As mentioned in my post, Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women I thought I would give you some insight on a first chiropractic visit for a pregnant patient.
To start out, a few reasons/symptoms a pregnant woman might choose to go to a chiropractor; safe, alternative treatments that do not include medications if possible, prepping the body for pregnancy or labor and delivery, unbearable nausea, headaches, nutritional guidance, low back pain, sciatica, round ligament pain, botanicals and supplements for overall well being or fighting an illness, neck and shoulder tightness, stress relief, difficulty sleeping and the list goes on…
So, most of what I explain here is the way our office works, however, each holistic healthcare practitioner will have a different process and methods of treatment, this is just to give you an idea of what is possible. When making an appointment with your holistic practitioner it may be helpful to call ahead with any questions.
During your first visit with your Chiropractor, you will most likely have filled out some paperwork asking about your areas of concern, if you are having any pain and if so describing it, any personal or family health history and how your pregnancy has been going so far. For convenience at our office (and many offices nowadays) you are able to complete and submit the paperwork online while at home to save you time when you come in. This also, allows the doctor to review your concerns and complete any insurance, billing or clerical tasks.
When you arrive for your visit, you will first sit down and chat with the doctor, giving more details about your pain or main reason for visit, discussing nutrition and your overall lifestyle and any other concerns you may have. Next, there will be a physical exam, which will be similar to other doctors’ offices that you have been to. The exam will usually be tailored to your main reason for coming in whether it is because of low back pain, because you want to prep your body for pregnancy with adjustments and exercises or because you are battling morning sickness, stress and fatigue. So, the doctor will take your vitals, assess any body systems involved in your areas of concern, do some orthopedic tests and palpate/feel the muscles, ligaments and joint motions. After the exam, if your Chiropractic Physician believes that treatment will be effective for you, he/she will proceed. Your Chiropractor will give you a report of findings (basically telling you what was found through your history and exam and what your diagnosis is). If the doctor feels that you need to be referred to another healthcare specialist or for diagnostic imaging/lab testing he/she will do so at this point.
So, let’s assume you are good to go on your first chiropractic treatment. For treatment, at our office the Webster Technique is used. “Developed by Larry Webster, this method is a safe means to restore proper pelvic balance and function (1).” To read more about the assessment, treatment and theory behind the Webster Technique click here.
You have had your first Webster treatment (maybe for low back pain, sciatica or just to maintain proper fetal positioning throughout pregnancy), now your doctor may adjust any other areas of pain and discomfort. You may receive some soft tissue massage work prior to your adjustments to alleviate the tightness in your muscles.
If you were interested in making sure your body is ready for labor and delivery, at this time your Chiropractor will give you exercises to strengthen your core and pelvic floor. If you had concerns about diet and nutrition, your doctor may give you a diet diary to track your meals for a few days and then assess your nutritional needs. If you have been feeling more nauseous than usual or fatigued, your Chiropractor may discuss supplementation with you. If you have been feeling overwhelmingly stressed, your doctor may suggest acupuncture and massage therapy as a treatment option. Basically, there are many conditions and many other ways your doctor can address your concerns.
You have completed your first visit. Congratulations on working towards a healthier you. At checkout your doctor will discuss your next visit. Based on your exam findings, diagnosis and treatment plan your next visit may be next month, next week or in a few days. It all depends on the degree of severity of your condition, your progress with treatment, and your effort into helping yourself by following any home care recommendations.
See you next time!
Dr. Neha Shah
Chiropractic Physician | Webster Technique Certified
White Oak Family Wellness | Like us on Facebook!
405 Illinois Ave. Suite 2b
St. Charles, IL 60174
P: 630-442-0057 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our chiropractic office in St. Charles, IL or our
page about chiropractic for expecting moms