During pregnancy, your body has to adapt to provide space for the growing baby. Ligaments will soften and your body weight will increase. This will affect your centre of gravity and your posture and have an influence on how muscles and joints are aligned and even affect the diaphragm and digestive system.
If you have had accidents or injuries in the past or an existing back problem, then the muscles and joints may already be in a less than ideal position. This may lead to you feeling discomfort during your pregnancy.
Expectant mothers present themselves to osteopaths because they suffer with:
- Sacroiliac Problems
- Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction
- Aching Legs
- Neck Ache
These symptoms can occur anytime in pregnancy. You may get them late in pregnancy, or for some, early in pregnancy. If your symptoms start early in pregnancy, then they frequently get worse as your pregnancy progresses.
Osteopathy can help to realign your pelvis and back, even during the pregnancy. I work very gently, to help encourage realignment of your joints.
The sooner you get treatment, the better you will feel during the rest of your pregnancy. I do treat women at 36 - 40 weeks, but they often don't feel the benefit until after the birth.
Birth is a natural process, but it may be tiring for both you and baby. During the birth, your pelvis and coccyx may have shifted/altered their alignment, especially if it is assisted by ventouse or forceps.
After birth, your body has to recover from all the adjustments it made during pregnancy and labour. You also have to start making different movements such as breastfeeding, carrying the baby or putting a car seat into the car.
You may be compromising your back, neck and shoulders by sitting awkwardly when feeding, or having to hold a baby for extended periods if they are upset. So mums may bring low back pain, mid back pain or neck pain symptoms to the Osteopath.