Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy - Transcript


I’d like to introduce Dr Rachel Settles, she is a Chiropractor, she's my chiropractor and for those of you who are new to me, I'm Nichole joy. I'm a birth Doula, childbirth educator and I'm basically a birth junkie. So I asked Dr Rachel to come and talk to us a little bit about chiropractic care because it comes up a lot in the group.


So, the first thing I really wanted to talk about is what the main benefits are to chiropractic care during pregnancy. So can you kind of shed a little light on that for us?


Yeah, absolutely. You know, it Kinda depends on where each individuals at space upon like what recommendations as far as like how chiropractic can benefit them during pregnancy, but just kind of like the general things that people come in with, we know that it's going to help with balancing your pelvis. It's going to be helping with balancing your sacrum, which are very key in birth. If those are misaligned then we can have a lot of issues. It goes along with helping the mom have a more balanced pregnancy as far as like balancing with their hormones in preparing their body for birth. They're still able to do physical things maybe so they're not, you know, gonna be shut down at like 30 weeks pregnant. Um, so it keeps them more active and moving. It boosts their immune system so they can have a, you know, so they don't have like little bugs or viruses sneak up on him while they're pregnant. So that helps with their new system. And then, you know, the one that's most widely known, it's just making sure that the baby is in a good position for birth.


And I remember one time you said something that kind of stuck with me - that chiropractors don't turn babies, right?


Yeah. It's kind of a thing that's kind of caught fire is that you go to a chiropractor, you're not going to have a breech baby. And in fact that's quite the opposite of what the actual webster technique is for. The webster technique is for addressing your alignment, which everyone notices their hips and their sacrum and how their ligaments together. And during pregnancy you can see about 12 to 14 weeks, uh, the women, the moms, hormones start to shift and they get released, called relaxin. And what that does is that kind of lets the pelvis and the sacrum kind of freely flow. And if you have any compensation patterns in there, those ligaments can tighten in and twist. They're also attached to the uterus. And so if that uterus gets twisted and turned, then that baby's not going to have the full amount of room to move about the cabin and get into a perfect birth position. You can start working with a mom and balanced the hips and the sacrum. The sooner that that baby will find the right space and get into the right space, the better. It's not something that's utilized at 38 weeks to where, oh, by the way, my baby's breech, she needs to turn. It's, you know, it's more used as a balancing technique throughout the pregnancy. And in fact, if you do any research, evidence based research talks about how the webster technique is not a breech turning technique. And in many states, if we claim that it is, it's practicing obstetrics and that's not something that's part of our license. So we try to aim more at educating our parents and patients on getting their hips and sacrum analyzed and balance throughout their pregnancy. So you know, these issues don't arise later on and then they might have to change their birth plans.


So what do you think is the earliest time? When is best time to start visiting a chiropractor during your pregnancy?


Well, if you're talking about during pregnancy, I would say before you might even try to get pregnant.

That way we can help you out. It makes sure that your body is communicating. You know, I look at, I tell patients all the time they've given analogy is when we look at our cell phones, we don't want our cell phone service to always be no service. We always want it to be full five bars and when we look at a mom that's going to be expecting and we want her to go into that pregnancy fully balanced, fully healthy. We can work with nutrition, we can work with supplements and if we can get that balance then we know that during your pregnancy you might have less of morning sickness, you might be able to make it through your first trimester. I'm a little bit easier. Uh, and then you know, throughout your pregnancy, you know, you're not in our office three times a week, you know, we kind of just made put you on a maintenance planning. You get adjusted as you go. However, if you do start depending on if you start in the first trimester when you're able to come into the office the second trimester and then you know, like I said, I meet the patients where they're at. But ideally if I could get to you before 25 weeks we can make a huge change and had a huge difference in your birth outcome.


I wish I would've known even about pre pregnancy and how it could help with morning sickness stuff because that is just, it's so annoying. And I had really awful morning sickness and I know a lot of moms do and I don't think anybody realizes that that could be something that we could do. Preventative.


Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that we look to is inflammation in the gut and healing your gut. We addressed that with adjustments and supplements. I have my own line of probiotics that I use in my office that are desiged for women who are pregnant. Um, you know, and the probiotics also go into. I have infant probiotics too, so it addresses each individual's need is where they're at. But if we can balance that and if we can come up with a good food regimen, we can get you the nutrients to pull out of your food so your body's not deficient going in to the pregnancy to make it huge.


And I've also seen a lot of infants born with midland defects with tongue ties and if I can get with the mom and make sure that they are nutritionally prepared for pregnancy, they have a well balanced pregnancy with chiropractic care, nutrition support during their pregnancy. I have seen less issues with midline defects and less tongue ties, which then ties into breastfeeding issues and so forth, so we can really make a huge difference if we get to, you know, basically before you're planning your pregnancy so we can ensure that.


That's so interesting. I didn't know about that either. And so what about Postpartum Chiropractic care? So a lot of the moms in the group and even, you know, just kind of looking ahead like what do we do after we have the baby, you know, so what happens then? We don't just stop visiting you, right?


No, absolutely not. Um, first of all, it just depends on what type of birth you had, right? So whether you've had a home birth, a vaginal birth, it just, it depends on, you know, all the way to the C-section side of things. I say as soon as you are physically able to, um, a lot of times with my, the way that my practice runs, if I can get to you, I can come to your house, can provide a mobile services, especially for at least the first month postpartum to support you. Especially like with c-section moms, you know, they're limited with their movements are not supposed to lift, you know, they're very cautious, but we have so many different techniques that we can use with chiropractic care that are gentle and safe for moms post c-section and typical vaginal home birth.


Um, so, you know, if I can get to you, you know, I would say is as soon as you can. I've had moms that have stopped by my office on the way home from the hospital. Really good adjustment. Yeah. So, um, I would say the sooner the better, the more you can open up the neurological communication pathways with your nerves. You're brought in your brain, you're going to heal better. So the sooner the better. And then basically the, you know, I still have moms that you for four weeks per like, okay, I'm finally ready to come in. So you kind of have to listen to yourself and see what you're ready for. But I will tell you, the sooner that you see me, the faster that you were will heal.


And the other things that is beneficial for postpartum chiropractic care is milk let down, right? So helping the mom get into a good position. If you feel uncomfortable breastfeeding, um, that takes a toll. If you pay attention to any mom breastfeeding, their head is tilted forward, they're looking at their beautiful baby, shoulders are rolled forward and they're literally opened up and they put a lot of pressure on their thoracic spine, the thoracic spine, the way that the structure works with Chiropractic, a relationship with the nerves. You have seven cervical vertebrae in your neck. Those seven, they correspond with your cervical nerves. They branch out, they go to your face, your head, your shoulders, and your neck. Then you have twelve Thoracic Vertebra in those 12 nerves that branch out of those verticals. Connected to your lungs, your heart, your stomach, and anything that has to do with digestive but also has to do with your breasts, right?


So breastfeeding. So if we can get those nerves to communicate from your pituitary gland, which produces oxytocin, right? That it equates to milk. Let down and then we can also make sure that the thoracic vertebrae are cleared so that the breast received that neurological communication. Then you have the better chance to get that milk, let down going and getting the, the, the uh, increasing your milk supply and getting it to where you need to be. If that pathway is disrupted anyway based upon posture, based upon how your birth was going to go, then you might not have, you know, that that great communication and then you might not, you know, have a good let down and you might have to be working to try and get that supply. But in adjustment will help with that.


I have never heard of that. And I'm going to add you to my list of who we're calling when I'm in labor this time because I gave my husband a list of everybody that we need to kind of let know that things are happening and you're going to see me within the next, like the lactation consultant. But now I didn't realize all that. But yeah, you're going to be on that list. So we might have to stop by and see you on the way on the way back from the hospital.


So that kind of takes me to the next thing we talked about one time, newborn chiropractic care, and I guess I don't really have a firm grip on, you know, kind of what that looks like and what the benefits are for newborns to be seen by chiropractor.


So you're in labor, right? And it depends on how, how the Labor's going. Um, if you're a, let's say in a non medicated birth, you're doing a home birth right? And the natural contractions the waiver or pushing the, the baby down into the birth canal. Each one of the contractions, right is like our nice rhythmical contraction. But let's say that the little one's head is maybe tilted to the side, right? We call that Asynclitic Lake type presentation or we look at the infants and they have more of a military like stacked neck, right? And so that's it depend how the birth canal. The other thing is that we touched on briefly, it was a breech baby, but there's other positions that a baby can be and they can be in a transverse lie, right? But then that means I'm going to turn sideways, seriously, you can see it, but if they might have a presentation where their head is stuffed back like this and they've been in a row like that for awhile, right? Or they get to chuck position so their neck has been sitting like this so they can be laying transverse or breech, but they could have their neck positions and you and I both know that if we, you know, laying at, you go to a hotel and we sleep on a different pillow on her next in a different position than all of a sudden we wake up the next morning with a sore neck. So it depends. That's what the neck. Um, we also have the breech babies, so they're folded right. And their feet are up like this. Depending on what the breach they are, they can be a footling breech where their feet are down or they can be words up. We've actually seen babies where they were born, they had been born via c section because they were breached, but they wouldn't relax their feet, their feet straight up like this.

So we had to work with their hips to get them to relax down so their muscles were so tight. So those are presentations that are in utero that can cause strain on, on, on the spine. Um, but just in general, it's the same communicated pathway that an adult has. You have your brain, your spinal cord, and your nerves and they send the communicated message, you know, um, the baby's born, maybe the doctor pulls their pulls on their head and try to teach the doctors and the midwives. And not to do that, just let the baby come out. Either a c section, I don't know if anybody's ever seen a CSO activity, but they grabbed underneath their chin and they lift up and all of that can just put a lot of pressure, um, on that spine and disrupt that communicated pathway. So then we see Katie's can't tell us that they're in pain.

So they're gonna either cry more, right? Or they're going to have symptoms of maybe they're not going to the bathroom. Maybe they're all lucky, maybe they're not initiating any other reflexes. We see babies that are failure to survive. Um, we also see, um, just that, that suckling reflects not wanting to, to latch on, um, and so all those are a neurological pathway that we can go in and check their spine. Uh, we check their reflexes, we check their tone and the tension of their muscles, uh, just to make sure that, you know, we're not seeing one that's firing more on one side. Um, you know, we look at the overall presentation of how the baby presents to us, but then we're going to go in and gentlemen, there's 33 murderous in this bind that we checked and so we're going to go through and we're going to methodically check them.

Um, if they do need an adjustment, um, it's not like an adult adjustment where you hear that the cavitation, which is a gas moving out of the joint space, you're going to hear nothing. Basically, I tell my patients, if you hold up your finger and you press your nail bed, just make that nail bed, turn white. That same amount of pressure that we put on a newborn and most of the side effects afterwards, if they're going to a sleep more poop, more, uh, you can see that their muscle tone relaxes and then we also know that they are able to have that suckling reflects back and they're able to breastfeed a little bit better, which is key and making sure that they gain their weight back to their birth weight and the continued to grow and thrive. And so if we don't have a baby that presents with some type of alarming issue, right?

Like some type of birth trauma that we're going to check them, make sure that they're, check them for the first month, making sure that they're functioning on, you know, on all levels. Um, and then we're going to recommend maintenance care. Um, and I recommend maintenance care whenever the baby is going through a growth spurt, get them checked, uh, whenever they are reaching a new milestone. Right? So when they first start rolling over or sitting up and want to make sure that, um, that they're not putting different compensation patterns into their spine. And then especially, especially when they're teething, um, and then also when they first learned how to stand up and walk 'em because a lot of problems because what are they always do when they first learned how to stand up, they fall down, right? Right. So we just want to make sure I use a lot of analogies in my practice, but the spine doubles in size, the baby's first year of life.

So it's been growing. It constantly needs positive neurological input and that's what we provide is chiropractors just to make sure that that input is running smoothly incorrectly. Um, and then we can monitor if there's any type of issues that, that arise. We're right there, we monitored their care, um, and then we can recommend if they need a referral or if there's something that's really serious going on. We have all the notes and records that we watched this baby girl. Um, but yeah, it's basically the analogy is like when you plant a tree, you want to make sure that the tree grows straight, right? And the root system grows deep. And, uh, we don't want in that first year of life something to cause interference and you know, the trees start to go crooked, get more sleep. I tell that to parents all the time. I said they should be, you know, nice and relaxed.


The other thing too is like if you bring them into the newborns, right? They sleep a lot. They usually relaxed, but let's say you bring him in at like five or six months to me know they have to build a rapport with you. They, they, they, they still have to have trust with you, right? So, um, we're very patient with the little ones. We get done what we can get done. We never force, never, never, never force a child to do something that they don't want to do. I encourage the parents to get adjusted as well. Uh, children love invitation, so they will imitate you. Um, and then they build up a rapport and they will trust you. Um, and then we get better work done when the children trust us, then we do by forcing some something upon them. Um, so, but I also encourage moms don't get to your appointment during their nap time because be happy, right?


They're going to, they want to be sleeping, you know, you know, when your child is alert and happy, you know, in, in the way that my practice is structured, um, with a membership, you don't get dinged for that visit if the child didn't want to cooperate, we just say, okay, you know what we're going to try again the next day and you know, we'll get a better outcome. So you never want children at all. But they respond amazingly, you know, where it takes an adult like eight to 10 visits to get some results children or be a baby as early as I personally adjusted my son a two to five minutes of post csection and I was checking him and adjusting them. So, which I say we check because that doesn't necessarily mean that we're always going to give an adjustment. We want to make sure, like I said, that everything is functioning correctly and so we send them to make sure, um, you know, and my son was born via c section so, you know, like right away I wanted to check his neck to make sure that there was no, no issues. So, but it's amazing because we will see a little one and um, they just kind of give you this nice relaxed look and a smile and then, yeah,


I'll be bringing this baby, you know, when she comes out, she'll be coming into see you. Um, so then yeah, when you were mentioning about your payment, the way you structure your payments, which I think is pretty interesting. And so for local moms, you know, kind of where they can find you and kind of a bit on, you know, the payment structure situation. I mean, I'm familiar with it because I'm your client. But um, yeah, here we offer a membership style practice. Um, I believe in patients getting the care that they need in a dictated by insurance plans or copays. Um, that being said, if you speak on the insurance model, you have to have a diagnosis or some type of discomfort, disease, copd, to build to a, some insurance companies don't consider pregnancy a part of that system, um, and the only limit you to 10 adjustments for a year. Uh, and you know, like I said, it varies with my pregnant moms, but a lot of times I see my mom's anywhere between four to eight times a month. And so if you had to pay your copay at 40 to $50 copay every single time, if you came in eight times, it'd be $400. So what I do, uh, ice, uh, start off, we do an initial consult and we spend about 30 minutes and we kind of just kind of talk about what I talked about today, but we apply it to you, uh, and, and, and the patient's situation.

And then, uh, that initial consults, $100. And then we talk about where areas, where their compensation patterns are. And that also includes their first adjustment. Then thereafter, if they want to jump on my pregnancy membership, it's $150 a month and that includes unlimited adjustments. Um, that being said, it's when I'm not going to see 20 times, you know what I mean? Like unlimited means more than likely, probably eight times. You know, I'm a mark, but we're here for you and I don't want my patients to think, uh, I don't have $50 or I don't have my copay. Come in and see the doctor. They can just come in, get the care. They need to have free access to me. You can have access to me via text or facebook messenger, so I make sure. And then that also includes when you get to your due date, around the d day, when you go into labor, it doesn't guarantee that I can, but if I can get to you, that also includes that last month includes a mobile visit.

Either it's a prenatal visit, like you're in labor and your labor has stalled. That's another thing to talk about too, is that if your labor has stalled in, your water broke, but there's nothing happening. A chiropractic adjustment can help boost the labor, um, or if um, the water hasn't broke but you're in labor. I'm in it starting to stall, so anytime your labor is just, is going good and then it starts to stall out. I recommend getting an adjustment if you can. I've had moms come into my office just recently. We had a mom come into her office and got an adjustment and had the baby trend opers later. So,

I mean, you're right.

I'm not going to guarantee you that because for my, for my pen, but um, but yeah, so we can help with the labor it takes to get it going. If you have a beautiful labor and your contractions are going from eight minutes to six minutes, five minutes, four minutes and everything's, you're dilating and everything's perfect, then have an awesome burst. But if there booth then we can kind of jump start that and get it.

That's good to know because I'm nearing, I am in my last month or last month. So. And all, you know, from a patient's perspective, I know you talked about kind of the frequency of how often you go and competent compensating things and issues. And I think for me, you know, when you already have other children, um, you know, that you're picking up other kids, toddlers physically and you're super pregnant and we've talked last time you had a live in the group and we talked a lot about aches and pains during pregnancy and kind of what to do. And I suggested, you know, Kira [inaudible] when I, when I'm in pain, I book you and I go see you. I'm feeling uncomfortable in a lot of that is like picking up other kids and um, that compensate, you know, I'm holding her on the same side all the time. So it kind of puts you off balance.

Um, you know, for those of us with that just need like layman's, like, you know, it really screws up my balance because I'm holding her on the same side all the time. Um, and you know, or if I'm going to be doing a lot of driving, you know, if I'm, one of my son was going to a camp that was further away and we were driving pretty far back and forth everyday, like being in the car and being in the car for those hours. I noticed, you know, if I'm on my feet for a long time with the kids, I noticed like, okay, I need to go, do I need to go see you. So I've been pretty consistent about going, oh know twice a week.

And that's what I do is I also teach my patients to pay attention to your body. You should never let something get to, you know, like mock tin out completely can't move, you know, we, we, we know that there's going to be minor little bumps during pregnancy and some will have some type of water retention, swelling. So we're going to have issues with carpal tunnel, you know what I mean? That doesn't mean everyone's going to get done, but you have to pay attention to your body. And then we can kind of take our care plan to help you because you're our patient and you're unique and every mom is going to go through pregnancy just a little bit differently. So we try to make sure that we encompass all of that. And the other important thing is, is we heard the term relaxin that comes in 12 to 14 weeks, uh, and it research shows that it lasts for two years postpartum.

So if you have multiple pregnancies, let's say two, three, four kids and you have them every two years apart when you've had relaxin in your body for going on eight to nine years. And what relaxin does is it helps relax those ligaments and your ligaments connect bone to bone. And your bones basically are your foundation to your body, your muscles, or your function. And so whenever the foundation starts to feel weak, the muscles being the function, they will come in and tighten up and kind of tightened up. So the other thing is, is when you have multiple kids, you get yourself into some very keeping vicarious positions, right? So you're breastfeeding one, but you still have the young two year old and they're upset and so you're holding so you have your hips back out and then you're breath in. You're over this. If you continually have that type of input into your body, your body's going to adapt and it's slowly going to heal.

Those ligaments are going to tighten in a position of you being hunched over your neck forward. Um, if you people watch, you can look at women in their forties or fifties and you can definitely say without a doubt, like I bet you that you had multiple kids because you could just see the way that their spine is shaped and the way that they're carrying themselves. And I wish and I get patients like is too. I wish I knew about you after, during pregnancy and after pregnancy because my back issues or this didn't start until after I had, you know, my three kids and you know, now I'm dealing with it and I'm 45 years old and for 50, you know what I mean? And so they're, they, if they could turn back the clock, they would definitely have come in and gotten some adjustment.

Yeah. We were talking about that last night too with the posture and breastfeeding because um, you know, then you're also adding on the new weight of your engorged breasts and you know, so you have that weight that's pulling you, you know, you're hunting and if you're, if you have experience, you know, then that, that pain from the incision makes it hard to sit up straight, good posture because you're in pain. And it's like stretching though during recovery. I mean all those things are kind of contributing to this really crappy posture. I remember it after my first and he was necessary and I remember the pain, you know, that, that back pain and neck pain from the hunting and you know, trying to nurse in that I'm kind of really common cradle position, um, where, you know, we were talking last night on the, on the live about kind of pulling back to you and just kind of, you know, good posture and good, you know, core and things that you can do to kind of keep your, keep your best form and posture during breastfeeding because you know, that pain is really uncomfortable too. So this has been really helpful for me. Even I'm learning stuff because now I'm in my last month and you know, now that I know I'm nearing the end and knowing what I can do for the baby, I will be because I had never heard before and my last two, um, I saw the chiropractor my second pregnancy, but I didn't for postpartum and I didn't for newborn care. But I will this time, um, you know, share the link to your page.

They're more than welcome to contact me via email. You can schedule online through our website. It's very straightforward. You can just follow the lead. Um, they're more than welcome to call me, ask me questions. I'm very reachable. I want to help on the other thing too, is that just in general, I'm connected to the birth community, so if we have issues or things that arise, uh, I have people on my team that loved to help moms too, so we can, you know, um, boy, if it comes to a pelvic floor specialist, if you have a diastasis recti, um, if it comes to just some just difficult latching things. We have some wonderful lactation consultants that I refer clients to. So we're concerned about chiropractic and pregnancy and helping you. But we're also concerned about you becoming a better you and especially for Moms, having them have a great start, you know, uh, in, in, in if they need certain issues with postpartum depression, you know, we have resources for you too. So it's just, it's, it's more of a empowering you and getting you, uh, to have healthy choices and options and you know, just be an overall better, you know, you. And that's what our practices kind of geared towards.

Yeah. No, that's, um, that's awesome. And that's perfect because I know a lot of people were working today so they might not have been able to catch the live, but you know, as far as the replay, I'll leave it available in the group for people who want to catch the replay and I'm, I'll post your contact info and then I'm going to be getting ready to come up for my appointment here in a little bit. So I'm going to bail so I can go rally applying kids. Um, and come see you. Awesome. My adjustment for today, so thank you and I'll see you in a little bit. You're very welcome. Thanks for having me. All right, see you later. Bye. Bye.