Osteopathy during pregnancy

Osteopathic treatment can help support the changes occurring in the mother’s body as her pregnancy progresses, through aiding the body’s natural adaptation and alignment during foetal development and the delivery process.

There are obviously numerous naturally occurring changes to the mother’s body that occur in a healthy pregnancy such as stretching of ligaments and muscles in the pelvis, uterus, ribs and diaphragm and an increase in lordotic curve of the low back to support the increase size and weight of the baby. The body also releases many hormones that assist in softening ligaments to prepare the pelvis for delivery. These changes are naturally occurring and many women are able to cope without problems, however we all commonly live with stress, strain and tension from a variety of illnesses, strains, sprains, operations etc. and it is these past injuries that may affect the body’s ability to change freely as the progression of pregnancy dictates.

Common symptoms women often complain of during their pregnancy that may be treatable include:

  • Tightness, restriction of movement and pain in the low back, buttocks and hips including sciatica
  • Pelvic pain
  • Rib pain, Shortness of breath & Indigestion or Heartburn – During foetal development and growth the baby may push up against the diaphragm and ribs which can cause rib and spinal pain, make you quite breathless and result in reflux (indigestion). Osteopathic treatment aims to work on the musculoskeletal system to release the postural and diaphragmatic muscles through the spine and rib attachements.
  • Shoulder, chest and neck tension with associated headaches as a result of the myofascial tension that develops in the mothers body through normal foetal growth. Soft tissue massage, stretching and joint articulation helps to release those connective tissues and improve mobility.

Osteopathic treatment varies from patient to patient and this is the same during pregnancy. It is a very gentle form of treatment that is non-invasive, and aims to provide an environment that supports the developing foetus and mother during pregnancy and prepare you for childbirth.