Osteopathy: A safe and gentle approach to pregnancy and postnatal care
Your osteopath can help you to prevent or manage a wide range of prenatal and postnatal conditions, either solely or in conjunction with other healthcare practitioners.
Osteopathy during pregnancy
Osteopathy is an extremely safe method of manual medicine that treats the whole person. Osteopathy is proven to be a safe, gentle and effective therapy for mothers and babies. Your osteopath will carefully select the most appropriate treatment techniques to assure the safety and comfort of you and your growing baby.
Changes during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body undergoes tremendous change to accommodate the growing foetus. Apart from the obvious physical changes like expansion of the abdominal region, hormonal releases can affect the function of your body’s internal systems.
As your pregnancy progresses, the extra weight creates a shift in your body’s centre of gravity. Your supporting ligaments also soften. These factors can add stress to your body, causing problems like back pain, sciatica, insomnia, shortness of breath, swelling, high blood pressure and fatigue. Your osteopath can offer advice about managing these symptoms and demonstrate self-help techniques that you and your partner can use during pregnancy and labour.
Your osteopath’s aim is to assist with the natural process of pregnancy and birth — maximising your body’s ability to change and support you and your baby, with a minimum of pain and discomfort.
Birthing and beyond
In birthing, the descent of the baby through the pelvis is influenced by a range of factors. If the mother’s pelvis is twisted or stiff, it can interfere with the baby’s passage through the birth canal. Osteopathic care can help to restore and maintain normal pelvic alignment and mobility, and contribute to a successful birth and healthy baby.
After the birth, your osteopath will advise you if you need to make return visits with your newborn to help prevent or manage problems like pelvic and low back strain, pelvic floor weakness, mastitis, incontinence, interrupted sleep, fatigue and depression. This will help you meet your baby’s needs, while caring for your own.
Osteopathy for babies
The powerful process of birth has an enormous affect on the baby. A difficult labour may lead to injury, a misshapen head, colic, sleeping difficulties, constant crying and feeding problems. Osteopathy aims to make the birth safe and natural for you and your baby. Using gentle, safe and proven effective techniques, it supports the healthy growth and development of your baby in the womb, and after birth.
Osteopaths can assess and treat many common complaints associated with pregnancy and the postnatal period including:
- lower back pain and sciatica
- aching legs or feet
- numbness and tingling in the hands
- neck, shoulder or middle back pain
- shortness of breath
- incorrect positioning of the foetus
- painful intercourse
- poor sleep.
Copyright © Australian Osteopathic Association (www.osteopathy.org.au)