Pregnancy & The Newborn
Osteopathy for mother and baby helps to….
Ease some of the discomforts of pregnancy
Back pain, pelvic girdle pain (including symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)), sciatica, rib pain, and headaches are all common complaints of pregnancy. An accurate diagnosis, combined with treatment and advice will give your body the best chance to heal and adapt to the changes of pregnancy.
Prepare you for labour
Osteopaths check the mother’s pelvis to ensure it is balanced and ready for the passage of the baby.
Aid recovery of mother and baby after birth. Birth can be physically stressful for both the mother and the baby. The mother’s pelvis is often out of balance after birth, particularly a difficult one. This could potentially lead to ongoing back issues after pregnancy.
Likewise, especially in a difficult labour, your newborn can be squashed, pulled and twisted, resulting in an uncomfortable baby. Osteopaths believe these strains can contribute to many different problems as your child grows.
It is a good idea for both mother and baby to be checked by an osteopath soon after the birth to assess for any strains resulting from childbirth.
A mother’s body goes through significant postural changes to accommodate for the increasing size and weight of the uterus during pregnancy. At the same time, ligaments are softening and stretching due to the hormonal changes. It is common that the body has difficulty adapting to this change, which can result in various aches and pains through the pregnancy.
Osteopathic treatment will aim to release areas of tightness and restriction to help the body adjust to these changes more easily, often making the pregnancy much more comfortable.
Osteopathic treatment is very beneficial and safe at all stages of pregnancy.
Aches and Pains
Postural difficulties generally increase from around 20 weeks as the uterus becomes heavier and starts to take up more space in the abdomen.
Pre-existing back or pelvic problems may make it more difficult for the body to adapt to pregnancy and may result in aches and pains in any area of the body.
Back pain and pelvic girdle pain (PGP, which includes symphysis pubis dysfunction) are some of the most common pregnancy-related complaints. But anything from rib pain, sciatica and headaches are possible as your body changes to accommodate the growing uterus.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
SPD is a common complaint of pregnancy which results in a strain in the front of the pelvis where the two pubic bones meet. This joint is held together by ligaments, which soften during pregnancy. This can lead to a painful stretching or separation of the pubic symphysis.
Mothers suffering from SPD will notice pain in the front of the pelvis that is worse
with activity, especially activities like walking, rolling over in bed or getting in and
out of the car.
Osteopathic treatment aims to balance the lower back and pelvic bones, along
with muscles and ligaments to minimise the strain on the pubic area.
Your osteopath will also give you practical suggestions on how to avoid activities that would aggravate your pain.
For the Newborn
In the early days, the most common difficulties with babies are related to feeding, digestion, sleeping, and crying. Osteopaths believe many of these issues can arise from mechanical strains resulting from the birth process.
For example, a baby who favours feeding on one breast over the other may be finding it difficult to turn their head to both sides. This can be the result of a strain on side of their neck, either from their position in utero or the delivery itself.
Osteopathic treatment for the newborn is extremely gentle and is therefore safe for the smallest of babies. Many osteopaths specialise, and have done further training in the pediatric field. The Osteopathic Council of Ireland will be able to direct you to your nearest Osteopath.
Credit: Osteopathic Council of Ireland