Chiropractic Pregnancy and Birth Theory

I am going to start this one out with a strong legal disclaimer. What I am writing about here is purely a theory. It is not fact. Do not act on it without speaking to our doctor first. In fact I will go so far as saying to talk to your OBGYN before even reading the below. I am putting it out as a theory for other chiropractors and OBGYN’s to discuss. This is not advise, it is not fact, it is a theory on chiropractic, pregnancy and birth that I want to float out on the net, and see what people think.

The following is from a letter I wrote to a new chiropractor who is also trained to assist in natural pregnancy and births.

In our chiropractic office in San Diego we had a very experienced and highly trained midwife as a patient for many, many years, and I had many lengthy discussions with her on the possibly biology of where chiropractic and birth intersect.

My letter to the new chiropractor:

I have lots of pregnant patients, and try to get all of them to have their babies delivered by a midwife if possible.

What has your experience been with labor, and the sacrum releasing from the ilium bones?

I have found that if I adjust the patients pelvis many times during pregnancy, and then very often just before the birth, that the women have tended to have very, very short labors. Often they report that they were painless, and barely uncomfortable. Obviously we are not treating the pregnancy or trying to be midwives, but instead treating the stuck ilium bones that are also there in these pregnant women.

I am a man, and have never had a child myself, and am trying to understand. The best theory I have, is simply that the bowl of the pelvis gets locked in if the sacrum is stuck to the iliums. Then when we release them, the bones open up, the sacrum swings out of the way, and the baby can come out easily.

How does that line up with what you have observed?

Also, if I am right, then during the delivery when a woman has not been to a chiropractor, there would probably be a pop sound often when the baby releases the sacrum free of the iliums. I personally have never observed an actual birth so I lack actual observable data to test this, other than the joyous reviews our patients have given us after the birth.

Again.. just to repeat it, the above is not fact, but just theory. This is not medical advice and should not be acted on as medical advice. It is being published to generate discussion amongst the medical community regarding chiropractic during pregnancy, and the effect of chiropractic on birth.

4 Comments

  1. Leslee Houston

    I agree. Having had 6 children myself. Do you also practice with the chiropractic adjustment that can help turn a breech baby in the 35 week plus gestation? I have heard that it is very effective. That unaligned spines and pelvis, especially from carrying a two year old around while pregnant, can have a baby be in the breech position. Please comment?

  2. Amanda

    I think this is a valid theory and would seem to make sense. However, in my case it did not seem to have a noticeable shortening effect, as I had a 32 hour labor after numerous chiropractic adjustments. (Although whose to say, it may have been 72 otherwise! My mother’s longest labor was 3 hours, so I was a bit disappointed…haha!) On the plus side, my chiropractor employed the Webster Technique (used for turning breech babies) and my baby turned at 35 weeks. Unfortunately, he was still in the posterior position for most of the labor, which is not ideal. He was very stubborn (still is at 9 months! ;) ) I am pregnant with my second, and hoping that regular adjustments throughout this pregnancy will yield some more positive results and shortened labor (and that my baby will be a bit more laid-back!) This will be especially important, as I have frequent pain in my lower back which was almost unbearable during labor, and which I can feel already, lifting my heavy little man. (I am only 10 weeks so far.) I think my first labor was in no way typical, though. Wish me luck this time! ;)

  3. Amanda

    I see now from the date that this is an old post, but funny that it was posted the day after my aforementioned labor and the birth of my son!

  4. dk

    Amanda,

    My experiences with this have been far from perfectly consistent. I have heard many patients state that their labors were far, far, shorter than previous labors were before they were worked on by me.

    There have been a few patients where the doctors have still done C-sections, but I still wonder exactly what happened during those deliveries.

    Tell your son I said happy birthday, whenever it was!

    dk

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