Pregnancy is considered the ultimate “stress test” of a woman’s body. Immediately, hormonal changes will lead to many physiological changes throughout the body. These changes help prepare the mother’s body for pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
The hormone relaxin peaks at about 14 weeks. The function of this hormone is to prepare the body for childbirth by relaxing the pelvic ligaments, and softening and widening the cervix. This process can cause pelvic and spinal instability and altered biomechanics throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. Relaxin can remain in the body postpartum, anywhere from five months to one year. Breastfeeding prolongs its presence.
Instability of the pelvis and spine during pregnancy leads to postural changes and poor body mechanics, which contributes to common symptoms women experience during their child-bearing years.
Some of these common symptoms are:
It has been reported that between 40-65 percent of pregnant women use acetaminophen, which medical doctors recommend for pain. The main ingredient is Tylenol, with estimates of 3-20 percent reporting use in all three trimesters and 18 percent use of Ibuprofen. New studies have shown consistent associations between maternal acetaminophen use and select pregnancy and childhood adverse outcomes, including pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, asthma, and neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly autism and ADHD.
Acetaminophen wipes out the body’s main antioxidant, glutathione, which exposes the developing fetus to higher levels of oxidative stress and toxic loads during critical windows of neurodevelopment. Some studies have shown that children who were exposed to acetaminophen prenatally were more likely to have asthma symptoms by age 5. Acetaminophen may induce autism through oxidative stress and neurotoxicity in susceptible individuals. It has also been shown that prenatal and early-life exposure to both acetaminophen and ibuprofen were associated with poorer executive function and behavior in childhood.
Chiropractic care helps support the adapting musculoskeletal and nervous system and minimizes pain and discomfort during pregnancy and during labor and delivery. In addition to chiropractic care, proper nutrition and supplementation, pregnancy exercises, use of a pregnancy support belt, and custom orthotics for shoes, are highly recommended. Please call Dr. Adkins in Port Orchard today for a consultation or appointment!Schedule an Appointment