Pregnancy and Upper Cervical Care

Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Larry Arbeitman’s monthly podcast interview.  You can click the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!

Podcast Interview:

RC: Hello everyone. This is Liz Harvey coming to you from our studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top-quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the U.S. In today’s episode, we are speaking with chiropractor Dr. Larry Arbeitman. Dr. Arbeitman earned a bachelor of science degree in kinesiological science from the University of Maryland at College Park and graduated magna cum laude from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Arbeitman is the founder of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Monmouth located in Marlboro, New Jersey and has overseen more than 150,000 patient visits in nearly 12 years. He has become well respected within the profession and most specifically, the Upper Cervical Specialty. He routinely trains, teaches and lectures nationwide to colleagues, students, and to the general public. He is currently an active board member for the QSM3 Upper Cervical Method.

Today, he will highlight several of his key points from his book, The Gift of Hope: The Path To Healing Through Upper Cervical Care.

Dr. Arbeitman is widely considered to be one of the top chiropractors in the country. He is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.

Today we’re going to talk about a very important topic: Pregnancy and Chiropractic

RC: Hello Dr. Arbeitman. How are you today?

Dr. Larry Arbeitman: I am wonderful and I’m excited to be here to talk about probably the most important topic in chiropractic.

RC: Awesome. Okay, well let’s get started.

Why would a pregnant woman need chiropractic care?

Dr. Larry Arbeitman: You know, we take care of a lot of people in the office and when our patients who are pregnant come in, there’s just a whole other level of importance to the visit because I have always said we are taking care of two people. Pregnancy and chiropractic have always gone well together. For many, many, many years chiropractors have been caring for pregnant women.

The pregnant woman, her body is going through a lot of changes and one of the changes that it goes through is a hormone starts to be produced called relaxin and relaxin does just that. It relaxes the ligaments of the body so that the woman’s pelvis can change position, because one day that baby is coming out. It kind of comes as a double-edged sword because the ligaments are getting looser and the woman’s body is changing and she is going to be putting on more weight; then the body can start to shift out of position easily, become very, very flexible. In fact, many women tell me that their shoe size has gone up since their pregnancy and that is one of the reasons, because the ligaments have stretched. Sometimes they don’t come back after pregnancy to the same exact position. Biomechanically, there’s going to be a lot of changes to the woman’s body and it doesn’t wait until the third trimester. It starts happening very quickly.

From a medical perspective, women can start to develop things like back pain, neck pain, middle back pain. Sciatica is very common in pregnancy. What is wonderful is the midwives and the doulas have been recommending chiropractic care to their patients for many years. We are seeing many OB-GYNs recommending it because, look, if a pregnant woman is in pain, the last thing that anybody wants to do is take any medicine that doesn’t need to be taken. To have a gentle and effective way, and safe way, to help that woman feel a little bit better when she’s making so much sacrifice, that is the ultimate question, to do things naturally.

The adjustments are very safe. The premier point that I am trying to make here, we have many patients in our practice who are pregnant at any given point in time. In fact, I think we just had three babies delivered within the last couple weeks. One of our pregnant patients, Rosemarie, she’s got a way to go. She is not delivering until December; that’s about five months from now, and she has a short cervix. She had to get stitched. She is on bedrest, basically, for the next five months, where she is sedentary and cannot move. If any of us were told to sit for five months, things are going to start to hurt. She is literally allowed to go to the kitchen and go to the bathroom. She had just seen her OB-GYN on Monday, (today is Friday), and she explained all this to him and asked if he would support her going back to the chiropractor, her upper cervical doctor, and he said, “By all means.” And she was back in the office yesterday. This is going to be a pivotal part of her strategy to get through this pregnancy as healthy as she can be. It is safe and it is gentle, especially the upper cervical work that we do.

Now, the other part of this, and we just talked about finding relief from pain or conditions, and I may be answering questions that you were about to ask, Liz, but I’m just going to go here. The other part of this is neurological performance. And that mother’s nervous system is running the growth and development of that baby. It is so important that the mother keeps her nervous system clear of any subluxation, clear of any interference, so we can optimize the growth and development of that baby.

There’s a host of other benefits to getting adjusted during your pregnancy. There are published studies to show that there is decreased back labor, decreased labor time. There are published studies that there is a very effective technique that we can do in our office called the Webster technique of turning a breeched baby. We have seen that very effectively done. The ligaments around the abdomen and the pelvis can create an in-utero constraint, which keeps the baby from turning and that can be released by working on the pelvis and some of the ligaments, the round ligament in the area of the abdomen.

There’s just so many benefits to a young mother or soon-to-be mother and it is just so, so important for that developing baby and that mommy, so we love taking care of these women, we love empowering them. I think chiropractic has a philosophy of empowerment. For many women, they go into fear mode when they find out they are pregnant, as if they have a condition that has almost been medicalized. I think one of the philosophies of the chiropractor is empowerment and reminding the woman that her body is perfect and her body has the ability to make this baby and that is not a medical condition, that is a very natural condition that has been around for a very long time and empowering that woman and getting her that accurate information reduces a lot of the fear. When there is fear, that’s not good. That produces fear hormones and stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, and that’s never good for a pregnancy. We are not trying to replace the OB-GYN. They do what they do and we do what we do, but having a midwife and a doula and a chiropractor can create a very different pregnancy than just worrying what the next ultrasound is going to say.

Is it the weight gain that causes expecting moms to get more back pain?

Dr. Larry Arbeitman: You know, it could be because, look, the big weight gain does not really come until the second half of the pregnancy and definitely the third trimester. It makes sense if the mother’s got a smaller body frame and she’s put on 20 to 30 pounds and now she’s got the weight hanging off the front and it creates what we call a pendulous abdomen and it is causing her lower back to arch more. Of course, that could be putting more pressure onto her lower back, but lots of times we will see the pain come way before that stage and I really do believe it comes back to that hormone relaxin, which relaxes the ligaments, and the pelvis changes position, the body goes out of balance, and again, the chiropractic adjustment is one of the safest, gentlest, and most effective ways of rebalancing that mother’s body so that she can have a relatively pain-free pregnancy.

Can chiropractic help with more than just the back pain of pregnancy?

Dr. Larry Arbeitman: Yeah, I think we spoke to this and just not to repeat myself, but to just go over the highlights. Breech babies, babies that are not turning late in pregnancy, a lot of documented studies in peer reviewed journals do show the effectiveness of the Webster technique on that specific need that a mom may have. What about headaches and migraines? What is the mom going to do? She’s not going to take her migraine medication. There is a very common mid-back pain, not just lower back pain. And then, of course, the health component. Optimizing the function of the nervous system, optimizing the growth and development of that pregnancy, and making sure that there is no subluxation of the body so that the nervous system can function freely.

How safe are chiropractic adjustments for mom and for the baby?

Dr. Larry Arbeitman: Extremely safe, extremely safe, especially with the gentle procedures we do in our office. Look, there are chiropractic techniques that use more force and there are chiropractic techniques that use just light force that sometimes the patients look at us and they go, “That’s it?” Obviously, we are always going to go more towards non-invasive, low-force care for the pregnant mother. The beautiful thing about upper cervical care is there is no twisting, there is no popping, there is no cracking, there is none of that. It’s a very gentle, light, safe, effective adjustment that is done through the upper neck, that influences the entire body frame. Some chiropractors will oftentimes use instruments to do gentle adjustments, but there is no twisting, there is no jarring, and that’s why it is very safe and that’s exactly why I just used that example of a mother who is put on bedrest for five months because she had to be stitched and the OB-GYN gave her the go-ahead to continue with her chiropractic care in our office.

Can chiropractic care help with the positioning of the baby and decrease the overall delivery time?

Dr. Larry Arbeitman: Yeah. The breeched baby, absolutely, lots of documented research in the peer reviewed journals on the effectiveness of the Webster technique. If any young mothers are listening to this, or soon-to-be mothers are listening to this, you can go to It is probably the number one website in our profession on these topics and you can pull up those studies and the information about that specific need. As far as overall delivery time, hard to study that because we can’t study, well what would that mother’s delivery time have been if she was not under chiropractic care because you only deliver once. But there is an anecdotal finding that women are noticing less back labor, shorter delivery times. A lot of women who are under chiropractic care, like my own wife, are planning on a natural childbirth, without intervention, and they want to make sure that their pelvis is positioned properly so that the birth canal is positioned properly so that the baby can come out quickest and easiest with the least amount of back labor. I think chiropractic, especially for the woman who wants to deliver naturally, is a perfect fit.

RC: Well, thank you so much, Dr. Arbeitman. We know you’re extremely busy so I just want to thank you for your time and help today.

Dr. Larry Arbeitman: My pleasure. Thanks for having me here to expand upon this very important topic.

RC: And for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with the doctor, please visit or call (732)617-9355 to schedule an appointment.

Consultations with Dr. Arbeitman are always complimentary. He has never charged anyone to sit down and have a consultation in order to discuss their health needs and whether or not upper cervical care may be right for them.

On behalf of our team, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top-quality content from our country’s leading experts.