St. Paul

Chiropractic and Other Resources For Pregnancy

Chiropractic care during pregnancy is one of the lesser known uses of chiropractic. As someone who has an expecting wife I have become acutely aware of the challenges during pregnancy and where chiropractic can help.

So why would you go to a chiropractor while you were pregnant?

Pregnancy can be tough. There never seems to be any constant during it other than that the body is constantly changing and it’s different for everybody. Some weeks there can be nausea, than the nausea goes away but headaches come on, then the midback tightens up as your belly grows, or the low back pain and sciatica start. Sometimes even the joint at the front of the pelvis called your pubic symphysis starts to hurt. This pain can be managed with over-the-counter or sometimes even prescription pain relievers but I personally worry about how those chemicals are going to affect the developing baby. Smoking and alcohol are big no-no’s during pregnancy and I tend to think of medications as being in the same group. If you can help it, try to stay off the meds as much as possible. If there is a true need, no shame in using them.

The great thing about chiropractic is that we have a lot of success managing these painful symptoms without using drugs. Typically, as a mother’s weight distribution changes, her posture starts to change with it and new joints in her body become painful due to the new stresses placed on them. One example is in the picture below.

Also as the pregnancy progresses the body in it’s wisdom starts to pump out hormones that begin to relax and loosen the ligaments in the pelvis.  This is a good thing because the pelvis has to expand during childbirth to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal but the negative is that before labor those same pelvic joints become lax and unstable. This is where mothers will feel “something shift out of place” in their pelvis followed by low back pain or sciatica. Check out this video on how those joints work.

Chiropractors are specifically trained to assess the joints in the pelvis and spine and determine if they aren’t moving, are moving too much, or are misaligned.

How is a chiropractic treatment different during pregnancy?

In pregnancy we are specifically focused on three things.

1) We want the bones of your pelvis to be aligned so that there is as much space as possible for the comfort and health of the mother and baby

2) We want the nerves to the uterus to function fully so that the uterus, which is a muscle, can contract fully during labor.

3) We want the pelvis to orientate in a way that the baby can be in a good position for labor and delivery.

Pregnancy isn't a disease that we need to cure. The body knows what it’s doing, we just try to give gentle adjustments to optimize the function of it. The adjustments are much lighter than a regular chiropractic visit as it takes less force to align things due to the laxity in the ligaments of a pregnant patient. Typically, I recommend a chiropractic visit every 2 weeks for the 2nd trimester and then we go to once a week for the 3rd trimester until the baby comes.

Other resources

Aside from chiropractic here are some other drug-free resources that can help immensely.


Acupuncture and chiropractic go hand in hand. If chiropractic doesn’t work for a patient, acupuncture is always my first referral. Acupuncture is particularly helpful for the unique hormonal issues that women encounter during pregnancy. In St. Paul we recommend Selby Acupuncture

Well Adjusted Babies book by Jennifer Floreani

This is our go-to book during pregnancy and after. It’s an expansive resource that we find ourselves going back to again and again.

Essential Oils

I have seen essential oils used as an alternative to medications during pregnancy with much success.

SI Belts

SI belts can be a great way to keep the SI joints and pubic symphysis stable during pregnancy and postpartum. I recommend getting an adjustment and then using the SI belts to hold those joints in a stable orientation.

EMF Belly Armor Shirt

Electromagnetic frequencies from cell phones, wifi routers, and computers are increasingly being shown to have detrimental effects on our cells.. Belly Armor shirts cancel out electromagnetic frequencies for the developing fetus.

Five Things That Will Always Prevent Your Body From Healing

Many times a patient will come in who has had long term pain for a number of months or years.  This could be an old shoulder injury that has never healed, hip pain that is constantly gnawing, or widespread symptoms of fibromyalgia.  Being a chiropractor I have seen how capable the body is at healing itself.  When given the right environment, time and stimulation the body can heal just about anything.  When someone comes in who isn’t healing and hasn’t for a long time I have to ask what is happening internally to block these natural processes.  Below are the five most common issues that I have found.

1)    Anemia

If your blood can’t bring oxygen to your tissues, your tissues can’t heal.  Anemia disrupts the oxygen carrying capacity of your blood. I have found anemia to be most common among menstruating women, vegetarians and vegans. People with chronic stomach ulcers or who are taking a lot of anti-inflammatory medication can also be anemic.  People who are anemic are usually very fatigued and apathetic because their body is starved for oxygen.

2)    Blood Sugar Imbalances

Your brain and body relies on the sugar that floats around in your blood for fuel.  If that fuel supply is interrupted or can’t be relied upon your body can’t heal.  It’s no wonder diabetic patients have such a hard time with wound-healing.  If you get tired after eating a big meal, go long periods of time without eating, or get dizzy/lightheaded when you don’t eat, you probably have a blood sugar issue.  These can be corrected by changing what you eat and what times you eat.

3)    Stress

    Your mind is an excellent servant but a terrible master. Use it correctly and amazing things happen, allow it to run rampant and it will wreak havoc on your health.  Science has shown that cortisol is released when you’re stressed and cortisol is a potent hormone that lowers your immunity and slows healing.  It also affects your blood sugar balance. If someone is over stressed, healing will slow or stop.

4)    Sleep

Deep sleep is the main time when your body recovers from the last day and gets ready for the coming one.  Nutrients are deposited throughout tissues during this time.  Toxins and wastes are primed for excretion in the morning and the majority of major healing happens.  In fact, seventy percent of human growth hormone, the major healing hormone, is released during deep stages of sleep.  Medicated or alcohol-induced sleep fails to let you reach these deeper stages.  If you’re not getting 8-9 hours of quality deep sleep your healing systems are not functioning at 100%

5)  A Dysfunctional Nervous System

The nervous system orchestrates the incredibly complex task of healing.  If the nervous system is not functioning optimally the body has trouble healing at full potential.  There are many ways that the nervous system can be stimulated. Chiropractic, exercise, yoga, breathing exercises, acupuncture, tai chi and chi gong, music, dancing and singing are all practices that stimulate your nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments stimulate and reset a dysfunctioning nervous system in much the same way that you would hit the reset button on a malfunctioning computer. When the nervous system is working you not only heal but also feel better.  This can be similar to how you feel after a good workout.  Your body feels awake and alive.

Weapons of Mass Distraction

In our modern world where American children now spend on average close to 8 hours per day in front of some form media such as TV, video games, computers and cell phones. One can’t help but wonder what these “weapons of mass distraction” are doing to our health and wellness.

In his excellent book, The Blue Zones, Dan Buettner examines the four areas of the world that have the highest density of people living to be 100 years or older. In these cultures he finds common traits that hold true for all of them. One of these traits is the emphasis on maintaining a social circle throughout life. Through this he concludes that if one wants to live a long a fruitful life one needs a strong social support system.  

In fact the Journal of the American Medical Association recently validated this conclusion in a recent study. In this study several hundred volunteers were exposed to a cold virus. The volunteers with the most socially diverse networks were the most disease resistant.

One would think that with the advent of cell phones and social networking sites like Facebook that relationships would be even easier to strengthen and maintain. We can now reach virtually anyone we know instantly 24 hours a day. In many cases however this media has actually robbed us of our communities leaving us more isolated than ever. My Grandpa’s generation spent their evening’s playing cards, roughhousing in the yard with their kids, telling jokes, or going dancing. We now spend our evenings surfing the internet, relentlessly updating Facebook with status updates, or zoning out on TV. We have signed off to reality in favor of reality TV.

Fortunately, technology does have an upside. We have infinite opportunities for forming and strengthening personal relationships. The internet is a great tool for finding activities to do with your family and friends, and if you lack a social circle, the internet has sites to find like minded people to hang out with.  

Michael Bernard Beckwith said, “The only things that are missing in your life are the things that you’re not willing to give to another.” If you feel lonely, reach out to someone who is lonely. If you feel disconnected to your family, turn off the TV and reconnect. The health of our society depends on each one of us working diligently to improve our interconnections and strengthen our social networks. Make sure you do your part.

Healing Tip:

There are several great websites for families to find activities to do and for individuals to make new friends. is a site that holds gatherings such as hikes or get-togethers based on similar interests. I, as well as my sister, Susan, have used this site very successfully when relocating to new areas. is good for finding hikes, restaurants, parks, playgrounds etc. Taking a class at a community college also works like a charm!