NUTRITIONAL COUNSELING

Our goal is to empower individuals with the knowledge to achieve excellent health, including the development and implementation of healthy habits, creating time in your busy life for self-care, and finding solutions to individual challenges in optimizing health.

Nutritional Counseling can offer support in how to cook and eat whole foods, grocery shopping guidelines, personal care products affecting biochemistry, and making incremental changes in lifestyle in order to support happiness and self-actualization.

Before Pregnancy

To support a healthy pregnancy, it makes sense to create a healthy internal environment first - chemically, emotionally, neurologically, biomechanically. 



Whether struggling with infertility or simply considering the possibility of becoming pregnant, chiropractic care is essential. 



  • A more regular menstrual cycle and optimum uterine function

  • Prepares the body to be strong, supple and balanced as possible to carry the pregnancy

  • Restoring proper nerve supply to reproductive organs has helped many couples who thought they were infertile

 

Often, injuries from earlier in life result in restricted joint function. The spine surrounds & protects the spinal cord, with nerves exiting between every joint in the spine. Aberrant spinal joint motion causes interference with the transmission of information through your nerves to your body parts. Restoring full mobility to the spine is an excellent thing to do for your general health, and in particular, to prepare your body for birth. Depending on individual history, especially of injuries, this process can take varying amounts of time – so the sooner you get your spine checked and functioning properly at every level, the better.

Prenatal Care

During the first trimester of pregnancy, a developing zygote must implant, differentiate, and start to form all the systems of our bodies. These are very critical stages. Having proper nutrition is essential. Mostly this is a factor of good eating, but mom’s body needs to make some of the nutrients too, so her body needs to be working well. Sometimes people worry about shock to the body interfering with implantation, even making them afraid of chiropractic care. The uterus is very well protected within the bony pelvis, and most of the concerns about shock are unwarranted. Extreme shock, such as falling down stairs, of course is still a concern. But it is a concern for mom’s neck and knees and wrists just as well as for the baby. Chiropractic techniques vary widely, and we use adjusting techniques tailored specifically for pregnant women. Assuming that your spine is generally healthy, chiropractic care is recommended at 2 to 4 week intervals

During the second trimester, weight gain starts as the fetus begins to grow, as well as other changes in mom’s body. Elastin and relaxin hormones soften ligaments throughout the body, causing the spine to function differently: there are slight postural changes in the spine, as well as loosening of the ligaments. This makes it easier for spinal joints to get stuck, and potentially irritating the surrounding nerves. In general, the second trimester is a very stable & enjoyable part of pregnancy, and it’s easy just to coast along for the ride – but it’s important to remember that the delivery process is very physically demanding. This is the best time of pregnancy to exercise to build muscle strength, especially core strength, which will be needed to deliver your baby. Chiropractic care is generally recommended the same as for the first trimester (every 2-4 weeks) and may increase in frequency to every 2 weeks as mom’s body grows.


During the third trimester, progressive weight gain amplifies stress on the spine: there is a distinct forward pull on the spine, both directly through the uterine ligaments into the low back, and through the abdominal wall pulling down & forward on the ribcage. These stresses tend to cause spinal joint rigidity in the low back & pelvis, between the shoulders, and in the neck. In addition to chiropractic care and exercise, it is useful to take periodic rests (either laying flat on the floor, or on a slant board to reverse some of the fluid pressures, allowing gravity to draw the uterus up and allow lymph drainage from the lower torso & legs). During the final month of pregnancy, the stresses on the body – especially spinal joints – are at their maximum. Chiropractic care is generally recommended once a week.

Labor + Delivery

This is the marathon in a day. It requires peak performance of your physical body: specifically a now large, muscular organ must contract in peristaltic-type waves from the top, as well as retract muscle fibers from the cervix to open the passage to the birth canal.

 

While this process is occurring, large and unusual forces can impinge on spinal structures (especially the low back & pelvis) and interfere with nerves. Nerve interference can cause discoordinate uterine actions, failure to progress, and pain (in the spine, in the uterus, and in fatiguing muscles because the process is stalled). Chiropractic can be very useful in preventing & alleviating pinched nerves during this arduous process.



  • 24% reduction in labor time for the first pregnancy

  • 39% reduction in labor time for the 2nd & 3rd pregnancies

  • Significantly less likelihood of back labor (contractions & sharp pain felt in the lower back during labor)

  • Significantly reduced use of epidurals, forceps, vacuum extraction, episiotomies & Cesarean sections

Failure to dilate: muscle spasm of the cervix can be a consequence of spinal nerve interference.


Discoordinate uterine contractions can be secondary to spinal nerve interference as well.

Postpartum Care

At this point, a woman's body has undergone massive mechanical and hormonal changes over the last 8-10 months, and will take some time to recover. Chiropractic care can play a significant role in facilitating an easier transition.

Many of the challenges women experience as repeated during subsequent pregnancies can be mitigated or avoided by addressing imbalances created during the stress of pregnancy, and in the "fourth trimester" (3 months postpartum) there is a window of potential where retraining the body and brain is much easier because the whole system is still in flux.

The strain on a woman's body during pregnancy as well as labor and delivery can also sustain a chronically elevated fight-or-flight response in the brain, which adds on top of sleep deprivation and other demands of new motherhood - all of which can predispose new mamas to postpartum depression, difficulties with sleep, focus, and bonding.

Gentle, specific chiropractic care plays a vital role in restoring normal body mechanics to not only improve comfort with the transition back to a non-pregnant body but also with healthy brain function.

Webster Technique​

The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic adjustment for pregnant mothers. Working to correct sacral subluxations, this technique balances pelvic biomechanics, easing intrauterine constraint and allowing the baby to get into the best position for birth. Because of its ability to facilitate easier, safer deliveries for both the mother and baby, many birth care providers are actively seeking Doctors of Chiropractic with the skills in this technique.



The Webster Technique analysis is part of all regular prenatal care in our office.

Research

Recent research has revealed several profound benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy, including:


  • more comfortable pregnancy & delivery
     

  • 50% reduced need for analgesics (pain medication)
     

  • 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy
     

  • Alleviates the numbness & tingling of pinched nerves
     

  • Reduced likelihood of postpartum depression
     

  • Balanced biomechanics relieve intrauterine constraint* on the baby, allowing optimal development

 

​For more information on these research findings, please visit icpa4kids.org

* Intrauterine constraint for as little as a few weeks can inhibit fetal growth and development.

Preventing Interventions​

All obstetrical interventions increase the risk of subsequent & more serious procedures. For example, with any intervention (pitocin, epidural anaesthesia, etc), the risk of mechanical delivery (the use of forceps and vacuum extraction) and surgical delivery (c-section) multiplies substantially. These unnatural modes of delivery are risky and traumatic to both mom & baby. Proper prenatal chiropractic care, however, is a valuable tool to decrease the reliance on these invasive delivery procedures.

Medically classified birth trauma is when the baby has fractured clavicle & humeral bones, overt neuromuscular damage such as Erb’s and Bell’s palsy, or severe spinal cord injury. Chiropractic classification of birth trauma is much more specific and distinct. Evidence of birth trauma is when the baby has misalignments to his or her spine affecting nerve system function.

These less obvious traumas can be detected by Doctors of Chiropractic as soon as a child is born. The unique expertise of chiropractors can detect and correct these misalignments with gentle adjustments to the baby’s cranium & spine. When parents understand the importance of nerve system function and the potential trauma of birth, they recognize the importance of having their infants checked immediately after birth.

Changes During Pregnancy

During this time, mom’s body is experiencing rapid changes & adaptations. As a mother’s weight increases, her center of gravity shifts outward and her postural compensations  respond accordingly. In addition, the ligament laxity necessary for birthing adds to instability in all of her joints, including her spine and pelvis.

“The potential for damage in pregnancy and the postpartum period to a woman’s neuro-musculoskeletal structure is great,” Varney’s Midwifery warns. “Shifts in the center of gravity forward & slightly up destabilize her posture and realign the carriage of weights  and forces through her joints, predisposing nerves, muscles, bones, and connective tissues to damage. Increased levels of relaxin & elastin further aggravate this situation.”

These hormonal & structural changes can lead to spinal & pelvic misalignment and the lower back pain many women experience during pregnancy. Lower back pain, in and of itself, is a burden to a woman’s daily function and quality of life.

 

However, the misalignment of the spine & pelvis have a far more crucial consequence to a mother and her developing baby. In chiropractic, these misalignments are called subluxations. These insidious blockages cause stress overload to the mother’s nervous system, potentially impairing any of her vital systems and organs. Gray’s Anatomy textbook tells us that the nervous system is the most complicated and highly organized system of the human body. It is responsible for the coordination of all body function, and our ability to adapt to the environment. The spine houses and protects the nerve system.

Our Pregnancy Care Plan

In order to fully support expectant mothers, we offer a special Pregnancy Care Package that will allow for consistent care throughout pregnancy, maximizing the benefits to both mom and baby.

 

This care plan includes the following benefits:

 

  • Regular chiropractic checkups for the duration of the pregnancy, including brief exams, monitoring and chiropractic care
     

  • Lifestyle counseling to facilitate optimum fetal development, including nutritional and neurological considerations
     

  • Exercise instruction to support a comfortable pregnancy as well as prepare mom's body for the delivery process
     

  • Support in creating a Birth Plan, including information about a myriad of variables involved in labor & delivery, resources for further research and allied practitioners for your Birth Team
     

  • Interface with your Birth Team to collectively provide the best support for pregnancy & delivery
     

  • On-call status around your Estimated Due Date: your doctor will be available for consultation and to attend the birth if there is any difficulty during labor & delivery, or for general support.*
     

  • Chiropractic adjustments can frequently address issues such as failure to dilate, severe labor pain, discoordinate uterine contractions or any number of lesser concerns. This can and should be tried before pursuing more serious medical interventions.
     

  • Home visits within 24-48 hours of delivery and one week post-partum: includes checkups for both mom and baby to ensure neurological balance and help you both thrive
     

  • Continued care in our office for one month post-partum to ease the physical transition & recovery (includes chiropractic care, nutritional and exercise consultation and any other foundational health considerations necessary)
     

  • A review examination will be performed at one month post-partum, marking the end of Pregnancy Care.

 

* This care plan includes birth attendance for up to 2 hours; more complicated cases will be billed for additional services.

We are dedicated to helping families during this incredible journey.

 

If you or someone you know is pregnant or trying to conceive, please share this information, check our events calendar for upcoming lectures, and refer her to our office for a complimentary consultation.

CONTACT

1355 NW 13th Ave

Portland OR 97209

​​

t: 503.395.4517

e: ​support@chrysalispdx.com

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