In our practice we help many women who are suffering aches and pains as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Caring for a new baby can be physically demanding, at a time when the mother’s body is still recovering from the hormonal and postural changes of pregnancy. Mothers need to look after their own health so that they can better cope with this demand.
After giving birth, a woman’s body must recover from both the changes it made during pregnancy and from the effects of delivery. New mothers may suffer from aches and pains, and some can also feel quite traumatised by the whole labour experience. And there’s the whole lack of sleep issue too, of course!
One of the most common causes of back problems after childbirth is caused by a mother’s feet being placed in stirrups during or after delivery. The mother’s pelvis is often pulled out of balance by the passage of the baby, particularly in a difficult labour. If her feet are placed in stirrups for the delivery or for stitching after the baby’s birth, the weight of the legs puts huge leverage through the pelvis at a time when the pelvic ligaments are stretched to their limit and unstable. Unresolved childbirth stresses in a woman’s pelvis can contribute to ongoing back problems, neck pain, general fatigue, and even headaches.
A woman’s body continues to produce pregnancy hormones up to five months after the baby’s birth. This makes the ligaments more flexible, putting them, together with joints and discs of the lower back, under greater pressure. This can make them more prone to injury.
New mums need to take care with activities like carrying and lifting a pram or car seat in and out of the car, reaching over the cot, carrying a child on one hip, and feeding in poor positions. These can all place enormous strain on a mother’s back at a time when it is more injury prone.
Osteopathy can help. Skilfully applied osteopathic treatment can help the mother return to normal, both physically and emotionally, by releasing strains in the back caused by pregnancy and labour. Our osteopaths tailor treatments to meet each woman’s specific needs so will spend time asking questions and gathering detailed information about a woman’s health before, during and after pregnancy.
Our osteopaths also advise new mums on managing their babies without straining their own bodies. They offer advice on exercise to help women return to fitness to be better prepared to care for their babies, as well as providing treatments which may relieve the stresses and strains of pregnancy and labour.