Osteopathy and Pregnancy
How does being pregnant affect a woman’s body?
Throughout pregnancy progressive adaptations occur to allow for the developing child. Ligaments soften, the curves of the spine change and your overall posture is altered. As the baby grows your centre of gravity gradually moves forward. This alters the normal mechanical stress on the body and exaggerates the arching in the lower back. All of these changes increase the pressure on the spinal joints, muscles and ligaments.
Osteopathic treatment supports the body through these changes, especially during the mid to final stages of the pregnancy. An osteopath will aim to maintain the body’s balance by having a positive effect on the circulatory, nervous and lymphatic systems throughout the pregnancy. Treatment by an osteopath is gentle, and non-invasive.
Benefits of Osteopathy during Pregnancy
Osteopathic treatment while pregnant can ease some of the symptoms typically associated with pregnancy which include:
- Aches and pains (back pain, neck and shoulder pain, muscular tension) as a result of extra strain on the spine
- Groin, lower abdominal pain or pubic symphysis pain as a result of extra strain on the pelvis
- Nausea and Heartburn
- Circulatory problems such as swelling in the legs and varicose veins as a result of increased pressure on the abdomen
- Rib and mid back pain leading to breathlessness and difficulty deep breathing
- History of back pain which could affect pregnancy or delivery
At Consultation a thorough case history will be taken including any current symptoms, past medical history and obstetric history. Treatment is different for every patient, but may include techniques such as different types of soft tissue massage, mobilisations and cranial Osteopathy. This will help release tension, stretch muscles, help relieve pain and mobilise your joints.
Once your symptoms improve you may well be offered maintenance treatment to address specific areas of your body and spine that are going to change during the coming months. Osteopathy can help minimise stress and discomfort leading to a more natural and easy pregnancy.
Your Osteopath will:
- Provide advice on breathing techniques, stretches and exercise you can do to maintain your health and wellbeing throughout your pregnancy.
- Help prepare for childbirth, by improving flexibility in the pelvis and abdomen.
- Help ease any aches and pains during pregnancy.
- Help the mother to recover after birth.
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