By Dr. Stanton Hom
Although we have been taking care of expectant patients for a decade in our community, it is still very common for patients to seek our care only when they are in pain.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, Sciatica, Tailbone Pain, among other conditions of pregnancy are very common reasons why patients come see us.
Invariably, pain ‘relief’ is the side effect of a healthy nervous system and a healthy nervous system has optimal structural integrity.
Just this morning (at the time of writing this blog) a new first-time momma came in at the beginning of her 3rd trimester. She was in a car accident a week ago which caused some minor contractions that wrapped around her abdomen. She also has some back pain that she did not have before the accident.
Upon exam, it was very apparent her pelvis and sacrum had significant challenges that would need addressing.
First, posture reveals unleveling. In the simplest form, one hip is higher than the other.
Second, when we checked for mobility of the sacrum there was fixation – meaning the joint cannot move through its optimal range.
Third, when the patient laid face down (with a pregnancy pillow of course), one leg appeared significantly shorter than the other. This is pelvic distortion.
Fourth, we tested the muscles stabilizing the pelvis and we identified that 50% of them were not firing optimally.
Lastly, we did scans on our Insight Subluxation Station to check the nerves which control, regulate, and orchestrate the function throughout the pelvis, sacrum, reproductive organs and surrounding supportive tissues.
In the end, doing this for pain relief is like going to the gas station for coffee. It’s OK, but it’s simply not the point.
And this is only a portion of the analysis we do for our pregnant patients.
The late (and so great) Dr. Jeanne Ohm always taught us to think about the Power, Passageway, and the Passenger.
With our theme of the month being “Ideal Home for Baby”, it is a direct reminder that caring for pregnant patients is so much more than pain management.
It is about the surrounding tissues (round ligament, broad ligaments, core muscles, etc.).
It is about the hormonal ‘broth’ that baby is literally marinating in.
It is about the ability for baby to nuzzle into optimal positioning.
It is about the coordination, robustness and consistency of uterine contractions and cervical dilation.
It is about baby’s accurate perception of the external environment (is mom stuck in sympathetic/fight/flight or can her system relax/rejuvenate/regenerate?)
The list above is a shorthand depiction of what we are looking for when we do our scans and exams.
We want to optimize birth experiences and outcomes and we know those are ALSO a side effect of making an Ideal Home for Baby.