Pregnancy and motherhood is an exciting time but can also be uncomfortable and tiring without the right support. Manual therapy such as Osteopathy in combination with good diet, sleep and physical exercise are essential to feeling good throughout and after your pregnancy.
The most common presenting complaint during pregnancy is lower back and sciatic type pain. Osteopathy has been shown to safely and effectively treat lower back pain during pregnancy.
Other common complaints reported during pregnancy include:
- Pelvic pain and neuralgias
- Rib and diaphragm pain
- Shortness of breath
- Neck and upper thoracic pain(1)
Such complaints are usually as a result of changing postural load and biomechanics as a women’s body changes to accommodate her growing baby. The added weight carried during pregnancy combined with the effects of the hormone prolactin, which softens the ligaments in preparation for birth, can place extra load on the joints and muscles throughout the body and in particular the spine and pelvis.
Osteopathic treatment can gently help the body be free to move so that pregnancy is more comfortable and as painless as possible. It also increases vascular and lymphatic drainage to help alleviate swelling and discomfort commonly experienced in the legs (2).
At Coffs Coast Osteopathy we strive to help the mothers body feel and function its best through the periods of physical stress that pregnancy, labour and postpartum place on her. Osteopathic treatment works to improve the structural elements of the body such as muscles, ligaments, joints and fascia and in turn improve function, vascular and lymphatic flow while decreasing neural sensitivity (3). It is a gentle form of manual therapy which makes it safe and comfortable allowing both mother and baby to enjoy this wonderful time (2).
After the birth of your baby Osteopathy can help to regain and maintain pelvic alignment which aids healing and return to function. Osteopaths can also be helpful in understanding changes that many have occurred in your body or problems that arise for you. They work closely with GP’s and other allied health professionals so that the best possible care can be found for you if its outside of their scope of practice.
As your baby grows there are different strains on the body form breastfeeding to carrying an increasingly heavy baby, Osteopathy can help ease strain and pain helping you feel good and stay well in this often physically taxing time.
- Stone. C. Visceral and Obstetric Osteopathy. 2007. Churchill and Livingstone
- foundations of osteopathic Medicine. Ward. 2003. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins