Fundamentals for a Natural Childbirth Experience


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Chantilly Chiropractic Center


Giving birth is one of the most natural experiences a woman can go through. A woman’s body is not only designed to create a life, but also to deliver naturally. With the right preparation and support, women often feel empowered and deeply satisfied by natural childbirth. If you are planning on having a natural childbirth, use these tips and recommendations as a guide for your prenatal and delivery journey.

Prenatal Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy is an essential part of creating a balance within the pelvis and spine in order to have an optimal delivery. As the fetus develops, weight is projected forward, and the lumbar lordosis is increased, placing extra stress on the intervertebral disks and facet joints. It has also been reported that there is a relationship between back pain throughout pregnancy and a longer duration of the labor and delivery process. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy has shown to decrease birth times, increase healing, as well as puts less stress on both the baby the mother. A retrospective review of statistics reported that first-time moms who seek chiropractic care throughout pregnancy have, on average, a 25% shorter labor time. Women who have had multiple pregnancies have on average, 31% shorter labor times with chiropractic care.

Birth Doula
Birth doulas can be an amazing asset to your birth plan. Not only are they certified delivery “coaches,” some are trained to help with post-partum as well. According to a 2013 Cochrane Database Systematic Review, “continuous support during labor has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants. All women should have support throughout labor and birth.” Research has also shown that women who use a birth doula are: less likely to need Pitocin, less likely to have a cesarean birth, less likely to use pain medication, and more likely to have a positive experience.

Find more information about doulas here.

Birthing Classes
Birthing Classes can be useful to expectant mothers and partners to ease the worry of childbirth. There are a variety of different classes that are taught by hospitals, associations, private organizations, or individuals. Typically classes can be from 1 hour long to a series that occurs over a few months depending on the topic and/or specific birthing techniques. It is highly recommended to take at least one birthing class together (you and your support person) in order to understand the birthing process. Birthing classes can also help you put together your birthing plan as well as discuss possible pain management techniques during delivery that you can practice together at home.

Birthing Classes at Chantilly Chiropractic Center can be found under “Class Opportunities” here.

Learn About Natural Pain Management Techniques
If you are planning a natural childbirth, natural pain management techniques are important to master. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the first stage of labor involves three phases:

1. Early Labor Phase which begins with the onset of labor until the cervix is dilated to 3cm (8-12 hours long)
2. Active Labor Phase continues from 3cm until the cervix is dilated to 7cm (3-5 hours long)
3. Transition Phase in which the cervix is fully dilated to 10cm (2 hours-30minutes long)

During these phases, intensity increases, but it is important to remember the actual “contraction” time does not. Respectively, each contraction will be on average 30-90 seconds long.

During these contractions or throughout your labor, try some these natural pain management techniques:

• Chiropractic adjustments
• Walking
• Create a soothing environment
• Turn off the lights
• Change positions
• Massage with counter pressure
• Visualization
• Embracing, not fighting, the contractions
• Birthing ball/peanut ball
• Massage
• Deep breathing
• Heat
• Music
• Acupuncture
• Warm shower or bath
• Hypnobirthing
• Emotional support

Midwives
Midwives are holistically-trained health professionals who help women during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies. They may deliver babies at birthing centers or at home, but most can also deliver babies at a hospital and have a close relationship with an OB who provides consultation as needed.

Learn more about midwives by visiting the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives here.

Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is a fun and natural way in order to get the body for delivery day. Much like other types of childbirth preparation classes, prenatal yoga uses exercises that encourage stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies. According to the Mayo Clinic, prenatal yoga, hatha yoga, and restorative yoga are the best choices for pregnant women. Be sure to talk to the instructor about your pregnancy before starting any other yoga class.

Prenatal Massage
Prenatal massage is a great way in order for pregnant moms to get the bodies relaxed, increase blood flow, and de-stress. Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.

Learn more about Chantilly Chiropractic’s Massage Therapists here.

Exercise
According to the Journal of Nurse Practitioners, exercise during pregnancy is correlated with a decrease in many common problems of pregnancy. In addition, establishing the habit of exercise in pregnancy may decrease the later life incidences of chronic hypertension and type 2 diabetes in women who are predisposed to these illnesses. Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as you exercise with caution and do not overdo it. The safest activities are swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary cycling, step or elliptical machines, low-impact aerobics, yoga, and light weightlifting. Your chiropractic physician can also go through exercises with you to help decrease pressure off the pelvis and low back especially during the second and third trimester when weight imbalance is increased.

Nutrition
Nutrition is essential throughout all aspects of your pregnancy! Pregnancy is associated with physiological changes that result in increased plasma volume and red blood cells and a decrease in concentrations of circulating nutrient-binding proteins and micronutrients. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reported that women of childbearing age should adopt a lifestyle optimizing health and reducing the risk of birth defects, suboptimal fetal development, and chronic health problems in both mother and child. Lean proteins, appropriate micronutrients and macronutrients, hydration, and proper vitamins are all necessary to support a happy and healthy mom and baby.

Tips for Your Natural Birth on Delivery Day
Once you do hit the delivery room:

• Take it one minute at a time. Remember, contractions are only 30-90 seconds long!
• Visualize a successful birth. Remember that your body was made to give birth. You can do this!
• Limit the number of people in the delivery room. Research has shown that having more people in the birthing room actually slows down labor, which could make it harder to stay medication-free. Pick those who will be part of your support team and leave it at that.
• Use Your Partner for Support. Your partner is your biggest support person. They want you to succeed just as much as you. Look for them for support.

Remember, if you want a “natural birth” you don’t have to go “all natural” to get the benefits. Ask for pain relief if you need it, and don’t get down on yourself if you do. Every labor is different, and C-sections inevitably can happen.

No matter how you deliver, you are strong! Keep your mind set on the prize: your new baby!


Dr. Wellner, Chantilly Chiropractic CenterDr. Wellner, a Chiropractor at Chantilly Chiropractic Center, received her Doctorate of Chiropractic Degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic and is the recipient of the James Buerkle Memorial Award for leadership, service, and commitment to Palmer College and the chiropractic profession. As a physician, she strongly believes in patient education and empowering patients and their families to improve the quality of their lives through a multidisciplinary approach. Dr. Wellner works with local OBGYN offices, general practitioners, orthopedic doctors, neurologists, personal trainers, and other healthcare professionals to administer optimal care to her patients.

For her pediatric patients, Dr. Wellner believes in allowing a child’s natural healing abilities to shine through by using a combination of gentle spinal adjustments and nutritional/lifestyle recommendations. In her quest to educate others about the role of chiropractic in children’s health care, Dr. Wellner hosts classes and lectures in Northern Virginia about the importance of a healthy lifestyle for expectant mothers, babies, and families. Dr. Wellner is also a member of the Unified Virginia Chiropractic Association, American Chiropractic Association, Dulles Chamber of Commerce and an active member of the Dulles Chamber Health and Wellness Committee as well as the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Christina Wellner, please call (703) 378-2698 or email her at [email protected]. Chantilly Chiropractic Center is located at 3910 Centreville Rd., Ste. 202, Chantilly, VA 20151. Connect: Online | Facebook | (703) 378-2698.


References:

Wadsworth, Pamela. “The Benefits of Exercise in Pregnancy.” The Journal for Nurse Practitioners 3.5 (2007): 333-39. Web.
Ladipo, Oladapo A. “Nutrition in Pregnancy: Mineral and Vitamin Supplements 1, 2, 3.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. N.p., 01 July 2000. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
Kolasa, Kathryn. Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy. Vol. 41. N.p.: 305-30. Journal of Nutrition and Education and Behavior. Web.
“What Is a Doula?” DONA International. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
Trueba, Guadalupe et al. “Alternative Strategy to Decrease Cesarean Section: Support by Doulas During Labor.” The Journal of Perinatal Education 9.2 (2000): 8–13. PMC. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
“Promoting Pregnancy Wellness.” American Pregnancy Association. 2017.
“National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM).” National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM). 2017.
“Pregnancy Week By Week.” Mayo Clinic. N.p.,Web. 2017.
Field, Tiffany. “Pregnancy and Labor Massage.” Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology 5.2 (2010): 177–181. PMC. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
Downs, Danielle Symons et al. “Physical Activity and Pregnancy: Past and Present Evidence and Future Recommendations.” Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 83.4 (2012): 485–502. Print.
“Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 2014
“What to Expect.” Whattoexpect. N.p.Web 2017.


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