Pre/Post Natal Osteopathy

woman2Overview

Osteopathic care during pregnancy helps to relieve or prevent symptoms enabling women to feel pain free, relaxed and energetic. However, pain in pregnancy is common and as many as 50 – 80 per cent of women get back pain at some point during their pregnancy and because of this many people think this situation as normal – but it is not – and it CAN be treated quickly and effectively without harming mother or baby.

The problems often occur if a woman has a pre-existing condition – which does not allow the body to adapt to its new pregnancy posture.

As baby develops, the increase in weight and volume at the front of the body gradually shifts the centre of gravity forward, causing greater strain on the long muscles in your back which need to work harder to keep upright.

The lumbar spine also needs to curve more than normal to adapt to the pregnancy and this adaptation may fail to happen and so symptoms arise. In the thoracic spine in the middle of the back, the curve also increases as your breasts and abdomen become heavier which can cause pain in the shoulders and neck area, especially among women who spend a lot of time sitting at a computer.

Do please download this document which gives advice on Back Pain Exercises, Avoiding Painful Ribs, heartburn and postural advice during Pregnancy. Please also see below for recommended osteopathic treatment plans.

Key Benefits

When there have been previous stresses or strains on a woman’s body prior to pregnancy a woman’s ability to adapt to the extra demands to the pregnancy may be difficult, resulting in a wide variety of symptoms.

During the third trimester, increased levels of the hormone relaxin soften the ligaments and joints, mostly in the pelvis and while this loosening helps prepare the body for labour it also decreases the mother’s overall stability.

Some women also experience pain in the sacroiliac joints at the back of the pelvis, the lower back and pelvis.

If you are getting any of these symptoms do consider a specialist in osteopathy for pregnancy to see whether osteopathy may be suited for your symptoms.

Remedial vs General Health

Osteopathic treatment is both beneficial and safe during all stages of pregnancy.

Each patient is individually assessed and we can provide gentle relief using both cranial and structural osteopathic techniques as well as give advice on exercises and postures specific to your needs.

In addition to your midwife’s advice on breast-feeding posture and latching your osteopath can also give advice to prevent the all too common neck or back pain post-natally.

First Visits Vs Ongoing Treatment (Post Natal Osteopathy)

At 37 to 38 weeks pregnant we would ideally like you to make a special appointment to check the mobility of the pelvis, particularly the movement of the sacrum which has to move a considerable amount during delivery.

A further check-up would preferably made 2-3 weeks post-delivery. Please come sooner if you are in pain. Following the birth we will check whether the pelvis is functioning correctly, and we may also give specific exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor.

Many practising osteopaths are parents too and are all very aware of the struggles and exhaustion that the first few months of parenthood brings and will be sympathetic to your situation.

We will also review feeding posture for the mother and can give tips on sleeping, feeding routines etc. If necessary we can refer you to lactation specialists or identify issues that may require you to visit your doctor or health visitor.

Unfortunately due to extended hours of carrying and feeding both mothers and fathers often experience back pain or neck pain during this time. It is advisable to be treated as soon as possible to prevent a more serious problem developing. We recommend that feeding mothers should have a treatment at least once a month to prevent symptoms arising.