Pregnancy and Chiropractic: Care and Safety
“A Report on Midwives & Chiropractic”
A report on the scientific literature
By: Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
Being a chiropractor for 34 years, I have treated hundreds of pregnant patients in my career for a host of “pregnancy related spinal conditions.” The impetus for conservative chiropractic care was in part because the pregnant patient could not utilize drugs as a result of contraindications with pregnancy and also in part because of the positive experiences both patients, midwives and obstetricians have observed through the years. It has been my persona observation that chiropractic is a safe alternative for pregnant patients and should always be the first option for anyone (pregnant or not) before the utilization of drugs, making them needless if a non-drug approach delivers positive outcomes.
According to Mullen, Alcantara, Barton and Dever (2011) “Chiropractors and midwives, with their conservative approach to patient care grounded in a holistic and vitalistic philosophy, share many common ideals in the care of patients. In the age of evidence based practice with an emphasis on an integrative approach to patient care, chiropractors and midwives have a unique opportunity to develop partnerships in this regard.” They found “that 57% of their nurse-midwife responders recommended chiropractic to their pregnant patients to address pregnancy-related neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) complaints, sciatica and fetal malposition. In a survey of both lay-midwives and nurse-midwives on their use of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) therapies, found chiropractic was the most popular CAM therapy to address musculoskeletal back pain. There are also indicators that chiropractors advocate for a strong working relationship with midwivesparticularly in addressing fetal malposition during pregnancy.” Pg. 135
Mullen Et. Al went on to report that 98.9% of midwives were aware that chiropractors worked with “birthing professionals” and 92.5% were knowledgeable about chiropractic’s role in prenatal care. 88.8% had an experience with chiropractors and 97% was positive. In addition, 94.5% of those had chiropractors treated their children and had a positive experience. The most revealing statistic is one of safety as 100% of midwives questioned answered that chiropractic was safe for their pregnant patients.
We are now starting to get answers from disparate sects of healthcare that verify what was once considered “miracles” with maladies such as fetal repositioning during pregnancy. These research findings verify that the chiropractic adjustment does not deliver miracles, it only helps the body work better and we now know why.
We also know that chiropractic is one of the safest treatments currently available in healthcare and when there is a treatment where the potential for benefits far outweighs any risk, it deserves serious consideration. Whedon, Mackenzie, Phillips, and Lurie (2015) based their study on 6,669,603 subjects after the unqualified subjects had been removed from the study and accounted for 24,068,808 office visits. They concluded, “No mechanism by which SM [spinal manipulation] induces injury into normal healthy tissues has been identified (Whedon et al., 2015, p. 5)