Easing pregnancy pain

A woman’s body is incredibly adaptive, and at no time is this more obvious than during pregnancy.

  • Jun. 28, 2011 10:00 a.m.


A woman’s body is incredibly adaptive, and at no time is this more obvious than during pregnancy.

When a woman is pregnant, her posture changes, her centre of gravity shifts and her belly grows as the fetus develops.

Some of the changes are meant to ease the physical strain of childbirth while others, I hate to say it, cause pain and discomfort.

As a woman’s pregnancy progresses, her body releases hormones that loosen the ligaments holding the bones together, especially where the pelvis and spine connect. That makes it easier for a baby to descend down the birth canal and through the cervix.

Sadly, the release of these hormones isn’t limited to the hours before labour starts, but rather takes place over a number of weeks. This can be problematic for expectant moms because as the weight of the baby increases, so does the pressure on her spine, which often results in a subluxation or misalignment of the vertebrae and/or sacrum. This can cause irritability and pain in the lower back, buttocks and down one or both of her legs, and leaves many wondering what can make them comfortable again.

The challenge is many women are told to avoid taking Aspirin, pain relievers and even cold medicines during pregnancy. What these women need is a healthy alternative to drugs that is safe for both mother and child.

Chiropractic care can establish balance and symmetry in the mother’s pelvis. If the mother-to-be has experienced any stress or trauma to her spine or pelvis at some point in her life, her pelvic opening may be compromised due to misalignments, which may result in a less-than-optimum passage for the baby and the likelihood of a difficult labour.

If the bones of the pelvis are out of alignment, this will affect how the uterus is supported. Unequal ligament support of the uterus will torque the uterus, reducing the maximum amount of room for the developing baby.

A specialized chiropractic technique was developed in the late 1970s by Dr. Larry Webster to help pregnant women presenting with intrauterine constraint.  The Webster Technique is usually used during the seventh through ninth months of pregnancy on mothers whose babies are presenting breech or transverse.

Working to correct sacral subluxations, this technique balances pelvic muscles and ligaments, removes constraint and allows the baby to get into the best possible position for birth.


Dr. Liz McCrindle is a chiropractor practicing at Pitt Meadows Wellness.