New Research on Chiropractic & Safety During Pregnancy

Research News Staff
New Research on Chiropractic & Safety During Pregnancy

Chiropractic Plays an Important Role in Pregnancy

Recent research reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic on 33 pregnant women provides more evidence on the safety of chiropractic  adjustments to the expectant mother and her developing fetus during pregnancy.

CLICK HERE to review the research

“Research is revealing that chiropractic care can play a crucial role during pregnancy, labor and delivery” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study.

According to the researchers involved in the study the safety of chiropractic care of pregnant women and the unborn fetus is a concern not only among chiropractors but also by other healthcare providers involved in prenatal care.

In regards to safety of chiropractic care for children after they are born the overwhelming evidence is that it is extremely safe. The only adverse events reported are things like muscle stiffness, soreness and stiffness. “These types of complaints after care typically go away quickly and are not the result of injury but changes in muscles and joints as result of the healing process,'' stated McCoy. 

According to McCoy “Besides the lack of adverse events in all this research the chiropractors and the parents both indicated a high rate of improvement with respect to the children’s presenting complaints, in addition to improvements unrelated to the children’s initial reasons for care.”

As pointed out in the paper, chiropractic can play a beneficial role during pregnancy and the birth process in cases where the mother is experiencing some type of obstruction of her pelvis and related musculature that is interfering with the baby’s position or the delivery process.  The goal is for the mother to be checked prior to the time of delivery so that these problems can be corrected beforehand. 

This research study included 33 women who were pregnant and the fetal heart rate (FHR) was monitored while under chiropractic and midwifery care. No adverse events were experienced by the pregnant subjects or their fetuses as indicated by the FHR data. 

The purpose of FHR monitoring is to provide clinicians an accurate and ongoing observation of human fetal physiology. FHR monitoring may have value for detecting fetal distress during pregnancy.  The researchers in this study found that the baseline heart rate decreased with advancing age of the fetus. All FHR monitoring in the study revealed no abnormalities detected. This was the first study exploring the safety of chiropractic care for the pregnant woman and her fetus. The subjects in the study were tested as their pregnancy progressed from the first trimester to the second and from the second to the third trimester without any adverse events to the expectant mother and fetus attributed to chiropractic care.

All of them received chiropractic care throughout their pregnancies.  Other data collected included age, education level, week of gestation, comorbidities, prenatal flowsheets, labor flowsheets, postpartum sheets, transfer information, chief complaint, and vertebral subluxations. 

Out of 216 fetal heart rate monitoring incidences recorded after chiropractic visits their fetal heart rates remained within normal limits which is a positive indicator of safety concurrent with chiropractic care.    

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic
McCoy Press