And maybe you’ve even dealt with a breech baby and the painful version that followed (I haven’t, but I’ve had several friends who have). Both massages and chiropractors can help you with these issues. Let’s look at some more specific benefits:
1) They help relax your muscles — Yes, you feel more relaxed, but you actually are. Massage therapists work your sore muscles (which are working overtime to support your growing baby and shift in posture) to help them relax. Chiropractors can note if any part of your spine, pelvis, or neck is out of alignment (very common because of that posture shift) and bring it back into alignment, at least as much as possible during pregnancy! I slept so much better after adjustments, which I was getting three times a week at the end of my last pregnancy.
2) They can help your baby get into a good position for birth — (some) Chiropractors are certified in a practice called The Webster Technique, which is a gentle way to help babies who are breech, transverse, or posterior get into a better position for birth. It’s a lot less painful than a version, and it has a high success rate, too.
3) Help with sciatica or other specific pain — Sciatica is common in pregnancy because babies get on your nerves, literally. Chiropractors and massage therapists can help to relieve this pain naturally and allow you to move and function a bit more!
4) Starting or helping labor along — When you’re full term, an adjustment can help to relax your body and “open” it for the baby, leading to labor starting (if baby is ready). If labor is being held up by the baby being in a bad position or getting “stuck,” a chiropractor can adjust you and fix this problem (some make housecalls!).
These are some awesome benefits. Right now, I go to my chiropractor once a week, and see a massage therapist every 2 – 3 weeks (it’s expensive so I can’t do it every week…or I would). They work distinctively different things. My chiropractor “adjusts” me to make sure that things are in proper alignment, and my massage therapist works muscles to help me relax and get more comfortable. This all works together nicely to make pregnancy a lot less painful!
It is important to note, however, that you must find a chiropractor and a massage therapist who are experienced in working with pregnant women. They should have special training for this. There are a few things that they could do that could cause harm if they do not have this extra training or experience (it’s unlikely to cause real problems, but it could happen — I don’t know anyone it has happened to, though). As with any health care provider, choose with caution, and find someone else if you don’t mesh well or feel uneasy.
Did you or will you see a chiropractor or a massage therapist during pregnancy?
Top image by AlishaV