Pregnancy should be a healthy time. It is a process that we usually want to embrace and enjoy. Pregnancy care and good health in pregnancy involves physical and emotional aspects such as eating and sleeping well, achieving a balance of rest and activity, coping with emotional and physical tensions and spending quality time with loved ones.
There are many hormonal, fluid and mechanical changes that occur during pregnancy. This is to allow for an expanding uterus and the subsequent growth and wellbeing of your baby. All your bodily systems undergo changes during pregnancy including the musculoskeletal system. The hormonal changes cause the ligaments and muscles in your pelvis, lower back and hip to soften so they are more fluid and more easily stretched. It is common for women to get lower back pain in pregnancy as a consequence of this and also to the postural adaptations that occur as the baby expands more in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. It is also common for women to get neck, shoulder and upper back pain due to postural changes and growing breast tissue.
Osteopathic treatment for pregnancy care is very gentle and need not be used just when you have discomfort. Osteopathy for pregnancy care can help prevent a variety of aches and pains and can reduce the risk of developing more serious biomechanical problems for example sciatic pain, pubis symphysis dysfunction or sacroiliac pain. Osteopathic pregnancy care allows the body to adapt more easily to the pregnancy, placing less stress and strain to the muscles and ligaments of the back and pelvis.
Osteopathic pregnancy care also considers the ligaments that support the uterus. By helping to relieve the tension placed on these supporting ligaments, even expansion of the uterus is promoted. This can help optimal foetal positioning and can help you to progress to a more comfortable labour reducing the risk of medical intervention and a faster recovery.
This is a busy time in your life and places much physical and emotional stress on you and your body. Osteopathy for postnatal care can help your body and the extra demands placed upon it by providing gentle Osteopathic treatment. Some women experience lower back or pelvic pain post delivery particularly if the 2nd stage of labour has been long, if medical intervention was required to assist with the delivery of the baby or if the mother has been in a supine position during the delivery. Some women also experience pain following a caesarian section. This can be related to the wound itself or to the extended length of immobility associated with surgery and epidurals.
Feeding can also cause back pain due to sitting in a poor posture. This applies to breast and bottle fed babies. Osteopathy can give advice relating to correct feeding posture.
Osteopathy in postnatal care also gives advice on pelvic floor exercises, lifting and carrying your baby and safe exercises and activities.