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Study sparks call for drug-free approach to pregnancy care


April 17, 2014
By Canadian Chiropractor staff

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pregnancyApril 17, 2014 – Responding to a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics on acetaminophen use during pregnancy, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) is advocating for low-risk, drug-free alternative, such as chiropractic care, for pain relief particularly among pregnant women.

The JAMA study found that the use of acetaminophen for pain relief
during pregnancy may be associated with a higher risk of hyper kinetic
disorders (HKDs) and ADHD-like behaviors in children. The F4CP says
offering pregnant women low-risk and drug-free alternative, such as
chiropractic care, can relieve pain and improve the health of expectant
mothers and their developing babies.

“Because risks associated
with medications are magnified during pregnancy, experts are advising
expectant mothers to look for non-pharmacological ways to deal with
pain,” said Gerard Clum, D.C. and spokesperson for F4CP, a
not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the
value of chiropractic care.

“Doctors of chiropractic receive a
minimum of seven years of education to clinically evaluate patients and
provide gentle, hands-on manual and instrument care, as well as
nutrition, ergonomics and exercise advice – all fundamental contributors
to a healthy pregnancy and lifestyle.”

 According to the JAMA report, children whose mothers used acetaminophen were:

– 13 percent more likely to show ADHD-like behaviors

– 37 percent more likely to be diagnosed with HKD

– 29 percent more likely to be prescribed ADHD medications

In
a subsequent article in USA Today, experts also advised against
substituting the use of acetaminophen with ibuprofen and other
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), as they may disrupt
fetal development and cause further problems.

“Added stress to
the body, weight gain and postural changes often cause relentless
discomfort for expectant mothers,” said Clum. “Conservative options,
such as chiropractic, can improve structural balance and help with
conditions such as headaches, neck and back pain – all too common during
pregnancy.”

The F4CP urges health-care providers and patients to consider drug-free treatment approaches. 

“As
evidence continues to expose the dangers connected to the use of
acetaminophen and other NSAIDS, especially during pregnancy, it becomes
evident that pharmaceuticals should not be a primary option,” said Clum.
“Natural approaches – such as chiropractic care – should be the first
choice for achieving better health throughout all stages of life,
including pregnancy.”