Being pregnant causes the body to undergo many changes. The ligaments soften, the curves of the spine change, and the posture is altered. The weight of the baby causes the centre of gravity of the expectant mother to gradually move forward. This creates an arching in the lower back and therefore increases pressure on the spinal curve and pelvis, with added mechanical stress on the body. As breast size increases, pressure is also placed on the upper back and neck.
The goal of osteopathic treatment is to assist the body as this natural process occurs, maximising the body’s ability to adjust and compensate for the changes which take place. Its aim is to ease some of the discomforts of pregnancy, preparing for labour, and helping mother and baby to recover after birth.
Weakened ligaments and muscles caused by pregnancy can weaken the whole body structure. Many new mothers receive osteopathic treatment following the birth of their newborn in order to correct the body imbalances that may be present, particularly to the pelvis, lower back and mid back region.
Unresolved childbirth stresses in the mother’s pelvis can contribute to ongoing back problems, neck pain, general fatigue, feeling ‘out of sorts’, or headaches from the neck.
Breast feeding and carrying a baby can be hard work for the upper back and neck, and may be detrimental to posture. Osteopathic care can relieve the discomfort in this area and improve posture. Your osteopath can provide you with advice on posture, lifting techniques, other daily activities, sleeping, and exercises to strengthen abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.