Why you should see an osteopath for pregnancy
Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy. While it’s a natural process, it can cause aches, pains, and extra stress that you don’t need. An Osteopath can help alleviate these pains and stresses.
Here’s what you need to know about seeing an Osteopath for pregnancy.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is an alternative medicine and practice that works to manipulate your body’s tissues and bones. It focuses on your joints, muscles, and spine and aims to optimize your nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems for good health.
It’s a drug-free and non-invasive approach where your Osteopath uses their hands to manipulate and strengthen your joints, muscles, and spine. While it focuses on these areas, it takes a whole body, holistic approach to healing, not just treating the site of your injury or pain.
Why see an Osteopath for pregnancy?
There are many ways regular visits to your Osteopath during pregnancy can help. Here are a few of the benefits:
Relief from back pain: As your belly grows, your posture and weight distribution will change, causing back pain. Your body isn’t used to carrying such intense weight around your stomach, and it’s working overtime to compensate and catch up. It’s estimated that over half of pregnant women experience back pain during pregnancy and postpartum.
An osteopath can help correct your posture and manipulate muscles around your back, legs, and middle to help you find comfort. They can also suggest a few light pregnancy-safe stretches you can do at home when back pain strikes between your appointments.
Helping you sleep: Being pregnant and trying to get a good night’s sleep can be challenging. Between your growing belly affecting your regular, comfortable sleeping positions and the extra stresses on your body and mind, many pregnant women report struggles getting a restful night’s sleep. Some studies suggest that 46-78% of pregnant women suffer from sleep disorders throughout pregnancy, including 80% who suffer from insomnia in their third trimester.
Seeing an Osteopath for pregnancy sleeping support can help. They can help realign your spine and body to get a better night’s sleep. Seeing them regularly throughout your pregnancy can help as they can also suggest other lifestyle changes to help you sleep and live better
Relief from round ligament pain and Plantar Fasciitis: The ligaments and muscles around your middle are stretched to make way for your growing baby. This causes pain around your tummy, known as round ligament pain. Also, the additional weight you’re healthily putting on often causes severe pain in your feet when you walk, called Plantar Fasciitis (tight muscles and pain in the soles of your feet when you stand up after sitting for a while).
Osteopaths can help you manage the inflammation from round ligament pain and Plantar Fasciitis. They can also teach you some easy stretches you can do at home to find relief and help strengthen your muscles.
Heartburn relief: Heartburn and acid reflux are uncomfortable. It can disrupt your sleep and everyday comfort. Some studies report that heartburn affects 22% of women in the first trimester, 39% in the second trimester, and 72% in the third trimester. Taking an antacid can help treat the symptoms but not the source of the heartburn.
An osteopath can help restore the function of your esophagus. When this muscle isn’t closing completely, it causes heartburn. An Osteopath can manipulate the muscles in your esophagus to help you find longer-term relief.
Osteopathy for labour preparation and postpartum
An aligned spine and pelvis help your baby travel better through the birth canal. Throughout your pregnancy journey, your Osteopath will work to keep your body in alignment so that when delivery day arrives, your body is well-positioned for an easier birth.
Your Osteopath can also help you with breathing exercises, stretches and exercise to help with delivery and the well-being of the mom and baby.
After your baby is born, your body needs to re-learn to adjust to its new postpartum body. Labour is a natural process, and whether you do it naturally or with advanced medical support, your body is starting a long journey to recovery. Your Osteopath can support you manage aches and pains. Here are some ways they can help after the birth of your child:
- Back/shoulder pain support: Breastfeeding and regularly carrying your baby puts you in less than optimal postures, and many women suffer back and shoulder pain as a result. Your Osteopathy can help or recommend other alternative medicines, like massage, to help you find relief.
- Breastfeeding support: Despite what you may read online, breastfeeding doesn’t just come naturally to every woman. If you need support to ensure proper positioning and latch, an osteopath can help. They can also help recommend an appropriate diet to support optimal milk production.
- Realigning pelvis and tissues: After a vaginal birth, they can help you realign and strengthen your pelvic floor and treat muscle strains from the delivery. A well-aligned pelvis helps expedite pelvic floor healing and recovery.
- Osteopathy for your baby: Your Osteopath can also help your baby during the important early years of their growth. They can often help your baby to sleep better, get relief from colic, grow strong muscles, and support their overall wellness and healthy growth.
Are you looking for pregnancy or postpartum support for you and your baby?
Our Osteopaths at Thuja Wellness can support you through your journey. We can also confidently refer you to local colleagues should you require additional support through massage therapy, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or need advanced nutritional support. If you’re looking for support in your pregnancy journey, book a consultation with an Osteopath today to get started.