Congratulations! Pregnancy is a very special time for an expecting mother and her unborn child. During pregnancy your body will undergo major changes in a relatively short period of time.
Many women find osteopathic treatment helpful throughout and beyond their pregnancy. It can help with pain reduction, preparation for labour, recovery from the strains of birth and looking after your new baby.
During pregnancy your body undergoes a great amount of change and development to accommodate a growing foetus. The postural changes and increase in weight (up to 20kg) are obvious. Other changes may be more subtle like the effects of the hormone relaxin softening the ligaments throughout the body and the position of the growing baby. This combination can put additional pressure on your joints and the muscles of your spine and pelvis.
If your body adapts well to this increase in size and weight, you will generally experience minimal pain and discomfort. If your body has trouble accommodating these changes, undue strain can be placed on your spine, neck and shoulders causing pain and discomfort.
The most common complaints during pregnancy are:
- Lower back pain
- Pelvic Girdle pain
- Shortness of breath
- Neck, shoulder and upper back pain
- High blood pressure
Research studies have shown that as many as 70% of pregnant women will suffer with low back pain (Mogren & Pohjanen 2005).
So where does osteopathy fit in?
We aim to assist the natural process of pregnancy and birth by aiding the body to adapt and align as the pregnancy progresses.
This is achieved by using safe and efficient techniques, while making sure you, the mother, are comfortable at all times.
During a natural vaginal delivery a range of factors influence the descent of the baby though the pelvis. Trauma to the pelvic bones, coccyx or sacrum at any time in a mother’s life can leave increased tension in muscles and strain within the ligaments and bones of the pelvis. This can limit the ability of these bones to separate and move out of the way during labour, limiting the size of the pelvic outlet. This can interfere with the baby’s passage through the birth canal. Osteopathic treatment can help to align your body so that your pelvis and lower back mechanics are in the best possible position they can be and with as little tension or restriction as possible. Osteopathic treatment will maximise your body’s ability to changes and support you and your baby with minimum pain and discomfort.
Is it safe?
Osteopathy is safe and gentle for both you and your baby. The techniques used during pregnancy are gentle and carefully selected to minimise any risk. Your comfort is always taken into consideration and treatment may be adapted to suit each patient.
Due to the delicate nature of pregnancy during weeks 12 and 16 (risk of miscarriage) treatment is avoided or heavily modified for those weeks.
Depending on the type of labour experience, you could have a wide range of issues postnatally. Your pelvis is vulnerable to lasting strains from the forces involved in labour, particularly after a difficult delivery. During childbirth your pelvis can become distorted to allow the baby’s head to descend. In many cases this distortion corrects itself, but if severe it can remain for many years and disrupt spinal and pelvic mechanics.
It is common for new mums to experience the following pains post-partum:
- Lower back and pelvis
- Pelvic girdle and pubic symphysis pain
- Mid back pain during and after breastfeeding
- Neck pain and headaches
- Wrist pain
Osteopathic care can help to restore and maintain normal pelvic alignment and mobility, therefore taking away any pain and discomfort you may be feeling. If you have unresolved childbirth stresses from labour, these can contribute not only to ongoing back problems, but also to difficulties with menstruation, stress incontinence and bowel problems such as constipation, headaches and more.
After giving birth, your body has to recover from the changes made during pregnancy and from the effects of delivery. It also needs to cope with the demands of having a new baby. Caring for a baby can place enormous strain on your back, during such activities as:
- Breast-feeding or nursing in poor positions
- Lifting car seats especially in and out of the car
- Reaching over the cot
- Carrying a child on one hip
Osteopathic treatment can help with these aches and pains and we also give lots of helpful advice on such things as: in what position to feed your baby, how to carry car seats, correct posture for changing nappies.
Overall postnatal treatment can help with long term preventative care, allowing you to relax and enjoy your new baby.
What to do now ……
If you’ve come to this website looking for help, then don’t in silence suffer any longer.
Contact us immediately on 01462 811006 for a consultation and let’s assess your condition.
At the assessment, we’ll take some details from you and build your case history. We’ll discuss why you’ve come to see us and where you have any aches and pains. Then we’ll examine you with the aim of giving you the appropriate treatment.
This will take a little while to complete, but it’s a necessary part of the ethical guidelines we work to. The guidelines are there to make sure everything is done professionally and to a high standard of patient care. I’m sure you agree that’s a good thing!
If you have any questions about what we do and how we do it, call us on 01462 811006 or use the contact form below – and we’ll be happy to help.