For many women pregnancy means having to cope with a whole range of symptoms as enormous physical, hormonal and emotional changes take place over a relatively short period of time. Additional pressures are placed on the muscles, ligament and joints of the mother’s body as the developing baby grows.
As the baby grows, the extra weight results in a changed centre of gravity, and posture changes week to week resulting in a variety of aches and pains, which include backache, aching legs and undue fatigue. As the breasts enlarge, pain may occur in the neck and upper back, and may also cause headaches.
As the baby continues to grow, the mother’s posture has to adapt to accommodate the position of the baby as it has less space to move about. If this conflicts with her own postural needs it may cause undue aches and pains. If the mother has any pre-existing back problems or strains in her body it may be more difficult for her to accommodate to these changes, and she may suffer more discomfort as a result.
The ligaments of the whole body soften during pregnancy due to the action of hormones. This allows the bones of the pelvis to separate slightly during delivery to facilitate passage of baby’s head through the pelvis. Unfortunately this softening affects the whole body and makes it more vulnerable to strain during the pregnancy.
Osteopathy can help to relieve the stress and stain on the body both during pregnancy and after birth. Conditions that osteopathy can benefit include:
- Aches and pains
- Back and neck pain
- Headache arising from the neck
- Digestive disturbance
- Circulatory problems
- Muscle spasms and cramps
- Inability to relax
Some common treatments for musculoskeletal aches and pains, such as drugs and exercise are not always suitable for pregnant women. Osteopathy offers a safe and effective way of helping the body to adapt to the enormous physiological and postural changes that take place and easing the stress and strain put on the musculoskeletal system. Gentle techniques are used to ease pain, reduce swelling and help the body to adopt the ideal posture ensuring efficient use of postural muscles. The cranial approach is a particularly gentle way of working with the body’s own natural mechanism for releasing and rebalancing tensions without force.
Osteopathy can help the mother return to normal, physically and emotionally, by releasing strains that may have occurred during the pregnancy and labour, allowing her to relax and enjoy her new baby.
Antenatal and postnatal checks involve an extensive case history that includes an obstetrics history to see if you are suitable for treatment.