Pregnancy can be remembered as an exciting joyful occasion. However, for some women it can be an uncomfortable and a painful experience.

During pregnancy enormous physical, chemical and emotional changes take place over a relatively short period of time. These changes can impose great physical strain on the organs, tissues and joints of the body. In particularly, the lower part of the spine has to deal with a huge amount of compression, which can cause moderate, severe and sometimes debilitating pain.

Aches and pains during pregnancy are common as the body adapts to accommodate the increasing size and weight of the uterus. In addition, if mother’s have any pre-existing back problems, it is likely to be amplified during the trimesters and you may suffer more discomfort as a consequence.

Postural changes may cause headaches, backache, sciatica and fatigue. Mother’s also, often present with symptoms of nausea and vomiting, which puts a huge strain on the diaphragm and the ribs. These postural changes can impede the action of the diaphragm and make breathing more difficult.

The addition of osteopathic treatment to standard health care of pregnant women can improve quality of life and allow the body to adapt to these changes more easily. The philosophy of osteopathic medicine focuses on the unity of all of the body and the basic principle that structure governs function. Osteopathic treatment involves examination of the spine, soft tissues, pelvis and cranial bones; all of which will be affected by pregnancy, and treatment will be focused on reducing these stresses placed upon the body.

Preparation For Labour And Position Of Your Baby

Labour is likely to be more difficult if your baby is not lying in the correct position. Generally they will adopt a head down position and face backwards with their spine being in the same direction as the mother’s. This is the most comfortable and advantageous position for your baby to pass through the birth canal during labour. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and your baby can end up being in a less than ideal position.

Some Self-Help Tips To Encourage Your Baby To Lie Correctly

  • Try to stay as active as possible throughout the pregnancy.
  • Keep a relatively straight back when walking. Try to avoid allowing your lower back to slump.
  • Prolonged sitting in a slouched position can encourage your baby to turn into the back to back position. Therefore, when possible sit with your bottom well back in the chair with the lower back properly supported.
  • If your baby is lying in either a breech position or back to back, by spending some time each day kneeling in an ‘all fours’ position can encourage your baby to naturally turn.

Is Osteopathy Safe During Pregnancy?

Osteopathy is recognised as a safe form of primary healthcare. All osteopaths are extensively trained and undergo a minimum of four years full-time training at university. Osteopathic practitioners use gentle techniques, which are perfectly safe at all stages of pregnancy. The cranial sacral therapy approach is a particularly effective and gentle way of working with the body’s own inherent healing mechanism and focuses on reducing tensions without force.

Cranial Osteopathy And How It Can Help Your New Born Sleep

It is a common misconception that babies and children should have no stresses or strains in their bodies because they are so young. In reality, it is actually a fairly common consequence of either a lengthy or complicated birth. Birth is one of the most stressful events of our lives. As a baby passes through the birth canal, it is subjected to an enormous amount of pressure, which can result in compressional forces that can effect the bones and linings of the skull. These compressional forces can lead to symptoms of colic, reflux or general irritability all of which will have an effect on your baby’s sleep pattern and general wellbeing.

Occasionally, babies are born with odd shaped heads as a result of birth, especially if they have been delivered using forceps or ventouse. If your baby has been in a breech position, this can also cause alterations in the development of the bones of the skull.

In the first few days the head can be seen to resolve the extreme moulding, as your baby cries, yawns and suckles. However, sometimes this unmoulding process does not resolve naturally by itself and needs some gentle encouragement to fully resolve itself.

Cranial osteopathy is a gentle and subtle form of osteopathic treatment that I, in particularly specialise in. The method uses soft manipulative pressure to encourage the release of stresses throughout the body, especially the head and sacrum. Due to babies being so young and malleable they normally respond to treatment relatively quickly.

Jan Mark Smith
Registered Osteopath
The Osteopathic Centre Pte Ltd

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