Osteopathy and Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a unique and powerful experience. Enormous physical, hormonal and emotional changes take place over a relatively short period of time. The body has to adapt to carrying up to 20lb of baby, waters and placenta, which can impose physical strain on all the organs and tissues.
Progesterone causes the ligaments throughout the body to become more lax. The weight distribution of the body also moves to the front (with the baby bump and larger breast). Both these factors lead to an increase in pressure on your joints and stabilising muscles. The body is thence more susceptible to strain and existing issues may be exacerbated.
With this in mind, it is often better to seek help preventively as it is essential for the mother and baby to avoid stress during such an important time of development that pregnancy is.
Common complaints in pregnancy are:
– Symphysis pubis dysfunction
– Low back pain
– Pelvic pain syndrome
– Costal margin (rib) pain
– Carpal tunnel syndrome
– Groin pain
Osteopathic treatment during and after pregnancy can be beneficial in a number of ways:
– Easing some of the physical discomforts of pregnancy.
– Preparing for the demands of labour.
– Helping the mother to recover after birth.
Birth can be traumatic for both mother and baby.
Mother: After giving birth, the body has to recover from pregnancy but also from the effect of delivery. Caring for the newborn baby can be very physically and mentally strainuous. Recovery is thence more difficult to achieve, sometimes contributing to post natal depression.
Osteopathic treatment can help releasing those strains, allowing the mother to return to both physical and mental balance.
Baby: The baby can suffer from long lasting effects from the moulding process during birth. Forceps, Vontouse, Caesarian and normal uncomplicated delivery all can leave the baby with strains of the body and cranium. An osteopathic check up is recommended.
The strains of a complicated labour can cause issues in early months. Not to forget that this will be the first time their body has to process food (milk) and breathe; it is common to find some trouble adjusting.
Common issues include:
– Infantile colic
– Plagiocephaly (flatenning of the head)
– Runny eyes
Osteopathic treatment works gently with the body to ease and help correct physical restrictions and imbalances that can lead to discomfort and altered physiology of your baby.