When a woman first hears that she is pregnant the birth can seem a very long time away. But those months will be packed with events as the baby grows and the mother’s body changes.
Osteopathy places a great emphasis upon how the body copes with the demands that life and posture place upon it. This means that osteopathy is an excellent treatment to have throughout the pregnancy.
So what is an Osteopath looking for when a woman comes for a check up early in her pregnancy, or even before she is actually pregnant?
We are essentially checking her musculoskeletal system, (her joints and muscles), to see if they are in good shape for the demands of the pregnancy and labour.
We are looking at her posture, gently palpating and moving her body to see if everything is mobile and relaxed.
We focus particularly upon the low back and pelvis, but the hips and the rest of the body are important as well.
As her posture changes during the pregnancy, due to the increasing size and weight of the baby and of course hormonal influences, the most important thing is simply to keep up!
The best time to discover that you have an area of tightness in the back, or an area that isn’t working as well as it should, may be before you are pregnant, or at least early on. It certainly isn’t good to find out late in the pregnancy with an episode of back or pelvic pain.
Though as Osteopaths we are well used to treating and helping women who have back and pelvic pain ‘out of the blue’ during pregnancy, we are keen to see women early and try to prevent problems.
There are no safety concerns about treating women during pregnancy, but even so we take extra care to make our treatment as gentle and careful as possible, particularly during the early weeks of the pregnancy when spontaneous miscarriage is more likely.
After the pregnancy we are keen to check the mother, (and of course the baby or babies), to help her body to get back to normal as soon as possible. If we are needed and mother or baby cannot travel, perhaps being confined to home or hospital, we will visit.