Osteopathy & Pregnancy care

Osteopathy and pregnancy care

Pregnancy is a time when your body is pushed to extremes. The baby will take all the nutrients he/she needs to grow from you and sometimes this may create problems for the mum and baby; mainly if there’s a familial tendency e.g., diabetes or high blood pressure. Because of this it is imperative that you keep your regular antenatal checks and scans and visit your GP immediately if you don’t feel well. Midwives are very knowledgeable and experienced. Finding a midwife group you trust is your first job as an expectant mother. These are some of the normal signs and symptoms that you may experience during pregnancy:

  • Morning sickness, nausea
  • Mild swelling of hands and feet
  • Intermittent or transient back pain or groin pain
  • Heartburn or indigestion

But if you experience any of these, you need to go to see the GP, midwife or A&E immediately:

  • Excessive increase in thirst
  • Putting on too much weight (more than expected)                                                                                                      1 pound per month ~ (about 4lb) in the first three months                                                                                            1 pound per week for the next three months ~ (12 – 14lb) in total                                                                           around 1 pound per week ~ (12lb) over the last three months
  • Feeling low all the time
  • Decreased baby movements
  • Feeling faint and unwell
  • Bleeding or lots of fluid discharge
  • Severe headaches or blurred vision
  • Excessive swelling

If there are no serious health issues, osteopathy can be very good at maintaining you and your baby in perfect health. Osteopaths can advise you on exercises to keep you pain free and the baby in an optimal position for delivery. Further, osteopathy can help by keeping your spinal alignment so there’s no pelvis discrepancy that could make labour more difficult. During pregnancy, your body goes through a series of postural changes to accommodate the growth of the baby. These changes are mediated via hormones i.e., your body produces relaxin, a hormone that makes your joint ligaments more soft so that your baby’s head can get through your pelvis. This makes you more hypermobile – women are usually more mobile than men, check how many more women than men enjoy yoga classes – so it makes you more vulnerable to joint pain and misalignment which can be easily dealt with by an osteopath. Some women will carry these changes to their bodies for a long time and take for granted that their bodies have changed forever.

Osteopathic treatment by an osteopath that has been trained in paediatrics and understands the mechanics of pregnancy and labour and how they can affect you can make your experience of pregnancy and labour more comfortable and possibly prevent problems in the future. Osteopaths believe that our body is always trying to do the best it can to return to health and our job is to facilitate that process by neutralising the forces involved at the time of the injury and allow structure and function to return to a state of balance.

More sources of information:-

Other mums in your antenatal classes are a great source of information and of course, the internet. Check these sites:

http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/pregnancycareplanner/pages/Antenatalhome.aspx

http://www.nice.org.uk/CG62

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/pregnancy/pregnancy_antenatalcare.shtml

http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/signssymptoms1/l/bl082700a.htm

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