During the Pregnancy
Over the course of the pregnancy, the mother-to-be may struggle to accommodate to the changing shape and adaptation strains that occur in her body. This may result in her bodyís systems becoming overloaded and displaying symptoms. Some osteopaths develop expertise within their training to treat the problems that develop during and after pregnancy. Osteopaths identify parts of the body that are overloaded and carry out specific treatment to alleviate these stresses and strains, thus reducing the pain and dysfunction experienced.
Preparation for Labour
It is important that the motherís body is well prepared for the labour process. It is thought that pelvis needs to be structurally well balanced and able to allow the smooth passage of the infant. It is important that the low back is also functioning well and therefore able to stand up to the mechanical strains that are present through childbirth. Osteopaths work with their patients to release the old stresses and strains that their bodies have picked up over the years, as well as the more recent ones picked up during pregnancy. This gives mums-to-be the best chance of an easier, uncomplicated labour.
Postural Changes after Childbirth
After birth, the body undergoes a rapid
postural change to adapt to the dramatic reduction in size and weight of
the uterus and its contents. The posture should return to normal as
muscles regain their tone. If the position of the pelvis and sacrum has
been disturbed during pregnancy or childbirth, and is not corrected
immediately, then the soft tissues can undergo further strain. The pelvis
and sacrum are key in setting the position of the whole spine and head.
The resultant changes in posture may result in problems to the
Musculo-skeletal system many years on.
Osteopathic treatment aims at restoring the body back to optimum health to deal with the demands of a young family.
Due the changing shape of the body during pregnancy. This may place a strain or tension on the area at the top of the stomach. Which may result in reflux or heartburn. Osteopathic treatment may be able to alleviate heartburn by treating the diaphragm and surrounding structures enabling it to accommodate the changing shape of the body.
Osteopathic treatment that can involve articulation and stretches to a restricted thorax and rib cage. This may result in the mum to be being more comfortable and therefore may help symptoms. It is thought that reducing tension around the low ribs which have been compromised with the changes in pregnancy may lead to helping the function of the digestive tract.
The increase in abdominal size and resulting strains placed on the lower ribs can reduce the amount of lung volume. Osteopathic treatment can involve working on the rib cage and improving its ability to move well. In addition, this may help lymphatic drainage in this area and be beneficial to the immune system.
Aches and Pains
Over the course of the pregnancy, the mother-to-be may struggle to accommodate to the changing shape and adaptation strains that occur in her body. This may result in her musculo-skeletal system becoming overloaded and displaying symptoms, like pain, pins and needles, aches etc. Osteopaths are experts in identifying parts of the body that are overloaded and carry out specific treatment to alleviate these stresses and strains, thus reducing the pain experienced.
As the baby grows, lifting and caring for the baby can place extra strain on the motherís or fatherís body. This extra load is added to any strains which have occurred in the past and therefore make to body prone to further injury. Osteopaths are trained to spot these postural adaptations and adjust the bodyís mechanical loading for it to be less of a problem in the future.
Pubic Symphysis Pain
The pubic symphysis is the strong ligamentous structure joining the two halves of the pelvis together at the front. Pain may be experienced due to the change in structure at this area resulting from change in the babyís position and mobility of the sacro-iliac joints as well as lumbar spine. Pain can be intense and may limit walking. Osteopaths can work to help alter positional changes that occur and thus may help to reduce the level of pain and immobility being experienced.
Changes to the pelvic structures during pregnancy and birth can result in problems for the mother after birth. Pelvic floor muscles may have become over-stretched and may result in stress incontinence. Your osteopath will suggest the exercises and work you need to carry out to restore good muscular function to this area.
Osteopathic treatment may help speed up recovery from mastitis. It may help in reducing recurrent bouts of mastitis by improving the lymphatic drainage of the area.
Postural Problems for Feeding Positions
Inappropriate feeding postures for you and your baby can result in neck, back and shoulder problems. This makes it difficult to remain relaxed whilst feeding your baby, which may in turn lead to feeding problems that your child may be experiencing.
Osteopathic treatment can help you with your posture and therefore make it more comfortable to feed.
Your osteopath may recommend changes to your feeding position and prescribe you some simple exercises to carry out. This is intended for this to make feeding more comfortable for you and your baby and reduce postural loading on your body and therefore reduce your aches and pains.