Can Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy be beneficial to you and your baby?
Dr Kylie Sergentanis, Osteopath
Recently a close friend of mine had a fall at work. She fell off a chair backwards and since then has experienced lower back and pelvic pain. After having 3 treatments (not with me) she experienced great relief. However, upon hearing the exciting news of her pregnancy, her partner encouraged her not to continue attending osteopathy, his reasoning was treatment could cause miscarriage. My lovely friend then decided to suffer in silence, the fall compounded with body changes associated with pregnancy meant she experienced pelvic and lower back pain but was too scared to seek treatment. I decided to write this article to explain how osteopathic treatment could assist women’s bodies in coping with the ever-increasing demands of pregnancy and feel at their best. Also, if you are unsure whether treatment is safe for you – please do not be afraid to ask – your Osteopath, obstetrician, maternal health nurse and GP are all excellent sources of information.
Firstly, it is very important to inform your Osteopath of your pregnancy as soon as you find out – even during the first trimester when there doesn’t appear to be many external changes. Techniques can then be modified and chosen for you (and your baby’s) safety.
During pregnancy, any existing joint or spinal problems can be amplified due to changes in the body, posture and weight. There is an increase in the pressure within the abdomen and diaphragm as the uterus enlarges.
Congestion during pregnancy is common. Osteopathic treatment can aid the body in moving fluid and assist in drainage. Treatment is also aimed at helping create space for the baby, which in turn can help make the mother feel more comfortable.
‘Osteopathic techniques throughout the obstetric period are gentle and designed not to place stress on the tissues’
Treatment will focus on:
- Removing any mechanical strains/imbalances
- Assisting drainage of fluid
- Enhancing the mother’s well being
- Preparing the mother for birth