The postural changes and increase in weight are obvious, but other changes may be more subtle like the effects of hormonal softening of ligaments and the position of the growing baby. A combination of the above can put additional pressure on your joints and muscles of your spine and pelvis.
The philosophy of Osteopathy is that structure and function are interrelated. In laymans terms this means that our treatments aim to normalise the structure, so that it functions as efficiently as possible.
We aim to assist the natural process of pregnancy and birth by aiding the body to adapt and align as the pregnancy progresses. Osteopathic treatment may achieve this by using gentle techniques, while making sure the mother is comfortable at all times.
During birth, a range of factors influences the descent of the baby through the pelvis. Stiffness and rigidity may interfere with the baby’s passage through the birth canal. Lessening any restrictions may help with the pelvis and lower back mechanics. More importantly, all pregnant women, particularly towards the end of the pregnancy, feel better with the least amount of tension and discomfort.
Osteopathy is recommended for both the mother and the baby. The techniques used during pregnancy are carefully selected to minimise any risk. These techniques are gentle and the comfort of the mother is always taken into consideration and may be adapted to suit each patient.
At Liforce Osteopathy, we use specifically designed pregnancy cushions if we need you to lie on your front for certain techniques. All of our pregnant patients tell us how comfortable they are and can accommodate any woman, regardless of size. In fact, some women want to take it home with them just so they can continue to lie on their tummy!
Depending on the type of labour experienced, women can have a wide range of issues post-natally. Osteopathic care may help to minimise the musculoskeletal tension that may have arisen during birth or as a result of the pregnancy, affecting pelvic mobility, pain and discomfort. If you have unresolved childbirth stresses from labour, these can contribute not only to ongoing back problems, but also to difficulties with menstruation, stress incontinence, and bowel problems such as constipation.
Osteopathic treatment may also help with the musculoskeletal aches and pains associated with poor breast-feeding posture, lifting car capsules and prams, carrying your baby and bending over the cot.
Overall, postnatal treatment is a great way to help with long term preventative care, allowing you to relax and enjoy your new baby.
Clare Gordon talks about how to get your baby into the best position for labour and birth