Blissful Birth: Changing How Women Feel About Pregnancy

SCU students Martha Makonen and Angelica Ortiz

For many women, pregnancy is something to be endured rather than enjoyed. But that’s something SCU students Martha Mekonen and Angelica Ortiz hope they can change after they graduate from SCU’s Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.

The pair plan to open a clinic focused on providing pre- and post-natal chiropractic care for women to help make childbirth a more enjoyable experience.

SCU students Martha Makonen and Angelica Ortiz studying

“Most moms don’t realize what their body does naturally,” says Ortiz. “We want to make the birth experience less scary and more pleasant for mothers, allowing them to bond with their children very early on.”

Chiropractic care can help pregnant women by focusing on correcting the alignment of the pelvis. When it’s misaligned, it may reduce the amount of room available for the baby and make it difficult for the baby to get into position for delivery. It can also affect mom’s ability to have a natural birth.

Chiropractic care also helps pregnant women by ensuring the spine is aligned, too, which helps the body work more effectively, reducing labor and delivery time; providing relief from back, neck or joint pain; and controlling nausea associated with pregnancy.

“The focus is heavily on the mother,” says Mekonen. “We want to help identify where a mom is experiencing imbalances are and work on the muscles to ensure the baby will descend while mom can deliver drug-free and stress-free. The goal is an easier and safer delivery for mom and baby.”

Their idea for practice came when attending a seminar on the Webster Technique, which was developed to restore normal physiological function in mothers and improve comfort throughout the pregnancy.

Martha Makonen and Angelica Ortiz

Mekonen and Ortiz met at SCU’s new student orientation session, brought together by a sweatshirt from the University of California, Riverside. Ortiz approached Mekonen about the shirt from their shared alma mater.

Both graduated from the school’s neuroscience program and struggled to figure out what was next in their careers.

Ortiz grew up near SCU but didn’t consider chiropractic practice until she did a series of internships with healthcare providers. “The chiropractors were the happiest and helped their patients the quickest,” she says. “That inspired me to be a chiropractor.”

Mekonen was introduced to chiropractic care through a conference that showed how neuroscience and chiropractic tied together. She had not been treated by a chiropractor until she got to SCU, but quickly fell in love with the profession.

Mekonen and Ortiz quickly became friends and have supported each other throughout their studies.

“We’ve helped each other grow and prepare for the future by building each other up,” says Ortiz. “And I can’t think of a person I trust more to start a business with after graduation”

Mekonen and Ortiz are also studying to become doulas to further help the women in their care throughout the birth process.

“Women have a natural ability to give life,” says Mekonen. “That’s really powerful.”

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