Is Chiropractic Safe During Pregnancy?

This is a question we get asked a lot! We wanted to shed some light on this subject based on a new piece of research that just came out.

There is new research on pregnancy and chiropractic care using fetal heart rate (FHR) monitors.

Pregnant women were monitored through several stages of pregnancy while receiving chiropractic care. The results show there was no change in FHR monitoring during or immediately following a chiropractic visit.

Midwifery and The Preferences for Complementary and Alternative to Medicine Practices

Recent research is finding that women’s’ birthing preferences are changing with an increase in home births, use of birthing centers, the use of midwives instead of OBGYNs.

There is also an increase in the use of complementary and alternative to medicine (CAM) practices.

Common indications for use of these services include; labor induction and augmentation, nausea and vomiting, relaxation, back pain, anemia, mal-presentation, perineal discomfort, postnatal depression and lactation problems.

Midwives support the use CAM because:

  • they believe it is philosophically congruent;
  • it provides safe alternatives to medical interventions;
  • it supports the woman’s autonomy and incorporating CAM can enhance their own professional autonomy.

It can also be useful to offer drug-free alternatives to pain relief during pregnancy and in the post-partum period.

In a recent study examining the quality of life of pregnant women under chiropractic care, it was found that the majority of pregnant women were motivated for wellness care with referrals from their birth provider.

Interestingly they found there were more referrals from midwives than obstetricians.

Data shows that midwives have positive personal and professional clinical experience with chiropractors and are of the opinion that chiropractic is safe for pregnant patients and children.

The collaboration in patient care between midwives and chiropractors is a contemporary shift in health care that focuses:

  • increasingly on wellness,
  • care across the lifespan,
  • patient-centeredness,
  • evidence-based medicine,
  • and the integration of CAM into the suite of healthcare options.

Is Chiropractic Safe During Pregnancy?

Chiropractic has long been a popular choice amongst pregnant women. The research which supports this is limited and emergent.

After working with hundreds of pregnant cases at The Powerhouse, our doctors can see the difference chiropractic care makes to their quality of life as well as the measurable differences in their baseline testing.

In the care of pregnant women, chiropractors are cognizant of the effects of relaxin resulting in joint laxity along with changing structure and biomechanics of the pregnant patient.

At The Powerhouse, we make modifications to how we make corrections, utilizing a variety of corrective inputs. We use pregnancy pillows to support the abdomen, a drop table and adjusting instruments for lower force corrections, as well as hands-on manual care when needed.

Recent research looking at adverse events associated with chiropractic care in the pregnancy and post-partum stages have documented minimal and minor adverse events that is similar to anybody receiving chiropratic care such as increased stiffness or soreness lasting 24 to 48 hours.

This study referenced below provides preliminary evidence on the safety of spinal/pelvic adjustments during pregnancy to the expectant mother and her fetus as monitored with FHR monitoring during regular prenatal appointments.


Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring of 33 Pregnant Women Undergoing Chiropractic & Midwifery Care: A Retrospective Analysis of Outcomes & Review of Literature

Dr Brian Lanoue is a Life By Design Chiropractor, blogger and speaker on achieving extraordinary health. It is Brian’s passion and mission to empower you, your family and your community to live extraordinary lives. Brian co-owns The Powerhouse Chiropractic in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada with his wife Thea.