Chiropractic Pregnancy Pillow: Interview with the Tummy Cradle Team
Kurt Solari and Chris Lane met while earning their doctorates at Northwestern Health Sciences University around the turn of the century. The two became good friends throughout their education, and graduated together as Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) in 2003.
Dr. Lane now manages Tea Chiropractic & Rehab in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, while Dr. Solari services residents (both human and animal) of Missoula, Montana, as a chiropractor at his practice Summit Chiropractic. Despite the distance, the doctors remained good friends and professional collaborators.
As practicing chiropractors, Dr. Lane and Dr. Solari saw patient after patient dealing with persistent back pain during pregnancy. Realizing this was a common problem for expectant mothers, the doctors decided to create a solution — and in 2015, Tummy Cradle was born.
The Tummy Cradle Team and Design
A colleague of Dr. Solari, Dr. Chris Moore joined the Tummy Cradle team to contribute further chiropractic expertise and experience. Dr. Dustin Rising of Gallatin Valley Chiropractic completed the team in 2016, joining as both a practicing chiropractor and an online aficionado.
Boasting a qualified team of four, Tummy Cradle went through several versions and innovations; the second version, for example, featured a new chest opening to avoid pressure on tender breasts. Each version was tested by a variety of pregnant women to make sure the design fit all shapes and sizes. In late 2016, the Tummy Cradle team finalized the patented design, complete with a fuzzy top, a purple color and an affordable price.
Now available for purchase both on our site and on Amazon, Tummy Cradle has helped countless expectant mothers find much-needed relief from lower back pain — but the Tummy Cradle team is determined to help in more ways than one. Our Facebook page features content ranging from informative to entertaining, our Instagram gets women excited to become mothers, and our blog is the best way for the Tummy Cradle team to communicate with Tummy Cradle fans.
In the spirit of helping pregnant women in any way we can, Dr. Solari and Dr. Lane sat down to answer a few of your most burning questions, relating to pregnancy, chiropractics and, of course, Tummy Cradle.
Why do women experience back pain while pregnant?
Dr. Lane: As the stomach grows, there is more front-facing weight on the body, which puts a woman’s center of gravity way over her usual base. Her body is working overtime just to stay upright, compressing the joints at the bottom of the spine.
Additionally, a pregnant body produces the hormone relaxin, which loosens the supportive ligaments in joints so the body can grow in size — this, of course, makes the joints less stable than they were before pregnancy.
All of these factors create an environment prone to lower back pain.
At what stage of pregnancy does back pain start becoming noticeable?
Dr. Lane: It’s different for everyone, of course. Most pregnant women start experiencing back pain in the second trimester, typically between 18 and 20 weeks along. Some women have experienced issues in a previous pregnancy, so they start visiting a chiropractor when they’re not as far along. It all just depends on the individual.
How often would you say you treat pregnant women as a chiropractor?
Dr. Lane: Back pain is a common problem among pregnant women, and I have several pregnant patients coming to me every month.
What did the design process for Tummy Cradle look like?
Dr. Lane: We went through four versions of the Tummy Cradle. The first version only had a hole for the belly and the face — but after we spoke to pregnant women who tested it, we added the chest opening. The early nozzle was difficult to use, so we updated it between versions three and four so pregnant women could blow the Tummy Cradle up without so much effort.
We also tested several sizes and shapes to make it comfortable for a majority of women.
Dr. Solari: We purposefully left out the leg decline in the Tummy Cradle design so pregnant women could assume a more neutral, natural position, with their pelvis at an angle that works best for them. This takes off the most lumbar pressure.
How would you recommend using Tummy Cradle?
Dr. Lane: I wouldn’t recommend it for an extensive period of time, but it’s great for instant relief.
Dr. Solari: Tummy Cradle is great for naps and relaxing. We naturally twist and turn in our sleep — since the Tummy Cradle limits your ability to shift positions, we wouldn’t recommend it as an overnight solution.
What is your recommendation for back pain during pregnancy in addition to Tummy Cradle?
Dr. Solari: Find a chiropractor in your area for a more personal assessment. Some women are uncomfortable with prenatal massage, but it’s often an excellent source of relief, too.