The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a documented case study on July 13, 2017, recording the case of a woman who had had multiple cesarean births, being able to deliver her baby vaginally after chiropractic care. According to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics, the most recent national statistic show that 32% of all births in the U.S. are delivered by cesarean.
The study begins by noting that a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) can be a real and viable birthing option for most women who have had a previous birth by cesarean section. The authors also list reasons that women would want vaginal births after cesarean. These reasons include; a women’s instinctual desire to experience a vaginal birth, opposition of surgical procedures performed without medical necessity, a safer method for both mom and baby, and faster recovery time for mom.
Vaginal births after cesarean are associated with less illness and better mortality rates for both the mother and baby. Women who choose to have a virginal birth after having cesarean have a success rate of about 70 to 87%, which is close to the same success rate for vaginal births in general.
In this case, a 39-year-old mother of three, who was in her 28th week of pregnancy with her fourth child, went to the chiropractor on the recommendation of her doula. After three previous cesareans, and because she was experiencing back pain, the woman decided to try chiropractic even though she had never experienced chiropractic care before.
The pain in the woman's lower back was localized to her sacro-illiac area in both hips. She noted that the pain would come and go, but would be worse by the end of the day. Additional symptoms included mid-back pain, headaches, numbness and hip pain.
A chiropractic examination was performed that included motion and static palpation, thermography scans, static surface electromyography scans (SEMG), and a posture analysis. The posture analysis showed an unbalanced posture, resulting in undue stress on spinal structures. The thermography and SEMG studies reported positive findings for the presence of subluxation.
Specific chiropractic adjustments were started based upon established protocols for analysis and care of pregnant women under chiropractic care. Regular assessments were performed to monitor the woman's progress. Follow-up scans were performed and showed improvements over the original scans. Additionally, the woman reported a decrease in her lower back pain as chiropractic care continued. After being under care for 9 weeks, the woman gave birth vaginally after three prior cesarean deliveries.
The authors of the study summed up their findings in their conclusion by saying, "This case study shows improvement of symptoms of low back pain in a 39-year-old woman who was pregnant with her fourth child. She was able to have a VBAC3 after 9 weeks under subluxation-based chiropractic care."