Pregnancy Care

Osteopathy and Pregnancy

Osteopathic treatment during and after pregnancy may be beneficial in many ways, it can:

  • Ease some of the physical discomforts of pregnancy
  • Help prepare the body for the demands of labour
  • Assist the mother in recovery after birth
  • Relieve any strains resulting from the physical demands of caring for and breastfeeding a newborn
During pregnancy the body undergoes considerable physical changes both structurally and hormonally in a very short space of time. In pregnancy your body has to adapt to increased weight at the front of your body, having a direct effect on your spine and it’s natural curves. Hormones released throughout pregnancy make your joints especially those of the spine and pelvis more flexible in preparation for birth. Relaxin and oestrogen increase fluid uptake in collagen fibres making your ligaments soften. Your muscles must then work harder to provide stability and it is common to experience muscular aches and pains.

In the second half of pregnancy postural demands increase with the growth of your baby and breasts. The change in weight bearing can also put lots of stress around the upper half of your body and neck pain is not uncommon. It can be reassuring to know that symptoms or aches are simply an expression of your body adapting to these changes and may be assisted by osteopathic treatment.

The treatment approach usually involves cranial and functional release techniques, massage techniques and where required, gentle joint manipulation. Exercise advice is also available. Osteopaths are well trained to recognise contra-indications and treatment is suitable for any healthy and stable pregnancy.

 Problems that may be assisted by osteopathic treatment include:

  • Pubic symphysis dysfunction
  • Sciatica
  • Low Back and Pelvic Pain
  • Mid back & Neck Pain
  • Carpal Tunnel (wrist and thumb pain)
  • Foot Pain and achy legs

 

Research Links:

Osteopathic manipulative treatment of back pain and related symptoms during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial.

A Study into Osteopathic treatment of pregnant women in NSW and Queensland.

Pregnancy Research on Osteopathic Manipulation Optimizing Treatment Effects: the PROMOTE study

Effectiveness of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Pilot Project