Osteopathy is a holistic manual therapy that recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. For this reason, it is an ideal therapy for helping women cope with pregnancy symptoms and the physical challenges of pregnancy.
The aim of osteopathic treatment during pregnancy is to help each woman’s body be adaptable and dynamically balanced throughout pregnancy. This approach will have the effect of minimising pain and discomfort, and simultaneously optimising the structure and function of the body in preparation for labour.
The most common conditions that
pregnant women seek relief for include:
Back pain and stiffness
Pelvic and pubic pain
Round ligament and groin pain
Headaches and migraines.
Osteopathy can address a range of other pregnancy symptoms including the mechanical problems that may develop and contribute to reflux, shortness of breath, carpal tunnel syndrome and fluid retention.
The best time to commence treatment
is different for each individual.
Some women will find treatment prior to conception beneficial. Pregnancy aches and pains are most likely to arise in areas of the body that have been previously strained or areas that already aren’t functioning at an optimum level. Addressing these areas prior to the mechanical changes of pregnancy occurring, gives the best chance of minimising pain and discomfort.
Other women might cope well with the first half of pregnancy and only seek treatment as their bodies change throughout the second and third trimesters, and as they experience an increase in aches and pains.
Osteopathy can also be beneficial post-natally. At this stage it is primarily used for restoring normal pelvic mechanics post birth, and relieving muscular aches and pains associated with breast feeding and lifting a new baby.
No matter when you start treatment, there is always something that osteopaths can do to relieve pain, increase mobility and improve overall function.
Osteopaths can also help you stay fit and active throughout pregnancy by:
Providing advice on appropriate exercises and exercise levels before, during and after pregnancy.
Prescribing specific exercise programs based on your individual needs.
Treating any aches, pains or injuries that may arise throughout pregnancy.
Explaining basic pelvic floor exercises for during and after pregnancy.
Prescribing exercises for the rehabilitation of rectus diastasic (abdominal separation)
Want to know more?
Check out our Osteopathic FAQs to learn more about osteopathy, including training and treatment techniques.
Read about how osteopathy can benefit babies and children.