Osteopathy and Pregnancy
Osteopathy is all about helping to restore optimum functioning to the structure of the body so that everything reliant upon that can function at its highest level of health. When you are considering starting a family it can be beneficial to get your structure checked over by an osteopath, especially if you have any pre existing mechanical problems or previous injuries involving your pelvis, hips, spine or shoulder girdle.
Mechanical dysfunction in these areas can influence the health of your reproductive system and also your ability to adapt to the postural changes in pregnancy. Even though osteopathy is not the answer to all problems relating to conception and pregnancy, knowing that your body’s structure is functioning to the best of its ability is a good place to start.
Pregnancy is a unique, life changing experience for all couples and every woman responds differently to the demands placed upon her physically, hormonally and emotionally. Some women sail through pregnancy with little or no discomfort. For others, past pregnancies and traumas may have affected spinal and pelvic mechanics and this combined with the natural softening of the ligaments during pregnancy and the demands of a changing posture, increases the chance of aches and pains.
Common problems that osteopathic treatment can help with include:
- Low back pain
- Hip and knee pain
- Shoulder and elbow pain
- Neck pain and headaches
- Generalised aches and pains
- Digestive problems
- Circulatory problems
Pain in pregnancy can be felt almost anywhere in the body and is usually due to a combination of hormones softening ligaments (causing instability in joints), the mother’s posture and the position of the baby. Osteopathic treatment is a very safe and non invasive method of treatment and helps the mother’s body to adapt to all of these changes and demands. Treatment involves gentle techniques to ease pain, improve circulation and mobility. We can also give you lifestyle and exercise advice and guidance on how to encourage your baby to lie in a good position therefore reducing the stress on both of you in late pregnancy and labour.
Osteopaths recommend that all mothers have a postnatal osteopathic check up following delivery. Physical recovery following labour and childbirth is not always straightforward particularly if the pregnancy or labour was difficult.
Unresolved delivery stresses can place strain on the body causing aches and pains anywhere including the back, neck or strain on the pelvic organs. Rebalancing the pelvis after childbirth is relatively straightforward when treated in the first few weeks and can prevent many problems later on. It can also help the uterus and bladder to realign within the pelvis and improves pelvic floor function.
Adapting to the physical demands of caring for a new baby can further burden a mother’s body when it is continuing to undergo hormonal and physical changes. Repeated daily activities such as prolonged feeding, bending to change nappies, carrying your baby on one side , lifting car seats etc combined often with little sleep can add to the vulnerability at this time. Many women find it difficult to find the time to look after themselves once they have a young child, especially if they already have other children to care for.
We offer special double appointments for Mum and Baby so that we can check you both and address any mechanical strains following pregnancy and birth, or help with any concerns you may have, giving you both the best start to family life.
Father’s often play a huge role with the arrival of a new baby, trying to support everyone, looking after any older siblings, getting disturbed sleep and often helping with night feeds and nappy changes. Most father’s don’t get much time off work and can end up feeling exhausted. Osteopathic treatment can help with generalised aches and pains and father’s often find cranial treatment in particular helps them to relax and de stress.
For more information about osteopathy and pregnancy please call our friendly, professional team on 01225 318180. We look forward to helping you.