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How to Prevent Labor Dystocia by Rebecca Nugent


Pregnancy-Back-PainPeople often ask me how to prevent labor dystocia, which is the slowing down, stalling, or stopping of active labor. Dystocia accounts for nearly two-thirds of all c-sections. (And given that our country has a c-section rate of 33%, prevention is definitely worth its weight in gold.) Here are some tips to avoid slowing/stopping labor:


  1. Eat healthy and exercise during pregnancy.Resist the urge to “eat for two.” Eat enough to nourish yourself and the baby, but focus on lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. (The Brewer Pregnancy Diet is a fantastic guide to follow.) Give yourself a break and splurge now and then, but don’t make processed food and sugar your mainstay. Labor is hard, physical work, and you want to prepare your body for the task!


  1. Mentally prepare yourself for what is to come.Know what to expect so that when you are in the throes of labor, you can say, “Ok. This is supposed to be happening and I don’t need to be afraid.” If you are overly-stressed or scared, your body will react by tensing up, which can adversely affect labor progress. So, go to childbirth class. Watch live births on YouTube. Read books. If I could recommend only one book, it would be Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. Have a plan for the stages of labor.


  1. Make sure you and your caregiver are on the same page. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you feel like your caregiver isn’t taking the time with you, go to another practice. If you are in a practice that has a rotation of practitioners and there is one that you don’t trust/feel comfortable/click with, it may be a good idea to switch practices. You don’t need the added stress of wondering who’s going to be on call when the time comes. Remember: The rhythm and tempo of your labor is going to be tied to what is going on with you emotionally and mentally.


  1. Stay at home (or out of the hospital) as long as you can. Here’s an idea: If you are worried about not making it to the hospital on time or you live a bit of a distance away, pick an “on deck” place. Maybe it’s a park nearby the hospital or a mall to walk around in. Then, when you know you’re ready to go, you won’t feel rushed and get there too soon, opening yourself up for possible unnecessary interventions.


  1. Stay out of that bed!Well, maybe not completely or literally. But the more you change positions, move around, and keep upright, the better your chances are for keeping the pelvis in a nice, open position and using gravity to your advantage. If your hospital/birthing center offers tubs, use them. Warm water can be used as a pain reliever and relaxes the tightened muscles, thus often reducing your time in labor. Sometimes dystocia is caused by a mal-positioning of the baby’s head as he makes way through the pelvis. Upright positions and movements can be a big help in adjusting the baby’s rotations and forward progress.

Thank you Rebecca Nugent from Birth Logic for sharing this great article with us! Rebecca is a birth doula and childbirth instructor. To contact or learn more about Rebecca visit her website at www.seattledoula.com.

NW Baby Shower

NW Baby Shower Picture

Seattle Pediatric Chiropractic (SPC) had an amazing time this weekend sharing chiropractic with pregnant moms and their families at the NW Baby Shower in Bellevue, WA! At the event, SPC received several frequently asked questions, Dr. Stephanie decided to address these publicly in this blog!


What does “mobile” chiropractic mean?

Dr. Stephanie: Mobile means I will drive to you and your family, so you don’t have to leave your home or drag your kids to the doctor’s office. My portable chiropractic table and doctor’s bag (including kinesiotape, foam roll, etc.) is all I need. SPC brings affordable and accessible conservative care to the comfort of your own home, checking one more thing off your list of things to do!


Is chiropractic care safe for infants?

Dr. S: Chiropractic care for infants is safe and is a very different adjustment than that of an adult. An infant adjustment is a gentle, sustained pressure used to remove stress from the child’s muscles and joints and align their spine. Infants respond extremely well to this type of care.


At what age should my newborn get checked?

Dr. S: I recommend having newborns checked within the first month of life. Birth can be a very strenuous event on you and the baby.


How many times does my infant have to be seen?

Dr. S: This is always a challenging question to answer but here are my recommendations:

-A newborn should be checked within the first month of life.

-At every very major milestone such as learning to hold their head up, crawling, or walking, your child should be checked.

-When working with a specific musculoskeletal condition more visits and frequency of treatment may be needed.

-The frequency will also vary on the overall health of the child.Many parents have their children checked on a regular schedule to ensure their child is on the road to optimal growth and development.

-Many parents have their children checked on a regular schedule to ensure their child is on the road to optimal growth and development.


Pregnant mom: Will chiropractic help my low back discomfort?

Dr. S:  In most cases pregnant women under chiropractic care obtain great relief from back pain and discomfort. I use Webster Technique, which is a safe, effective and gentle adjustment to align the pelvis. With the pelvis aligned, it allows optimal room for the baby to grow and develop as well as minimize stress on the mother’s lumbopelvic region.


Pregnant mom: How are taping applications beneficial during pregnancy?

Dr. S: Kinesiology taping can be very beneficial during pregnancy for postural support and pain relief. I use Rocktape to complement my soft tissue and musculoskeletal treatments in order to provide additional relief to neck, mid back, and low back pain.

Dr. Stephanie Coleman, DC
 Helping the greater Seattle area achieve optimal health, happiness and wellness.