Pregnancy – Why Osteopathy?
Osteopathic treatment through pregnancy is a wonderfully gentle way of helping the body adapt to the changes which are taking place. The safety of mother and baby is the osteopath’s first concern. After a thorough assessment, osteopathic treatment may help to relieve the aches and pains caused by growth in size of the baby and the accommodation of the mother to this. Advice from your osteopath can help you to change your posture and learn to use your body correctly through pregnancy. Osteopaths can also help to ease other side effects of pregnancy such as heartburn, indigestion, constipation and pain in the buttock, groin or leg (commonly called sciatica). Some patients, too, report reduced morning sickness after osteopathic treatment.
Visiting an osteopath
When you visit an osteopath for the first time a full case history will be taken and you will be given an examination.
You will normally be asked to remove some of your clothing and to perform a simple series of movements. The osteopath will then use his or her highly developed sense of touch, called palpation, to identify any points of weakness or excessive strain throughout the body.
The osteopath may need additional investigations such as x-ray or blood tests. This will allow a full diagnosis and suitable treatment plan to be developed with you. Osteopathy is patient centred, which means the treatment is geared to you as an individual.
Low back and leg pain
. Neck and shoulder pain
. Discomfort around the thorax and indigestion
. Wrist pain
Post natal problems of the pelvis
Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy ‘Is not new. For many years, osteopaths have used their skills to help, employing a variety of gentle techniques to ease supporting muscles and ligaments. Every pregnancy is ‘special’. Osteopaths focus on the mother as a person and take account of her emotional state and other factors as well as her physical condition. Treatment may be supplemented by exercises and other forms of self help which the osteopath may prescribe for the mother to do at home. An osteopath can advise on positions in labour to help prevent back problems later. Pain relief techniques can also be shown to the mother and her partner or friend so that they can help during labour. After delivery it is advised that mother and child return for structural examination, advice and check-ups and, if necessary, treatment.
Osteopaths are skilled practitioners
Osteopaths deal with pain every day
Osteopaths can advise on good posture
Osteopaths may help relieve back and leg pain in pregnancy
Osteopaths can advise on pain relief during labour
Return for advice and a check-up after delivery.
Look after your back during pregnancy. Take particular care when lifting and carrying – especially lifting or carrying other children. Do not carry a small child on one hip for any length of time. Ask your osteopath for appropriate exercises.
If you stand for any length of time, keep your bottom ‘tucked in’ to reduce strain on the lower part of your spine.
When sitting, use a cushion for support and don’t sit with your legs crossed. Avoid twisting movements. These may cause torsional strain within the pelvis.
Lying on your side in bed, place a pillow under ‘the bump’ to provide support and also put a pillow between your knees to prevent back strain.
If you prefer, lie on your back and place pillows underneath your knees to keep them bent.
Make sure all equipment (changing table, pushchair, pram etc.) is at a comfortable height for you.