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Osteopathy during Pregnancy

Osteopathy during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very physical experience. The mother has to gradually adapt to carrying up to 20lbs of baby, waters and placenta during the pregnancy, therefore considerable postural changes are necessary to accommodate the increasing size and weight of the uterus. At the same time, hormonal changes cause ligaments all over the body to soften and stretch in preparation for labour.

Any pre-existing back problems or strains from past accidents or trauma may make it more difficult for the body to adapt and result in aches and pains in any part of the body.

Postural difficulties generally increase from around 20 weeks as the uterus becomes heavier and starts to take up more space in the abdomen. This may cause backache, pubic symphysis dysfunction and sciatica, neck ache, headaches, aching legs and fatigue. Pubic symphysis dysfunction is a common complaint during pregnancy which results in a strain in the front of the pelvis where the two pubic bones meet. This joint is held together by ligaments, which soften during the pregnancy. This can lead to a painful stretching or separation of the pubic symphysis.

 

Mothers suffering from pubic symphysis pain will notice pain in the front of their pelvis, getting worse on activity especially walking, getting out of car and rolling over in bed. Osteopathy aims to balance the lower back and pelvis bones, along with muscles and ligaments to reduce the strain on the pubic area.

Gentle Osteopathic Techniques are very beneficial and safe at all stages of pregnancy. Osteopaths check the mother’s pelvis to ensure it is balanced and ready to allow the passage of the baby. Osteopathic treatment to release any restrictions within the pelvis gives the best chance of an easy and un-complicated labour.

Osteopathic treatment can be beneficial in:

  • Easing the physical discomforts of pregnancy by helping the body cope with the increasing weight gain of the baby and fluid.
  • Preparing the body for the demands of labour.
  • Helping recovery afterwards from both the pregnancy and delivery.
  • Helping reduce strain on the spine and pelvis, particularly during the first few weeks after the baby is born due to the unaccustomed lifting and carrying a new baby.

Pregnancy is a unique event for a mother’s body. Enormous physical, chemical and emotional changes take place over a relatively short period of time. Osteopathy can help support a woman’s body to adapt to the physiological changes during this time and allow her enjoy the pregnancy in health.