When asked what their dream patient base would look like, Chiropractors often give me two common responses:
1/ Patients that they can truly make a difference to the day to day lives and well-being of.
2/ Patients who value health optimisation, not just short-term quick fixes to a problem. After-all Chiropractic is not just about slapping a plaster on or masking symptoms, it's about helping the body function at it's best, so IT can heal the root of the problem.
With that, there is a growing number of pregnant women seeking help for pregnancy related aches and pains. If your clinic is not well equipped for treating pregnant women, then you may be missing out on making a huge impact on one of the most needing candidate demographics in your local community for Chiropractic care.
In 2015 there were an average of 1,911 babies born every day in the UK(1). ONE-THOUSAND-NINE-HUNDRED-AND-ELEVEN!
We’ve put together what we consider to be six of the top reasons you should consider making it a point to treat more pregnant patients.
1/ 50% of pregnant women experience lower back pain during the course of their pregnancy with one-third struggling with severe debilitating pain. Of these women, 50% will seek help from a health care practitioner(2). Chiropractors are in a fantastic position to reach out and help women in this position.
2/ The reality is many women who are struggling with back and pelvic pain during pregnancy, do not get the necessary care through NHS routes, this is often due to increased waiting times and lack of appointment availability in a timely manner. Take a look at the NHS guideline(3) for pelvic pain during pregnancy; I think you will agree more can and should be done.
3/ Chiropractic care is not just about mechanical relief of pain; it is also about optimal health. Pregnancy is a key time in a woman’s life where they often become ultra conscious of their health and start doing everything possible to ensure that they are giving their growing baby the correct nutrients and more. We as chiropractors are in a great position to help advise and support a more vitalistic lifestyle.
4/ On Tuesday 9 February 2016, health visitors, midwives, paediatricians, GPs, lactation consultants, breastfeeding counsellors, peer supporters, university researchers, professional organisations and charities signed a letter calling for action by the UK Government and National Assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to support mothers to breastfeed. Research conducted in 2015 at the Anglo-European Chiropractic Clinic combined Chiropractic care and midwifery to create a support clinic for breast feeding mums(4). The study showed better breastfeeding outcomes and greater patient satisfaction. The Royal College of Chiropractors have also added a drive to help connect Chiropractors with Midwives across the UK in an attempt to better aid struggling mums with breast feeding. Change is coming and Chiropractors have been proven to be a valuable part of that change.
5/ Pregnancy Chiropractic is a great time to introduce women to paediatric Chiropractic care and educating them about the abundant benefits. Many women begin to fully understand Chiropractic during this time and begin to see the real value in having their little on checked over after birth.
6/ In the same vein as point 5, taking on a new patient during their pregnancy is a great way to establish an ongoing relationship with not just that one patient, but the extended friends and family too. If you do a great job treating a pregnant mum, it is only a matter of time until the dad, mother, mother-in-law, co-workers, postman, friends from NCT and the neighbours dog all hear about it.
Disclaimer: Before any of the poo-poo’ers say it, no we do not recommend or advocate treating pregnant patients without the necessary training and skillset. We highly recommend checking out Steve Williams(5) and Elisabeth Davidson(6) seminars.