So let’s get started on Part 2 of my interview with Dr. Ada, a family & wellness chiropractor here in Hampstead, NC. If you have not checked out Part 1 of my interview with Dr. Ada then please head over HERE.
We covered the basics and now we’re diving deep into everything you need to know about this powerful & natural way to support your body during this incredible journey. Personally, my favorite part is Dr. Ada’s origin story!
So grab a cup of tea, sit back, & get ready to learn everything you ever wanted to know about prenatal chiropractic care.
Dr. Ada, how did you become interested in prenatal chiropractic care, and what drew you to this area of practice?
I did not dive into the pediatric and maternity side of chiropractic until I was in practice. Even before that when I was working with athletes I would notice a lot of their biomechanics were off, and their posture wasn’t the best. To be honest it is hard to fix athletes and adults because there is so much muscle memory that is hard to change. In the back of my mind, I always thought “Man it would be so much more realistic if I worked with babies and pregnant mamas and helped them teach their kids to pay attention to their bodies. So as these kids grow and mature if their bodies were aligned better, if we paid attention to their bodies as they grew up by the time they became start athletes I think we could minimize a lot of these injuries and optimize their health so their performance is that much better. And so that was always in the back of my head.
Fast forward to practice, I had a mom who brought in her 2-year-old baby but looked like she was maybe 8 months old. She had in-utero damage and the cord wrapped around her neck with a difficult pregnancy and c-section. There was never a diagnosis but there was definitely some loss of oxygen to the baby. The baby was not hitting milestones and was diagnosed with failure to thrive. Mom said the baby had been under chiropractic care for a few months and since I was the closest chiropractor, could I help? I thought “I know how to adjust a baby but do I know how to optimize a baby’s nerve system so that they are functioning at their fullest potential?” I had to answer “no”.
At that point, I realized that if I was to help families like this one in the future I need proper education. So I decided and committed to advancing my education.
Could you explain the Webster Technique, and how it can benefit pregnant women?
The full Webster technique is used before adjusting every pregnant mama. The Webster technique is designed to help with a possible breach pregnancy and it is not guaranteed to turn the baby. This technique is designed to optimize the pelvic inlet and the associating pelvic muscles, ligaments, and bony structures. In turn, this guarantees that they’re in the best position so that the mom can carry the baby in the best-designed position.
So while legally, we don’t turn babies, we make sure that the associating muscles, bones, and ligaments are functioning properly.
Can you offer any advice for pregnant women who may be hesitant about trying chiropractic care during their pregnancy?
Chiropractic care can be scary for many just because of the unfortunate information out there, like strokes, cracking necks, and cracking bodies so I understand the hesitation because pregnancy can be a very sensitive and special time. You know, being pregnant myself, I was very cautious of, what I did and what I ate so I can see the hesitation.
One of my favorite places to meet pregnant moms is Target. So if I see you, I’m walking up to you and I’m asking how are you doing and how pregnancy is going. I introduce myself and say I’m a maternity and prenatal chiropractor and one of my specialties is focusing on optimizing the health of a pregnant mama along her journey. People ask me, “What? You can get adjusted?” and I explain all the benefits of chiropractic care while pregnant.
But one of the best things about chiropractic care is labor. Labor is cut down anywhere from two to three hours shorter in women who are under chiropractic care versus not. The main reason is that your body is even more prepared through the brain-body communication, via the nervous system.
So my recommendation is to give the office a call and either ask you to speak to the doctor or even do a consultation. I do free consultations for everyone to sit and talk to see if it’s a good fit. If it’s not, I urge you to find someone who is a good fit. Just don’t abandon the whole idea altogether.
What tips or recommendations do you have for pregnant women to help them maintain good spinal health throughout their pregnancy?
Before I became pregnant I used to give all sorts of exercises & that they need to move, you’ve got to exercise while you’re pregnant until I became pregnant and now I realize why so many pregnant mamas used to roll their eyes at me. So I get it!
I am very specific now in the exercises I recommend. I never know exactly what is going on in their life and so I want to make sure it is very specific to them and not just general.
Not knowing someone’s limitations or what they are experiencing makes giving exercises difficult. The best way to make sure you maintain good spinal health is to make sure those muscles are activated and doing their job.
Many pregnant women experience lower back pain, pelvic pain, and headaches. How do you specifically address these issues with chiropractic care, and what techniques do you use?
During pregnancy, the body changes tremendously, literally every minute. One of the common factors is hormone relaxin which allows for stretching and widening up the hips as the uterus grows. That hormone isn’t just isolated to the pelvic region and goes throughout the entire body so if there’s instability in the pelvic region, there can be instability in the upper trunk and instability in the neck.
We all know, as time goes on, we gain weight during pregnancy which leads to posture changes. Oftentimes pregnant mamas will carry their hips forward, but then their shoulders become round and their heads forward. When this happens, you’re stretching the spine beyond its normal capacity which leads to pain. And so the best way to alleviate that is chiropractic care.
The adjustment a chiropractor does stimulates the nervous system which helps correct posture and aligns the spine back to where it’s supposed to be. So post adjustment and muscle re-education, either marching in place or the vibe machine teaches those muscles to hold their position.
If headaches are caused by the structural placement of the head then this is the best way to optimize your spine and reduce the severity or remove them fully. As for the pelvis, oftentimes, there’s a lot of rotation. Typically moms sleep on their sides which oftentimes times can cause the right or left hip to rotate down. When you go to stand up, oftentimes those muscles are now very stretched out which creates a miss misaligned with the pelvic inlet or pelvis. In turn that can cause a lot of pelvic and pubic pain. So, when I’m checking each mother during her appointment, I’m checking for that rotation. I’m checking to see the position of the hips and the pelvis and the sacrum, and adjusting the spine so that the nerve system tells the muscles to align as best as possible.
How frequently should pregnant women see a chiropractor during their pregnancy?
Different for every woman and chiropractor just based on the techniques they use and what they see in the pregnant woman. That is why a full exam is extremely important, to determine what needs to be addressed during each adjustment and the frequency and length of care.
In my practice, most pregnant mamas get seen once a week or once every other week, up until about 34/36 weeks of pregnancy, and then they get checked usually once to two times a week. Now, it doesn’t mean that they get fully adjusted, it just means that they get checked, because the closer we get to delivery time, you want to make sure that the mama’s body is able to fully handle delivering, it doesn’t matter what delivery option is available to them. Whether it’s medicated, non-medicated, or c-section, we want to make sure that the mother is able to deliver the best way possible.
Is it necessary to continue chiropractic care after giving birth?
Yes, the fourth trimester is incredibly important. In my experience, our society doesn’t do a very good job of taking care of the mother postpartum. We do an excellent job with babies but who takes care of the mother? Oftentimes, we bring the baby in to get checks pretty frequently but we don’t do that for mothers. Whether you had a natural delivery or a C-section, I feel like that post-checks are not there and that’s very devastating. It happened to me after I had a C-section and to this day, I’ve never been checked medically for my six-week appointment.
So we always leave about a month postpartum as a part of their care. I always highly recommend, as long as it’s possible, an immediate, postpartum visit. No matter your birth experience, making sure that the brain and body are communicating as best as possible, is so important to the healing process. Not only for the physical but for the mental and emotional status of mama.
At the same time the mom is being checked, a full pediatric newborn check can be done. It’s a complete neurological check that takes about 15 to 20 minutes. We’re checking all of the babies’ reflexes and measurements, and we asked Mama lots of questions. I do that complementary and then also check the baby for subluxation and adjust if needed.
Well, mama, now you know all about the magic of prenatal chiropractic care! We hope this post has given you some ideas about how to make your pregnancy a little more comfortable and supported. Remember, it’s totally normal to experience aches and pains during this time, but it’s also totally okay to ask for help. So if you’re feeling like you need some extra support, why not give chiropractic care a try? You never know – it just might be the thing that makes all the difference.
Happy pregnancy, mama!