Clearly a pregnant woman’s body undergoes physical, hormonal and emotional changes over a relatively short period of time. Physically the body has to adapt to carry extra weight, which in turn can often cause stresses and strains on many parts of the body. For some compensating for these changes causes few problems, but others may suffer a variety of symptoms such as:
- backache and sciatica
- pubic pain (symphysis pubis dysfunction or pelvic instability)
- carpal tunnel syndrome (compression of the median nerve in the wrist)
- heartburn and indigestion
- difficulty in breathing and/or rib pain
- sacro-iliac joint problems (such as inflammation or loosening of ligaments)
Undergraduate training for Osteopaths includes looking at the specific changes and adaptations that occur in the body during pregnancy, which include the softening of ligaments, weight increase and changes in posture. This enables them to learn treatment techniques that are safe yet effective to help the body adjust and compensate as efficiently as possible.
Osteopathy may help both ante- and post-natally:
- ease physical discomforts of pregnancy – especially if there are any underlying pre-existing strains such as from an injury or a history of back pain
- help the recovery from pregnancy and labour – why put up with aches and pains unnecessarily, after all, if you are feeling healthy looking after your baby, and perhaps other little ones, is (slightly!) easier
- ease symptoms associated with new activities such as holding and breastfeeding your baby and lifting car seats
Patient: 32-year-old female
Condition: 6 months pregnant with second child (first baby delivered by caesarean section)
Previous History: low back pain and received osteopathic treatment intermittently over the years
Presenting symptoms: pain in the left low back radiating into the left lower extremity and into the upper back
Treatment: 7 treatments over a three-month period to help patient’s body adjust to the increasing weight and postural changes. Treatment included soft tissue (massage), manipulation and cranial-sacral osteopathy. Patient reported that delivery was much easier than the first child and she did not require a caesarean section.
Please feel free to contact us if you wish to discuss further whether we can help you.