Osteopathy and Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time when women are more aware than ever of the workings of their body. For many women pregnancy means having to cope with a whole range of symptoms, from back pain to morning sickness. As the baby grows in the womb, its extra weight results in a changed centre of gravity, and posture changes from week to week can lead to a whole host of aches and pains. In addition, as breast weight increases, this also causes changes and pain may occur in the upper back and neck.
As osteopaths we use our skills to relieve the aches and pains caused by weight and posture changes during and after pregnancy
Osteopathic treatment throughout pregnancy is a wonderfully gentle way of helping the body adapt to the changes which are taking place.
The safety of the mother and baby is the osteopath’s first concern. After a thorough assessment, osteopathic treatment may help to relieve the aches and pains caused by growth in size of the baby and the accommodation of the mother to this.
Advice from your osteopath can help you to change your posture and use your body correctly throughout your pregnancy.
Osteopaths can also help to ease other side effects of pregnancy such as pain in the buttock, groin or leg (commonly called sciatica).
Osteopathy can provide relief from:
Low back and leg pain
Neck and shoulder pain
Discomfort around the thorax and indigestion
Carpal tunnel symptoms
Post natal problems of the pelvis
Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy is not new. For many years osteopaths have used their skills to help, employing a variety of gentle techniques to ease supporting muscles and ligaments.
Every pregnancy is ‘special’. Osteopaths focus on the mother as a person and take account of her emotional state and other factors, as well as her physical condition.
Treatment may be supplemented by exercises and other forms of self-help which the osteopath may prescribe for the mother to do at home.
An osteopath can advise on positions in labour to help prevent back problems later. Pain relief techniques can also be shown to the mother and her partner or friend so that they can help during labour.
After delivery it is advised that mother and child return for structural examination, advice and check-ups and, if necessary, further treatment.
Look after your back during pregnancy. Take particular care when lifting and carrying – especially lifting or carrying other children. Do not carry a small child on your hip for any length of time. Ask your osteopath for appropriate exercises.
If you stand for any length of time, keep your bottom ‘tucked in’ to reduce strain on the lower part of your spine.
When sitting, use a cushion for support and don’t sit with your legs crossed. Avoid twisting movements. These may place torsional strain within the pelvis.
Lie on your side in bed, place a pillow under ‘the bump’ to provide support and also put a pillow between your knees to prevent back strain.
If you prefer to lie on your back, place pillows beneath your knees to keep them bent.
Make sure all equipment (changing table, pushchair, pram etc.) is at a comfortable height for you.
Osteopaths are skilled practitioners.
Osteopaths deal with joint pain every day.
Osteopaths can advise on good posture.
Osteopaths may help relieve back and leg pain in pregnancy.
Osteopaths can advise on pain relief during labour.
If you'd like to know more about how we can help during your pregnancy, or discuss a particular problem that you may have then please call Wadsworth Osteopaths now on our 24/7 central booking line: 01482 875004