Physical Pregnancy Symptoms
Most people are familiar with the common pregnancy symptoms. Pregnant women often have low back pain, nausea, discomfort, and fatigue. These symptoms can fluctuate during the course of pregnancy, with nausea being more common in the early months, and fatigue and back pain being more common in the latter months.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, morning sickness, the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, is a common condition that occurs in about 70% of pregnancies. Can start in the first trimester as early as 6 weeks into the pregnancy, but symptoms often improve during the second trimester, around weeks 13-27 of a typical 40 week term. However, in some pregnant women, morning sickness can occur during their entire pregnancy. However, this usually is only for a short time each day and women may only vomit once or twice that day. But even if it is only once a day, this can result in higher stress levels, dehydration, and potentially back pain from hunching over.
Although it is called “morning” sickness, the nausea can occur at any time throughout the day.
When a pregnant woman is nauseous for longer than a short time, but feels dizzy and nauseous for hours at a time, and vomits more frequently that once of twice, this is known as a more severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. Although this is rare, occurring in only 3% of pregnant women according to the Cleveland clinic, it is a concerning issue and usually needs medical intervention. Frequent vomiting can result in severe electrolyte disturbance resulting in dehydration, lack of urination, increased heart rate, and dizziness, and can even result in weight loss. Fluid and weight loss of more than 5% pre-pregnancy body weight is the usual diagnostic criteria of hyperemesis gravidarum. This form of morning sickness can sometimes require hospitalization and treatment with IV fluids or anti-nausea medications.
What causes Morning Sickness?
It is unknown the exact reason why pregnant women can feel nauseous during their pregnancy. However, current consensus is that the higher levels of hormones that occur during gestation can contribute to more sensitivity in the body. Higher levels of some of the pregnancy hormones such as human chorionic gonadotropin (HGC) or estrogen have been associated with more frequent and more intense bouts of nausea in pregnant women. And women pregnant with twins or other multiples often have higher HGC levels and are therefore more likely to experience morning sickness. These high hormones levels are not consistently associated with nausea and vomiting, but there researchers think there is a correlation.
Morning sickness can also be indirectly triggered by heartburn or constipation or even low blood sugar.
Although many women experience nausea, some women with healthy pregnancies never experience morning sickness, therefore, a lack of nausea and vomiting is not concerning.
What are some things that can help relieve nausea?
Although there are some medications that can be prescribed by doctors, many women try to find alternative home remedies to help with their morning sickness.
Some pregnant women find that snacking throughout the day and sipping ginger ale can help relieve some of the nausea. In the morning, eating a few crackers can sometimes help prevent the nausea before you even get out of bed. Healthy snacks such as yogurt, peanut butter, apple slices, celery, nuts, or even some milk or cheese can be a good option.
Another common recommendation is to spread out the meals throughout the day, eat five or six small meals instead of three large ones. And make sure that the food you eat is not too spicy or fatty, but blander such as bananas, rice, potatoes, broth, etc. Another common help can be to try tea with ginger or ginger candies.
Sometimes women find that the nausea comes when they take their prenatal vitamins, so making sure to take those supplements with food or making sure to take certain nutrients (such as iron) closer to bedtime.
Other common recommendations are to make sure to drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, avoid triggering odors, keep rooms well ventilated, and even keep pleasant smells such as lemon or mint on hand.
However, one of the best ways that you can help alleviate the nausea of pregnancy, is to get chiropractic care.
Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is at it’s highest levels, and this hormone helps relax the muscles and ligaments of the body so that as baby develops, mom’s muscles can expand to accommodate. During this time, a misaligned pelvis can cause more tension and pain if not corrected, and any nerve compression that is caused by misalignments in the spine can contribute to impeded communication with the internal organs, boost the function of the immune system, as well as adding to neck pain, hip pain, and intrauterine constraint.
Pregnancy Chiropractors focus on helping the function of the whole body improve during the course of pregnancy, and work on preparing the body to give birth as the pregnancy progresses. Chiropractic adjustments work on helping relieve pressure on the nervous system by restoring alignment to the spine and spinal cord, allowing the nervous system to function at it’s top ability. This improved alignment helps boost nervous system function and also provides pain relief to the common aches, pains, and general discomfort of pregnancy.
Opening up the alignment in the hips can help for an easier delivery as well. When the hips are in good alignment, baby has enough room to go head down into the proper position (so chiropractic care can even help with breech babies!). A properly aligned pelvis can deal with a growing baby and can help reduce labor times and allow for a easier labor and delivery.
How does Chiropractic Care Help with Nausea?
As chiropractic care relieves tension and restores nervous system function, this allows the nervous system to communicate perfectly with the entire rest of the body. When spinal misalignments are no longer impeding communication with the stomach and digestive system, many women find that their pregnancy nausea symptoms are decreased.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe during Pregnancy?
Chiropractic care is entirely safe during pregnancy. Often chiropractors specialize in prenatal and postnatal care just to provide the best help for pregnant women. At no point during a pregnancy is chiropractic contraindicated, so you can receive care even in labor!
The Webster Technique is a specialized chiropractic technique that is designed to help women during their pregnancy. The goal is to help relieve the common causes of dystocia (pain from a difficult birth) and help a mom have a safe, and comfortable pregnancy and birth. This technique focuses on keeping good alignment in the pelvic area, relieving tension carried in the soft tissue (muscles and ligaments) surrounding baby, and making sure that mom and baby are in the optimal position for birth.
This technique, with it’s focus on good alignment, can often help relieve low back pain that is frequently felt during pregnancy, and, by relieving tension on the spine and spinal column, can often indirectly relieve tension on the nerves heading to the gastrointestinal system and relieve nausea symptoms as well. This alignment and focus on wellness often leads to a healthier overall pregnancy.
Call today and schedule your assessment and see how chiropractic care can help you in your pregnancy!