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Research on chiropractic for pregnant women

NZ Researchers Investige How Chiropractic Can Make Labour Less of An Ordeal for Pregnant Women

Post doctoral research fellow at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Dr. Jenny Kruger and Research Director, Dr. Heidi Haavik-Taylor, have commenced research into how chiropractic care can make giving birth an easier, safer experience for pregnant women.

The study, launched last month, will specifically look at how chiropractic care may influence pelvic floor muscle function in healthy women, before and after childbirth, and in women suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.

‘We are working with a number of pregnant women here in New Zealand and the University of Australia in Sydney, which is also involved in the study, is testing hundreds, of woman’ explains Dr. Kruger. ‘We are using state of the art, 4D ultrasound to visualise the pelvic floor of women, pre and post chiropractic adjustments. We want to see whether spinal adjustments can alter the way the pelvic floor works.’

‘We are learning more and more as we go along,’ adds Dr. Kruger. ‘Our ultimate aim is to reduce the number of women suffering from prolapse after giving birth. We would like to be able to identify those that are at a greater risk before they even go into labour. That way, their health professionals can work with them before birth and take special precautions once they are in hospital, to give them the best chance of having a safe, trouble free birth.’

Dr. Simon Kelly, spokesman for the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association, fully endorses the research and hopes that the results will mean health professionals are able to offer pregnant women, especially those at risk of prolapse, a greater level of preventative care and support.

‘At the moment, we are still restricted in what we can offer pregnant women, as far as identifying certain risk areas goes,’ says Dr. Simon Kelly. ‘Research like that being undertaken by Dr. Jenny Kruger and Dr. Heidi Haavik-Taylor is a small step but a big advance on what was being done ten years ago. There have been a number of theories about chiropractic care strengthening the core muscles and pelvic floor, helping women prepare for the physical exertion of labour and recovery afterwards, but limited research due to funding. I’m looking forward to seeing the results and hopefully using them to help New Zealand women prepare for birth and avoid any potential problems.’

Results of the current research are anticipated to be published in 2011.


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