Osteopathy and Pregnancy – How Osteopathy plays a role

Osteopathic treatment aims to maximise the body’s ability to change and support you and your baby with minimum pain and discomfort.

Hello mamma to be. A common question asked is “Can Osteopathy help during pregnancy?” – Simply put ‘yes’.

Pregnancy can be exciting and daunting at the same time for the expectant mother, especially first time mums. This is the time when her body goes through a lot of change and accommodation for the growing baby and readiness for the birth.

It’s natural to gain weight as baby grows, especially around the abdomen, waist and sometimes in the upper thighs and in breast tissue too. This extra weight creates a shift in the body’s centre of gravity. There are also subtle changes in body such as hormones which soften the ligaments (relaxin) which add additional pressure on the joints and muscles of spine and pelvis. This contributes to back pain, sciatica, headaches, poor sleep and so forth.

So how does Osteopathy play a role?

Osteopathy skills are ideally suited to encouraging and preparing a woman for those physiological changes mentioned before.

Low back pain and other musculoskeletal pains are prevalent in pregnant woman today. Osteopathy provides a safe and effective way of dealing with these pains, thus allowing a woman to devote her energies to growing and handling the day to day physiological demands of being pregnant.

Each stage of pregnancy places different stresses and strains on the body and Osteopaths are trained to assess and provide treatment to improve mobility and reduce pain.

Your osteopath will take a thorough case history considering your presenting symptoms, general health, previous pregnancy, birth, trauma, injuries and surgeries that may be relevant.

We believe its important to work alongside your GP, midwives, doula and birth attendants to assess and discuss ways in which osteopathy may support you and your baby during pregnancy. Treatment varies with individuals which may include stretching, massage, mobilisation, muscle energy and general osteopathic techniques during your pregnancy.

After birth, the changes in your pelvis and lower back can be helped further by osteopathic treatment by assisting those structures to get back to normal function more easily.

Whilst it is only natural to put your children first, it is important to remember that taking care of your baby also means taking care of yourself.

References

Osteopathy and Obstetrics by Dr Stephen Sandler PhD, DO The Portland Hospital, London 2012 Ansham Ltd