Osteopathy and Pregnancy

treatment--of-pregnant-womanA mother’s body undergoes enormous changes during pregnancy.  Osteopathic treatment can help it to accommodate these changes. As the baby grows, the mother’s centre of gravity moves and her posture adapts accordingly.  This can lead to back pain, neck pain, sciatica, unstable sacro-iliac joints and pubic symphysis dysfunction. Osteopathy can help relieve tight muscles, misaligned joints and improve drainage from the lower limb.  Maintaining the body in balance allows the baby maximum room to sit comfortably within the womb.  This lowers the risk of an abnormal lie (eg back to back or breech), or the baby being crowded in one position thereby leading to plagiocephaly (misshapen head). iStock_000004849833XSmallKeeping the thoracic cage (rib cage) flexible and free of restrictions allows room for the baby to grow without putting undue pressure on the mother’s abdominal organs.  This can help with relief of reflux and rib pain.  Treatment also offers relief for morning sickness. If the body and pelvis are well aligned the journey down the birth canal is much easier for the baby. If the mother’s pelvis is unstable or lacking mobility the baby’s delivery may be unnecessarily difficult.  Good alignment aids normal hormonal and neurological feedback which in turn supports normal uterine contractions. Regular osteopathic treatment during pregnancy helps prepare your body for giving birth and can also reduce the risk of complications.

Is it safe to have osteopathic treatment during pregnancy?

Yes.  Because we take a full case history, and know what techniques are contraindicated for any specific case, the risks are minimized. Our treatment of pregnant mothers is always gentle and supportive.  The comfort of the mother and safety of the baby are always assured.

Should I have treatment after I have given birth?

Yes.  Ensuring the body is well aligned after birth helps promote return to normal posture and function. Osteopathic treatment can help the uterus return to its normal position, ensure the pelvis and spine are mobile and stable (this may require low back, abdominal and pelvic floor exercises) and the spinal dural membranes are moving freely.  This is important especially if an epidural was administered. Treatment can help with back pain caused by breastfeeding.  It is also beneficial in treating mastitis and in helping recovery from a Caesarian.