Pregnancy and Osteopathy

Pregnancy can be a joyful and wonderful time for many women. However studies show that between 50 – 80% of pregnant women will suffer from low back pain.

A number of postural and hormonal changes during pregnancy can put a huge demand on the body. Your joints, ligaments and muscles will all adapt as your body changes and your baby grows. Back pain can often come about from pre-existing conditions that don’t allow the mothers body to make these adaptations.

As your bump and baby grow the increased weight at the front of your body puts extra strain on the muscles that run up and down your spine. In addition, the curvature of your back increases in the lower back and between the shoulder blades, this can lead too neck and shoulder pain as well as low back pain.

Hormones needed to soften the ligaments and joints ready for birth are released during your third trimester. This can decrease your overall stability. It can lead to pain at the front of the pelvis, at the pubic symphysis or the back of the pelvis, at the sacroiliac joint.

It’s important that you don’t suffer in silence, support is out there. Osteopathy has been shown to be an effective treatment for low back pain during pregnancy  In addition to pain relieving soft tissue massage and joint articulation, Suzanne can advise on posture and exercises to maintain optimum function and pain relief during pregnancy.

Postural tips for pregnancy

Standing

Hold your head up straight with your chin in. Do not tilt your head forward, backward, down or sideways. Keep your shoulder blades back and your chest forward. Stretch the top of your head toward the ceiling.

Pull your stomach in and up (as much as possible!). Do not tilt your pelvis forward or backward. Keep your buttocks tucked in.

Point your feet in the same direction, with your weight balanced evenly on both feet. The arches of your feet should be supported with low-heeled (but not flat) shoes to prevent stress on your back. Do not wear high heels.

Avoid standing in the same position for a long time.

Sitting

Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair and your feet should be supported on the floor or with a foot stool.

Your pelvis should be above the knees, so use a rolled up towel or cushion under your buttocks, use the tilt position on your chair at the office. If your pelvis is in a good position then your spine will follow.

Get up and move around every 20 minutes.

Do not cross your legs, as this impedes blood flow back to the heart and can cause varicose veins.

If you are relaxing on the sofa, lie on your side rather then slump.

In Bed

Use a pillow between your knees and a small cushion under your bump when side lying in bed. This will prevent torsion through your spine.

If your hip hurts where you are lying on it, a duvet under the sheet can help.

You are welcome to contact Suzanne for an appointment or if you would like to know how osteopathy could help you.