The Prenatal Wave
A rush of remembering, power, and intelligence.
While the season of life that is adulthood is solidified by rites of passage such as landing the dream job, moving to a new city (or back to the comfort of an old one,) getting a pet who requires just shy of full-time attention (good practice, right?), and perhaps even meeting a person who shows up for you as a companion, a mirror, a life partner, and a permanent pal who accepts you for all that we are and are not…nothing puts the hammer to the nail like realizing that it is time to do something completely and utterly irreversible and binding, like bringing a child into this world.
In today’s fast-paced world with readily available information about quite literally anything at our fingertips, it can be overwhelming to try to understand where exactly to start when it comes to the light topic of pregnancy, birth and, well, how to do it. So we want to make it easy. Well, easier.
With that, we would like to start by reminding you to breathe (yes, you.)
No really, take a breath. Back in the day, men, women, and children lived in tribes. It was not the sole responsibility of two parents to raise a child, let alone a flock of them. There was support from aunts, uncles, cousins, mothers, brothers, sisters, elders, fathers, and maybe even some trusted animal support along the way.
No one did this alone. No one kept quiet the secrets of how men and women alike (yep, man too!) prepared their bodies in the best way possible in order to set themselves up for maximal success in bringing a healthy human into the world.
In the far more common than we discuss chance of miscarriage, there were ceremonies and rituals set in place in order to properly grieve, to recognize, and then to continue on living, which is a huge contrast to today’s world in which miscarriage is not discussed as openly as perhaps it could or even should be.
Aunts and the elders of the tribe were there to support women throughout their pregnancies and their labors—not treating their pregnancies as a pathology, but as an immense show of the force of nature and godliness that lives within each and every one of us.
Back in the day, men, women, and children lived in tribes. It was not the sole responsibility of two parents to raise a child, let alone a flock of them. There was support from aunts, uncles, cousins, mothers, brothers, sisters, elders, fathers, and maybe even some trusted animal support along the way.
As chiropractors, we refer to that as innate intelligence. This innate intelligence refers to the body’s capacity to heal and to work for us always 100% and never anything less. There is no better show of this than during pregnancy and birth.
Have you thought about that recently?
The fact that you started as two very tiny, minuscule, cells, and have, by some miracle, grown into the beautiful, radiant, impactful, and contributing human that you are today? Take that in for a moment.
In a prenatal chiropractic studio or office, we like to hold this very concept at the forefront of all that we do.
We want to remind you that your body is intelligent.
That your body knows exactly what to do. That you don’t have to remind your body that at five weeks it is time to grow the placenta or that at week 27 it is time to develop baby’s sense of smell. That your body is designed for this, no matter how trusting (or not) your Western-trained OBGYN is in that concept.
When we can move through these prenatal moments with that as the foundation, we are allowing our body to be the best home it can be for baby to grow and develop over the next 40 weeks.
Sure, we hear everywhere that we need to have a positive mindset, that we need to reduce stress levels of all sorts (oh no, not my HIIT classes), and so on. But how does one actually do that? Life cannot just stop because there is a human growing within. We must continue on, do the dance of crossing off, only to add more to the to-do list, until we literally can do any more.
Prenatal chiropractors like to approach this from the standpoint of the nervous system.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll recall that our nervous system controls everything in our entire body, not to mention the very perception of our entire world. Our nervous system is what’s letting us know that baby is sitting a little too close to that stomach for our liking, instigating some reflux. It is what’s letting us know that it is time to push, that this baby is ready to make an appearance earth side, like yesterday.
Our nervous system also perceives our stress and regulates just how we adapt to it. So, while we cannot take away the stressors of life, as chiropractors, we can help you adapt to them a bit more, gently, let’s say.
We want to remind you that your body is intelligent. That your body knows exactly what to do. That you don’t have to remind your body that at five weeks it is time to grow the placenta or that at week 27 it is time to develop baby’s sense of smell. That your body is designed for this, no matter how trusting (or not) your Western-trained OBGYN is in that
When we get adjusted, we are able to relinquish a build up of “shtuff” that has gotten stored in our bodies over the years of “human-ing.” It’s inevitable. We are bound to pick up some things along our journey through this life that linger in tiny (or big) places in our bodies, disrupting the flow by which our brains and bodies can communicate with one another. These lingering bits may show up in the bodies of our quickly adapting and growing new mamas as sciatica, round ligament pain, tailbone discomfort, and even “oh so common” morning sickness.
As we restore the brain-body connection by way of the nervous system, we can allow for greater harmony to exist within. At our chiropractic studio, we have a saying we like to share with our mamas: Harmony in the body allows for harmony in the mind.
We strive to create more harmony in the nervous system, which allows for a more peaceful experience internally.
This peaceful internal experience allows for decreased cortisol, norepinephrine, and other stress hormones that are beneficial in small bursts, but not when sustained for the duration of a pregnancy.
While we can help create a more harmonious state within mama, chemically, mentally, and emotionally, we of course cannot forget the physical harmony that is oh so critical for the end goal of birthing, as gently as possible, a vital baby.
As prenatal chiropractors, we want to focus on creating physical harmony in the pelvis. We utilize an approach called the Webster Technique, an approach that strives to balance a couple of the key pelvic players: The sacrum, the Sacrotuberous ligaments, and the Round ligaments. As more balance is created in the body, we create more space for baby to grow and move freely about, which, in turn, creates more space for mom to feel like her body is still, at least partially, her own.
As more space is created within the encapsulation that is mama, our baby can then move into a more optimal birthing position—ideally head down and on the left side of the belly. While chiropractors do not turn breech babies, the beautiful act of creating more space for them to simply be, allows for many babies to turn on their own time—and typically just in time for birth.
What is really cool is research has shown that women who receive prenatal care using the Webster Technique have experienced markedly shorter labor times and experience decreased pain intensity during labor.
Sign me up!
So yes, of course, as chiropractors, there is a heavy emphasis on physical balance and harmony in the body during these experiential and formative months of the prenatal period.
But ultimately, what matters most is that baby’s home for the first nine months of life is a safe, nourishing, and calming place to be in—physically, mentally, emotionally, chemically, and spiritually.
As a pediatric and prenatal chiropractor, it has been incredible to witness the real life result of mom and baby living synergistically for nine months. When mom takes great care of herself in all of the ways mentioned above, baby comes into this world with a much greater bandwidth to show up in the fullest expression of who they are in their earliest moments of arrival and beyond. There is no greater gift than to see our prenatal clients birth healthful children who are expressing nothing but life.
And if you didn’t undergo prenatal chiropractic care from the beginning and you are just now reading this, don’t worry, it is never too late to start and experience the benefit of care.
In summation, inviting a prenatal chiropractor to join you on your pre- and post-natal journey can be an absolute game changer. While we may not live in the tribal communities of yesteryear, we hope that we can be chunk’t of the next best thing. We hope to occupy a space in communities in which that knowledge and wisdom can resurface and can spread like wildfire, serving as a reminder that you absolutely CAN do this. You’ve always been able to. Let us just help you remember.