Weight gain, suddenly having to sleep in new positions and an overall loosening of joints and ligaments can cause pain for pregnant women. The labels of most pain relief pills warn women not to take them if they’re pregnant. It’s impossible to know what is and is not safe to take because most pharmaceutical companies avoid testing their products on pregnant women. Medicines cross the placenta and the baby may not be able to handle a drug that is otherwise safe for the mother.

Fortunately, there are many ways to work through the physical kinks that come from carrying a child.

Pain Relief

Massage

Not only does massage relieve achy muscles and sore joints, but it may also help labor go more smoothly and improve the health of the baby by reducing overall anxiety. There are many types of massage available. Most pregnancy discomfort, caused by weight gain, musculoskeletal changes, and changes in hormone levels and blood flow, can be eased with Swedish massage.

The American Pregnancy Association recommends choosing a massage therapist who has been certified in prenatal massage. According to www.fair-news.de/2815349/kailo-pflaster-test-was-bringt-das-schmerzpflaster-wirklich called, “Prenatal massage: Help for your pregnancy aches and pains,” massage therapists who are certified in prenatal massage know where pregnant women are likely to be sore and will adjust their techniques to fit the needs of a pregnant woman’s body.

For example, pregnant women cannot comfortably lie on their stomach or flat on their backs. Prenatal massage therapists will provide a table, or portable pad, with hollow indentations for a pregnant woman’s belly or breasts so she can lie face-down. Women can also receive a massage lying on one side.

Even if pain related to pregnancy isn’t completely eliminated with regular massage, being more relaxed can make it easier to cope.

Acupuncture

According to Cindi Ignatovsky, L.Ac., acupuncture can be used to treat pregnancy and postpartum complaints like back pain and sciatica, nausea, fatigue, heartburn and carpal tunnel syndrome. It can be used to flip a breech baby, naturally induce a labor, and prevent some miscarriages.

It can even be used to manage labor pain. A clinical trial of 496 women who received acupuncture during labor, published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showed a 30% decrease in epidurals compared to women who did not get acupuncture.

Chiropractic

A chiropractor can adjust misaligned joints in the spine and in other areas of the body. Pregnant women have a special need for this type of adjustment because their growing bellies change the deepen the curve of their back, their posture changes, and their pelvis changes.

Keeping the spine aligned during pregnancy not only reduces pain, but it can make it easier to deliver the baby. The pelvis needs to be aligned so that the baby can get into the best possible position for delivery.

Some chiropractors have received special training in treating pregnant women. Designations that reflect this training include DACCP, CACCP, member of the ICPA and Webster Certified (which means they are trained to work with breech presentations).

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