At Black Hills Birth Boot Camp we are big supporters for chiropractic care in pregnancy, so we recently sat down with Dr. Arielle Loveridge from New Life Chiropractic in Rapid City to learn more about what she does and how chiropractic care can help you.
BHBBC: Tell us a bit about yourself?
Dr. Loveridge: I’ve lived in the Black Hills for most of my life. I went for my undergraduate degree at Black Hills State University and attended Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minneapolis for my Chiropractic training. I enjoy living in the Black Hills and taking hiking and camping adventures with my dog, Molly. I received my first chiropractic adjustment when I was just a few weeks old and have loved getting adjusted ever since!
BHBBC: When did you decide you wanted to become a chiropractor? What were your deciding factors?
Dr. Loveridge: I decided that Chiropractic was the perfect profession for me during the last year of undergrad. I started looking into medical/health professions as I wanted to help people get and stay healthy. I knew that I would need to expand on my education to help people in the way I wanted to. Chiropractic stood out as I thought it suit me. I believe in the power of the body. I think that by taking care of yourself through adjustments, exercising, and having a good diet (chiropractors have substantial hours in nutrition in comparison with most other healthcare providers) that the body can stay free of disease and heal itself when needed.
BHBBC: Tell us about the different philosophies when it comes to chiropractic care.
Dr. Loveridge: Each and every chiropractor has their own individual chiropractic philosophy; however, they are all somewhat based off of the philosophy of the developer of Chiropractic, DD Palmer. According to Palmer, innate intelligence is an individualized portion of universal intelligence. Innate functions of the nervous system can be blocked or impeded by subluxations or slight misalignments of the spinal column resulting in “a mechanical interference with flow of the nerve supply.” This causes tension on the nervous/skeletal system, decreased muscle tone, and eventually disease. Chiropractors can intervene and adjust subluxations, thereby releasing the flow and vibration of innate intelligence. My philosophy as a chiropractor is based off of the above original chiropractic philosophy of DD Palmer. I believe that by receiving chiropractic adjustments and relieving any nervous system interference, the body is free to work properly and can do great things. I also believe in a healthy diet and adequate exercise to complement the adjustment.
BHBBC: At Birth Boot Camp, we recommend seeing a webster-certified chiropractor during pregnancy. Can you explain the webster technique and why certification is important?
Dr. Loveridge: The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic sacral analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/SI joint dysfunction. In doing so, neuro-biomechanical function of the pelvis is facilitated.
Studies show that pregnant women receiving chiropractic care have shorter labors (1/3 shorter on average), more comfortable pregnancies (less back and other pain), decreased back labor, 50% decrease in the need for painkillers during labor, less probability of having a breech or other malpresentation birth.
If you are pregnant, you should see a chiropractor certified in the Webster technique because of the extra training hours spent focusing on the differences between the average adult person and a pregnant women. The ICPA (international chiropractic pediatric association) requires a 2 day course only focusing on the Webster technique. Most ICPA chiropractors gravitate towards the extra training the ICPA offers because of how valuable the information learned is at helping pregnant women and small children. These providers are better suited to adjust the special populations, as they have an interest and investment in these types of patients specifically.
A chiropractor that is certified in the Webster technique and follows it accordingly will not adjust a pregnant woman in a side lying position, referred to as “side posture”. This should be avoided especially during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters as it places unwanted pressure on the abdomen, specifically the round ligaments. The pelvis is less stable during pregnancy, more so towards the end and the twisting done during side posture may stretch and strain muscles and ligaments of the pregnant woman.
A chiropractor that has gone through training to adjust pregnant women will use a specific table that adjusts to fit a pregnant woman’s belly or a pregnancy pillow with a cutout for her belly. This allows for the pregnant woman to lie face down during her adjustments without any pressure on her abdomen.
To find a Chiropractor certified in the Webster technique, go to the ICPA website: http://icpa4kids.org/Find-a-Chiropractor/.
BHBBC: How often should a pregnant woman visit her chiropractor?
Dr. Loveridge: This varies greatly depending on the situation. I have women who come get adjusted who aren’t suffering from any low back pain. In this scenario, I would like that woman to maintain her body’s structure and function while carrying all the additional weight during her pregnancy. Often receiving adjustments once every two weeks throughout pregnancy up until the last month is a good frequency. Once at 36 weeks, I recommend to see mom’s weekly. This is because adjustments aren’t holding in place as well due to the increasing amount of relaxin in her body.
In the situation where the woman has low back pain, I want to see that woman 2-3x/week depending on the severity of their case and how close they are to their due date. I want to fix the problem well before they are at their 36th week. After a week or two or 2-3 adjustments, we will re-evaluate and maybe go to 1x/week, when their low back pain resolves. Low back pain during pregnancy, if not taken care of promptly usually results in them having back labor.
BHBBC: How can chiropractic care improve pregnancy? Labor?
Dr. Loveridge: Chiropractic during pregnancy is so important. Women’s body’s go through huge changes, both to their anatomy/ (structural changes) and physiology (how things work: hormones changes, heart rate). Because of the changes to their anatomy, many women have low back pain, pubic bone pain, rib pain, neck pain, upper back pain, headaches, tingling in hands. The list could go on. The body shifts forward and this puts stress on the joints of the body and muscles tend to tighten. Chiropractic helps the body accommodate these changes, taking the pressure off of the body. Women that receive chiropractic are much more comfortable while pregnant.
Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy also improves labor. I’ve talked about this previously, now I’ll elaborate on how chiropractic helps make these changes. The low back has many nerves that come out of the levels of the spine; these nerves innervate muscles and organs. The nerves innervate the pelvic floor, uterus, abdominal muscles; all which are important to be working properly to deliver a baby. If the nerve flow isn’t working due to misalignment of the spine, then these muscles may not be firing at their best. Another scenario, if the sacrum (the bone at the bottom of the spine that’s triangular) is in the wrong position this limits the space in the pelvic canal for the baby to descend or their ability to be in the correct position. Women whose babies are in the breech position (head up) tend to have problems with their pelvis, specifically the sacrum. Also, when the sacrum is rotated, or turned more to one side, this causes tension on one side of the round ligament and will lead to torsion or twisting of the uterus. The uterus being twisted will cause less space and the baby may not position themselves in a way optimal for birth. Birth providers will usually not deliver a baby in a breech position vaginally.
These reasons are only some of the reasons why all women should receive chiropractic throughout their pregnancy, there are many many more. I cannot stress the importance of chiropractic during this period in a woman’s life!
BHBBC: Do you adjust babies? Why might parents of a newborn consider chiropractic for their baby?
Dr. Loveridge: Yes, I love adjusting babies in my office. Newborns should be checked by a chiropractor as birth is quite traumatic for the spine. Studies show that 95% of newborn babies have spinal subluxations at birth. Infants have very delicate necks and even gentle births may lead to strain on the neck, causing subluxations.
Babies that have subluxations may be extra fussy, have trouble nursing perhaps favoring one side, have constipation, frequently spit-up, and many more. Getting babies spines checked before symptoms begin is proactive and leads to happy babies and moms.
Last week, I adjusted a newborn baby that and had none of the above symptoms. This baby was a happy baby and her mother had no concerns whatsoever, she just wanted to have her baby checked for subluxations. After the baby’s first adjustment, the mom came in a couple days later and exclaimed what a difference she noticed in her baby’s sleeping (taking longer and sounder naps, sleeping for long periods at night.) For both mom and new baby to sleep well through the night, that’s so important!
BHBBC: What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Dr. Loveridge: I love hearing successful birth stories, where mom’s felt great about their labor and birth experience. I also love adjusting pregnant woman, because I know how powerful the adjustment is during this stage in life. Adjusting babies is wonderful. I always hope for my morning in the office to be filled with pregnant women and babies (all stages are so fun!)
BHBBC: Have you ever seen something so remarkable because of chiropractic care, you want to share it with everyone?
Dr. Loveridge: I have so many stories that are all equally great, none of them stand out more than the others. I have seen a patient with bells palsy (facial muscles are paralyzed-patient couldn’t smile or close his eyes) on his third visit, you couldn’t tell that he had Bell’s palsy. I have seen babies with colic be the happiest babies after an adjustment of two. I have seen a pregnant women whose labor wasn’t progressing for over 12 hours, after one adjustment her baby was born a couple hours later. I’m happy to play a part in my patients’ lives and see the difference that an adjustment can make.
BHBBC: For those that have never been adjusted - pregnant or not - what advice do you have?
Dr. Loveridge: Just don’t wait to get adjusted! It’s nothing to fear or dread. It should be painless and feel really good, especially after your first adjustment. You’ll feel better than you knew you could!
BHBBC: How should people go about finding a chiropractor that is a good fit?
Dr. Loveridge: Find one that is able to adapt to suit your needs and preferences. I enjoy seeing all my patients and look forward to their next visit, so of course I’d like them to feel the same way. However, if they don’t feel that “fit” then I would like if they found another chiropractor they did find that with. It’s important to like your chiropractor; I don’t want anyone to feel like it’s just another doctor’s appointment. It should be fun visit, most people really like getting adjusted.
Thank you so much Dr. Loveridge for taking the time to answer some of our questions! If you have questions for Dr. Loveridge or would like to book an appointment with her she can be reached at
New Life Chiropractic
A Chiropractor is a great addition to your pregnancy journey along with childbirth education and a doula! Mallory is now accepting doula clients due March-November. Contact her today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-391-7633 for a free consultation or to reserve your spot on her calendar!
When we decided to start planning for baby number two of course the first questions to come up were “how was Adler going to adjust?” and “how could we ease the transition for him?”. Now I know there are a lot of articles on this topic – I was reading all of them! I will repeat the tried and true methods but add in our experience and how we tailored it for our family.
1: Familiarize With Babies. Adler was about 18 months when we started seriously talking about adding another. Up to that point he had interests in caring for baby dolls and playing house but he didn’t have much at home so we got him a baby doll (2 birds 1 stone plan as we got a baby that also would “go potty” for future potty training) and we also got the care items and stroller. We helped him in the beginning but it didn’t take long for him to involve his baby in all his activities and taking care of her.
2: Read Books. Adler is super drawn to books so any book I could find on new babies/siblings I would grab. He loved learning that way and it would open up questions from him and I would emphasize how the “big brother” would help with new baby and how life was with a baby.
3: Talk About The Baby. We started talking about the “baby in mommy’s tummy” pretty early on… I know this is personal preference and some may choose to wait especially with older children but we knew we wanted to share with Adler right away since he had a lot to learn. We would share pictures and the sound of her heartbeat with him. And towards the end he would feel my tummy for her kicks and talk to her… mainly to say “knock knock!” “come out!” (Knocking motions included) and also sing “rock-a-bye baby” as he would rock my tummy.
4: Videos of Birth Stories. This next one is one that some will choose to forgo but myself being a birth worker was a must… We watched birth story videos together. Yes I would screen them before sharing and there wasn’t any full view births but doing this was even more powerful than reading the books. I kept getting hung up on trying to explain that baby was in my tummy and one day wouldn’t be. I will never forget his excitement seeing when one minute there was no baby and the next there was. He would clap his hands and excitedly say “Baby! Baby! Baby!” in those moments he understood and I of course had happy tears sharing my passion and the amazing event of birth with my son.
5: Complete Big Tasks. Make a list of things to be done before baby and space them accordingly. When we got pregnant Adler was 20 months still in his crib and diapers. We also had to reconfigure our house to make room for all of us on one level. Our first task was potty training right after his 2nd birthday. Now I’m not going to lie.. We got lucky in that department and Adler responded to the 3-day method and has been fully potty trained since then but we didn’t know how it would go before starting so we gave ourselves and him 4 months before baby came. We didn’t intend to night train him… he did that on his own which directly rolled into the next task of moving him to his big boy bed and new room. We had that completed about 2 months before baby came.
6: Shifting Roles. Now the biggest piece to help the transition.. We didn’t want him to feel like the baby stole mom from him and develop resentment. I being a stay at home/work from home mom I have always been the main care provider for him. We knew that our nights would be much different with a baby since I’d be up every 2-3hrs nursing, Kevin was happy to make the deal that at night it was me and baby and him and Adler. Once Adler was in his big boy bed and night trained we slowly transitioned to Kevin being the main night time provider. It was a little hard on Adler and of course there would be (and still are) some hard nights where he just needs mama and I’m happy to give extra cuddles and love. Having all of these transitions done a month before baby came really kept it separate feeling and not a direct reason for completely changing his routine which has set up a great start.
When Amelia was born I was in the hospital for 4 days (twice as long as planned) but Adler had a blast with grandma the whole time! They came and visited a couple times and he loved his sister right off the bat.
We are now 2 months out and Adler still has nothing but love for her, he even is protective of her around others and always makes it known that she’s HIS baby sister. He is such an amazing big brother and is so excited to teach her all the things he knows and share the things he loves with her. To the mamas out there who may be starting to think of baby #2 or are well on your way already, I can tell you it is a love that is so amazing, special and heartwarming.
If you are looking for more resources on preparing your older children for your birth, Donna loves teaching the sibling birth prep class!
Let's be honest. There's a lot written about birth - some good and some not worth wasting your time. So let's just cut to the chase and give you a good solid list of reading material.
The first chapter is about Dr. and Mrs. Sears' births and the contrast between their medicated and unmedicated births and their hospital births compared to their homebirths.
The second chapter is about the history of childbirth in America. This was life changing. I walked away feeling like we have been sold a lot of garbage about the birthing experience through the media and even baby showers. I knew I would have a different experience with my second baby. And I did.
2. There is a law against being a "birth junkie" and not recommending Ina May's Guide to Childbirth! But really, it's a fabulous book. The first half of the book is birth stories. This is so important. Hearing women tell their stories is truly empowering. Knowing labor was hard and exhilarating, as well as coping techniques that helped her through is a must.
The second half of the book is Ina May talking about various aspects of giving birth. For those of you who aren't familiar with Ina May Gaskin, I would describe her as reviving the midwifery profession after a very successful smear campaign against midwives that lasted decades.
(If you ever want to hear about the weekend I chauffeured Ina May around Ft. Worth, corner me at a Black Hills Birth Network meeting and I'll fill you in.)
3. My last birth book I recommend is a little book called Mind Over Labor by Carl Jones, originally published in the 1920s. I had a midwife say to me with my third birth that 90% of labor was in my head and 10% was physical. I've thought a lot about that statement over the years and do believe it's pretty accurate. At least 80/20!
What about all the books with statistics? While that stuff is important in building your birth team, understanding interventions, and knowing the right questions to ask, that is likely not what actually gets you through labor. In addition to taking a Birth Boot Camp class and hiring a Birth Boot Camp Doula, I believe the information in the three books mentioned here will help you achieve an amazing birth.
BHBBC: What type of birth were you hoping for? How did you prepare? Did you take a class?
Tiffany: I was hoping for a natural, unmedicated birth. I took the Black Hills Birth Boot Camp class from Donna Ryan. I tried to prepare by exercising throughout my pregnancy and practicing relaxation.
BHBBC: Tell us a bit about your pregnancy.
Tiffany: This was my 3rd and hardest pregnancy. I had a lot of lower back pain that made it hard to sleep and take care of my 2 older children. I was nauseous the 1st trimester and has heart burn the 3rd trimester.
BHBBC: How did labor begin? How many weeks were you?
Tiffany: Labor began spontaneously at 39 weeks.
BHBBC: What did contractions feel like?
Tiffany: Contractions started out feeling like Braxton-Hicks contractions where my stomach would tighten up. As labor progressed they became more painful and they eventually turned into back labor. The pain in my lower back was very intense and painful. The pain is hard describe. During contractions my lower back felt extremely stiff and like my spine was being squeezed.
BHBBC: What did you do during your labor?
Tiffany: In the beginning I tried to relax by listening to relaxation clips on Youtube. When that wasn't working anymore I walked circles in my living room. It really helped to just walk. Once we got to the hospital I tried to move around a lot. The laboring position that I liked the most was standing and swaying back and forth while leaning over the bed when contractions would come. My husband would rub my lower back and tried to apply counter pressure on my hips and lower back during contractions.
BHBBC: Tell us about your birth team. Did you have a doula?
Tiffany: No doula. My birth team was my husband Brian and the nurse. The nurse was very knowledgeable and helpful during labor.
BHBBC: What did you think about during labor? Was certain imagery helpful? What helped you cope?
Tiffany: It was hard not to focus on the pain. In the beginning of labor I was able to listen to relaxation clips on YouTube that helped me get through the discomfort of contractions. Towards the end of labor I was screaming out in pain, and Brian and the nurse would remind me to groan and make deep noises from my throat. That seemed to help and it helped me focus on groaning instead of the pain. Brian also reminded me that the pain had a purpose and we would be meeting our baby very soon.
BHBBC: How long was your labor? How long did you push?
Tiffany: Labor lasted about 8 hours and I pushed for about 5 minutes.
BHBBC: What will you do different if you have another baby?
Tiffany: Exercise more and be more consistent with practicing relaxation techniques.
BHBBC: What was your favorite thing about birth-day?
Tiffany: Holding my brand new baby!
BHBBC: What advice do you have for expectant parents?
Tiffany: It is very important for the father to be involved in preparing for labor and birth.
A special congratulations to the Farrers on your sweet baby girl!
Donna just started a new Comprehensive 10-week class last week. It's not too late to join. Make up the first class online and get in on the fun. Don't just hope for an amazing birth. Prepare for one!
Having a homebirth? Our 4-week Homebirth Class starts Tuesday, February 5, 2019. To register for either class, email email@example.com.
This blog is written by Mallory and Donna - at Black Hills Birth Boot Camp. Expect birthy topics, parenting triumphs and trials, and community resources and interviews. Have a topic idea you’d like us to address? Drop us a note!