My (alternative) Approach to Pregnancy

Dr. Miaken Zeiger | Monday October 12, 2020

We must look through a different lens to build health and vitality at birth.

Pregnant woman lying on chiropractic table being adjusted by Doctor of ChiropracticGrowing up in a chiropractic family has skewed my lens of the average American lifestyle. You see, chiropractic, considered alternative healthcare by most, was traditional healthcare in my home. Going to the doctor meant chiropractic adjustments. Take your medicine meant consuming whole, nutrient dense foods, supplements, and hydrating. And my [insert body part] hurts meant listen to your body, what is it telling you? Not to say we didn’t go to the doctor, just that it was rare and usually a result of significant injury or trauma.

I grew up viewing life as intelligent and organized, where health, vitality and optimal function are the norm. As an adult, I’ve found living a healthy lifestyle is an investment… in time, energy, and money. I have to be a responsible and active participant in my health. Making informed, sometimes uncomfortable choices aren’t always easy, the results hardly ever instant, but so worthwhile in the end.

The journey to health and vitality, is very different than where our culture of immediate gratification and quick fixes have lead us… and a healthy pregnancy, birth and baby requires a departure from the cultural norms. Why? The statistics for maternal and infant mortality rates are dire in this country. According to this article from Vox, “… America’s abysmal maternal death record… [has] increased more than 25% from 2000 … not only was America an outlier among its peers, but giving birth in the US was becoming more dangerous as maternal health was improving around the world.” Infant mortality is no better, Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker reports, “The U.S. infant mortality rate is 71 percent higher than the comparable country average.”

I’m not okay with this… are you?
The current health status of the average American involves a reactive health-care system, options and interventions. Our continued choice to seek out pathology to prevent disease is not working in my opinion. Instead, we need to look through a different lens to build health and vitality by:

  • creating a resilient more adaptable body, brain, immune system over a lifetime
  • committing to starting a new life with vitality at birth

Which leads me to why an alternative approach to pregnancy is necessary.

Our (alternative) approach:
This is our first pregnancy… excited is an understatement! Like any parent, we want what’s best for our child, and understand the limitless potential he/she has, if given the tools at the start (which, by some, is considered pre-conception.) We’ve done our homework, asked questions, surrounded ourselves with a community and resources to support our choices.

Steve and I have elected to work with a midwife, have our baby at home, and do only the necessary testing – including no ultrasounds. We first heard baby’s heartbeat at 30-weeks! My pregnancy care includes regular chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. I’ve reduced my hours at the office to support a healthier work/life balance to better manage stress. I’m watching less TV. Instead, I am engaging in reading and resources to nourish my mind and mindset for what’s to come, both for labor and parenting. Hypnobirthing, Spinning Babies, and Pathways are common words/phrases used around our house.

It is health that is real wealth and not ieces of gold and silver. Mahatma GandhiDid I start here?
No… but our journey has taken me here because I want something different than the American norm.

So, why would I opt for chiropractic during my pregnancy?
Chiropractic during pregnancy assists in normal (healthy) physiological function of both mom and baby. In “A Chiropractic Pregnancy,” Dr. Julie Day, M. Chiro describes the following benefits for mom:

  • Reduces interference to mom’s nervous system, which coordinates all the systems and functions of her body.
  • Creates a state of balance in the pelvic muscles, ligaments and bony structures, thereby preparing the pelvis for an easier pregnancy and birth.
  • Reduces torsion to the woman’s uterus by removing tension on the ligaments that support the uterus.
  • Allows for a safer and easier birth for mom, thereby decreasing the potential for intervention.

And, there are benefits to babies, too! Dr. Julie Day, M. Chiro continues with:

  • Encouraging better baby development by removing interference to mom’s nervous system.
  • Helps to create more room in the uterus for the baby to develop without restrictions to its forming skeletal structures, spine and cranium… thereby allowing the baby room to move into the best possible position for birth.
  • Significantly reduces the possibility of a delayed birth and the resulting birth trauma that can be caused by intervention.

Responsibility:
Taking responsibility for my health and that of my family is my priority. As I enter my last few weeks of pregnancy, I choose to continue to make the choices that support my body and Baby Kunshier’s growth and development. Yes, my chiropractor will be on call during labor, to support the best outcomes. Is this a fool-proof plan? No! Anyone who has experienced pregnancy/birth know the baby is in charge! And… this is life!

Investment:
I am invested in doing what I believe to be most right in uplifting health and well-being… of my body, my child, my community, my practice. To my Zeigler Chiropractic community, thank you for choosing an alternative approach to healthcare, for seeking out health, resiliency and well-being. The investment today, will yield BIG in vitality and longevity tomorrow. And, if you are pregnant or know someone who is… I encourage you to share this message; and send them in to get checked! Love and appreciate you!

In Health,
Dr. Miaken

Pregnancy Resource Library
We are building a resource library to support expecting moms and families.
Check out the Zeigler Chiropractic Pregnancy Resources page on our website!

Sources:
1. Day, Julie, M.Chiro. “A Chiropractic Pregnancy.” Pathways. Issue 48, Winter 2015, pp. 18-20.

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