Back in July, Dodge Family Chiropractic (Coppell, TX) had the opportunity to sponsor a booth at “Ina May Day,” an event put on by the Tarrant County Birth Network. TCBN brought Ina May Gaskin for a weekend of events, and I jumped at the opportunity to be part of such a great event. Meeting Ina May and so many local birth professionals inspired this blog post. Many people who ask what I do are surprised when I talk about adjusting expecting mothers – if that is you, please read on!
Chiropractic and Midwifery: Dr. Dodge Meets Ina May Gaskin
Chiropractic and Midwifery are two healthcare fields that go hand in hand. They are both built on the idea of the innate power that the human body holds. Both Chiropractors and Midwives believe that there are many innate, or instinctual, processes that the body is capable of without needing help or medical intervention from the outside.
The Midwifery model of care for birth, which supports the idea that women hold an amazing ability to go through pregnancy and birth without medical interventions, was revitalized here in the U.S. by the “Mother of Midwifery,” Ina May Gaskin. Ina May spread the idea that women have the power to give birth naturally and that pregnancy, labor, and delivery are not medical conditions or procedures that needed outside medical intervention through her midwifery work. She brought attention to the fact that women are able to work with their baby innately through what is meant to be a natural, collaborative process for a mother and her baby. Ina May has been an activist for women and has helped to enlighten women about the innate power that they hold within themselves to be able to birth their own baby naturally. That is why is was an honor to meet her this summer when she came to speak in Fort Worth, Texas.
As a Chiropractor, I too believe in the natural and innate power that each person has. It is my job to help enhance the body’s ability to go through innate processes by encouraging a fully functioning nervous system. The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and all of the nerves that go to every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. The nervous system is what controls every function of the body. It is important to have a fully functioning nervous system free from interference so that the body is able to undergo all of the natural and innate processes, including pregnancy and birth.
Chiropractic can play a role in helping women be able to more easily go through pregnancy and the labor and delivery process. Pregnancy can be a very stressful time for the body, and proper functioning of the nervous system is important to decrease any pain during pregnancy as well as enhance the growth and development of the baby. A healthy and balanced spine helps to maintain a fully functioning nervous system, which decreases the stress the body is under as well as the stress on the baby. This allows women to be in less pain and for the baby to develop optimally. Especially later in pregnancy, chiropractors use a technique called Webster technique to help balance the pelvis and uterus in order to allow the baby to be able to obtain an optimal positioning in preparation for birth, namely head down. A head down position is less stressful for the baby and allows them to have more room in the uterus. Chiropractors trained through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) on Webster technique are better able to help a pregnant woman’s body, which helps to alleviate pain and improve whole body function. Research has shown that those women under chiropractic care have shorter, easier labors, as well as less pain during pregnancy over those women who do not receive chiropractic care. Chiropractic care enhances the innate power of a woman’s body and encourages the body to be able to go through the natural process of birth more easily. Therefore chiropractic and midwifery go hand in hand, promoting the innate power of the human body and encouraging pregnant women to allow themselves to go through the natural and innate process of birth. Normal pregnancy is not a medical condition that requires a doctor’s intervention. Women have the power within themselves to go through pregnancy, labor and delivery naturally without medical intervention. Chiropractic helps to enhance the woman’s ability to go through this natural process by establishing a properly functioning nervous system. That is the goal of chiropractic maternity care and the goal of midwifery – to allow the women to accept and encourage the innate power of their own body through what is a beautiful and natural process. Chiropractic is there to enhance the functioning of the woman’s body and balance the woman’s body so that the process is easier and less stressful for the woman and baby.