It seems obvious that a skilled chiropractor can have a phenomenal impact on pregnancy, labor and birth. Despite this fact, few childbirth educators are talking about chiropractic as a way to ensure a better birth. This, however, is starting to change. I asked Donna Ryan, founder and president of Birth Boot Camp, why she included chiropractic in every 10-week series she and her instructors teach. Her answer is powerful.
“I have seen, literally, dozens of women helped by Webster-certified chiropractors during their pregnancies and labors,” says Ryan. “I have worked as a childbirth educator since 2003, but it wasn’t until I met Kristen Hosaka, D.C., a Webster-certified chiropractor, in 2009, that I really learned about the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period. She has been a regular guest speaker in my childbirth classes ever since! My couples are having more comfortable pregnancies, babies in better positions, and good birth experiences.”
Donna had seen how chiropractic improved the births of hundreds of her students. As she developed her own natural childbirth education curriculum, she included chiropractors as an important part of the birth team.
“When we refer to the birth team, it encompasses the midwife, doula and chiropractor!"
“When I was writing the Birth Boot Camp curriculum, there was never any doubt that chiropractic would be a part of the program,” she says. “When we refer to the birth team, it encompasses the midwife, doula and chiropractor! Couples who take the classes online have the privilege of hearing from Dr. Hosaka and witness her adjusting a pregnant woman. Couples that take live classes will often have the opportunity to hear from a Webster-certified chiropractor when she visits as a guest speaker.”
Getting the chance to meet, talk with, and watch a skilled chiropractor work is a powerful part of Birth Boot Camp classes. Many pregnant women fear chiropractic, especially during pregnancy. Meeting with a doctor of chiropractic and seeing her in action is a powerful teaching technique and is part of the reason the students feel so comfortable seeking chiropractic care. Claire Dodge, another Birth Boot Camp instructor, has also noticed the positive change that chiropractic can bring to her students’ births, both physically and emotionally.
“Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy, by a skilled doctor trained in Webster technique, makes a world of difference in a woman’s experience of pregnancy and birth,” says Dodge. “The common aches and pains of pregnancy are resolved, and the baby is typically able to choose an optimal position for birth. The families in my classes who chose to incorporate chiropractic care into their prenatal care have visibly happier, healthier pregnancies.
"Evidence has shown that women under chiropractic care report easier births, shorter labor times, and lower rates of interventions. I am always happy for families that chose to add in chiropractic care, because it often significantly impacts their pregnancy and birth experience for the better.”
Those who care for birthing women don’t just want them to survive the birth process. We want women and families to have a healthy and enjoyable pregnancy. We want these families to have a glorious and triumphant birth. We want birth to be experienced as it is meant to be: full of joy and power. Chiropractic is an essential part of not just birth, but childbirth education, and it has the ability to change birth as we know it.
Modified excerpt from: The Growing Role of Chiropractic in Childbirth Education by Sarah Clark.
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Dr. Amanda loves empowering women to reach the life they crave through daily habits, hacks and ideas. She continues to practice in Boulder, CO as a holistic chiropractor and health mentor to ladies of all ages.