Osteopathy for Mum's to be
This article is by Eglantine Hallo, one of the osteopaths at Islington's Angel Wellbeing Clinic.
Osteopathy can be very beneficial for pregnant women, it is a safe treatment which, during all stages of pregnancy, can help prepare the body for labour and ease some of the symptoms typically associated with pregnancy. A postnatal check for both mother and baby is recommended especially after a difficult birth to correct the stress and strains and to help recover.
During their pregnancy, up to 50% of women will suffer with back pain and 1 in 5 with pelvic girdle pain (PGP). Most of the time the pain is pregnancy related and symptoms will subside once the baby has been born. Women with a history of back pain are more likely to have persistent back pain after pregnancy.
Back pain and PGP can be a result of the many physical and physiological changes that occur during pregnancy.
As your baby grows, the uterus expands and the weight increase and center of gravity move forward. These biomechanical and postural changes can cause strain on your back and joints.
The pregnancy hormone relaxin relaxes the soft tissues of the pelvis to allow the delivery, allowing for separation of the sacroiliac joints and pubic symphysis. This increased laxity in the pelvis may cause instability and result in pain while walking, rolling over in bed and getting out of a chair.
After your baby is born, new daily and repetitive activities such as carrying, lifting and feeding can aggravate back pain as well as daily household chores. You may present with a rectus abdominis diastasis (a gap in between the abdominals), weak or tight pelvic floor muscles. As exciting as it is being a new mum, it is tiring on both physical and emotional levels.
Back pain and PGP are common but not normal. The days of just ‘getting on with it’ are long gone. You can be proactive to prevent post birth problems by helping yourself with simple advice on postural exercises, and seek early intervention and support when problems start.
Osteopathy can help treat these complaints using techniques such as soft tissue massage to release tension, joint articulation and manipulation to improve mobility, cranial osteopathy to rebalance the body and visceral technique to release deeper restrictions.
Even if you do not have symptoms, a prenatal check and a postnatal check for both mother and baby is recommended.
By Eglantine Hallo