Pregnancy is a time when women are most aware of the workings of their body.
It is the largest postural change that a woman's body will undergo.
For many years, osteopaths have used their skills to help relieve the aches and pains caused by weight and posture changes during and after pregnancy.
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Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy is not new.
For many years, osteopaths have used their skills to help, employing gentle rhythmic relaxation and soft tissue techniques to ease supporting muscles and ligaments.
Every pregnancy is 'special'.
Osteopaths focus on the mother as a person and take account of her emotional state and other factors as well as her physical condition.
Treatment may be supplemented by exercises and other forms of self help which the osteopath may prescribe for the mother to do at home.
An osteopath can advise on positions in labour to help prevent back problems later. Pain relief techniques can also be shown to the mother and her partner or friend so that they can help during labour.
After delivery it is advised that mother and child return for structural examination, advice and check ups and, if necessary, for treatment.
For many women pregnancy means having to cope with a whole range of symptoms from back pain to morning sickness.
As the baby grows in the womb, its extra weight results in a changed centre of gravity and posture changes from week to week. This often leads to back and leg pain.
As breast weight increases, this also causes changes and pain may occur in the upper back and neck.
Osteopathic treatment through pregnancy can help the body adapt the changes which are taking place.
The safety of mother and baby is the osteopath's first concern. After a thorough assessment, gentle osteopathic treatment may help to relieve the aches and pains caused by growth in size of the baby and the accommodation of the mother to this.
Advice from your osteopath can help you to change your posture and learn to use your body correctly through pregnancy.
Osteopaths can also help to ease other side effects of pregnancy such as heartburn, indigestion, constipation and sciatic pain. Some patients, too report reduced morning sickness after osteopathic treatment.