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Osteopathy in pregnancy

imgYou’re having a baby? Congratulations! Let us help you enjoy the next nine months in comfort.

Our team of osteopaths has a special interest in helping mums and babies and a wealth of experience in treating pregnant women. Our osteopaths see many expectant mothers who need help with aches and pains. Osteopathy is a safe treatment at all stages of pregnancy and can help many women to feel more comfortable and enjoy those very special nine months more.

Treating each pregnant woman as an individual, our osteopaths will offer advice and develop a tailor-made programme to best suit your needs. They don’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach – everyone’s posture is slightly different and every expectant mother’s body will adapt differently to the structural loading from her growing baby.

In pregnancy considerable postural changes take place in a woman’s body to accommodate the increasing size and weight of her uterus. At the same time hormonal changes cause ligaments all over the body to soften and stretch in preparation for labour. Any pre-existing back problems make it more difficult for a woman’s body to adapt to these changes and may result in aches and pains in any area of the body. A pregnant woman may experience back or neck ache or pain, but also tension headaches, general aches and undue fatigue. Osteopathy can help to ease these symptoms through very gentle and safe manipulation techniques.

Osteopathic treatment can also help to release tension. It can help mothers to relax and enjoy their pregnancy, protecting the health of their growing baby.

The changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy can alter her posture which can cause aches and pains. Here are our five postural tips for pregnant women:

  1. Try to keep as active as possible throughout your pregnancy.
  2. ‘Walk tall’ with your head tilted slightly upwards as if suspended by a string.
  3. Try to hold in your tummy to avoid excessive hollowing of your back.
  4. Avoid sitting slouched in soft chairs. Whenever possible, sit with your bottom well back in the chair and your lower back supported. Better still, sit on a seat that tilts forwards, or use a wedge cushion.
  5. Spend some time each day in an ‘all fours’ position. Avoid standing for long periods and try not to overtire yourself.

After giving birth, a woman’s body must recover from both the changes it made during pregnancy and from the effects of delivery. One of the most common causes of back problems after childbirth is an imbalance in the pelvis. The mother’s pelvis is often pulled out of balance as the baby is delivered, particularly in a difficult labour. In addition, if the mother’s feet were placed in stirrups for the delivery or for stitching after the birth, the weight of her 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 the mother’s pelvis can contribute to ongoing back problems, neck pain, general fatigue, or headaches arising from the neck. Skilfully applied osteopathic treatment can help the mother return to normal, physically and emotionally, by releasing strains in the back from both pregnancy and labour.

If you’re expecting a baby and would like to find out more about how osteopathy could help your body adapt to the changes or get back to normal after the birth, get in touch.

 

Arthritis Action
The Institute of Osteopathy
British Institute of Osteopathy
General Osteopathic Council
British Acupuncture Council
Accredited Voluntary Register