During pregnancy the body goes through many changes and we commonly get told the aches and pains are “normal” and “just a part of pregnancy”. Yes, pains during pregnancy are common, but most of them can be controlled and we don’t need to just suffer through it until baby is born. It is important for women to feel strong and confident during pregnancy and enjoy their growing belly. It is important to sleep well, move well and feel well to keep the experience positive and keep mom’s body healthy. Up until the insomnia kicked in the last few weeks and I was on the couch watching Gilmore Girls all night, I felt awesome and slept great during pregnancy. It is also important to feel confident going into labor. Mentally I was excited and nervous the morning my water broke, but physically I was ready.
One of the more common pains I treat during pregnancy is lower abdominal and pelvic pain. Some women have associated lower back pain, some do not. The most common causes of anterior pains are round ligament stretching or pubic symphysis issues. Both are treatable with chiropractic care.
The round ligaments are located on both sides of the abdomen. They attach the uterus to the soft tissues of the groin. Think bikini line, if the bikini went fairly high up on the hips like in the 80s (and coming back now I think). The round ligaments support the growing baby and with that growth they stretch and become thicker. The stretching can cause pain symptoms, often described as a quick jab or short stabbing pain. The pain is most often present during transitional movements such as changing position in bed or going from sitting to standing. Laughing, coughing, prolonged sitting or standing can also cause pain. The pain can be sharp and intense, but usually lasts only seconds. These pains often start during the 2nd trimester and get more intense in the 3rd if not treated.
Prenatal chiropractors use a technique called Webster’s to help reduce the pain associated with round ligament tension. There is usually a connection between this ligament pain and a sacrum that has moved out of position. Your chiropractor will address both issues. It is important to have this taken care of so your pelvis is in the ideal position allowing baby to move freely and drop down into the pelvic outlet during labor.
Pubic symphysis issues can also be the culprit of anterior, lower abdominal pain. Your chiropractor can address this as well.
Additionally, a warm bath may help or lying on your side with a pillow under the belly and your knees tucked up towards your stomach.
If you experience any severe pain or cramping, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, burning urination, pelvic pressure like baby is pushing down, sudden intense back pain when you haven’t had any prior or the pain feels like a contraction that never stops, call your OB or midwife immediately. These could be signs of preterm labor, preeclampsia, placental abruption or another medical condition such as a UTI or appendicitis. It is better to use caution.
Dr. Brie is a Webster certified practitioner. The treatment is gentle, effective and usually covered by insurance. If you are expecting or know somebody who is, make sure to share this information.
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