Osteopathy & Pregnancy

pregnancy and Osteopathy

Pregnancy is a unique and personal nine month long journey where significant physical, emotional and hormonal changes occur. While some changes are very apparent others such as a 50% increased blood supply and hormonal effects of your ligaments are significantly subtle. The combination of these changes can cause physical strains on the body’s organs, muscles, ligaments and joints including the lower back and sacro-illaic joints.

Osteopathy can help with:

• Pregnancy and its physical discomforts
• The demands of labor
• Give advice on breathing techniques, stretches and exercises
• Recovery of the mother after birth

Effects of Pregnancy on the Body

It is common through the course of your pregnancy to develop some aches and pains, after all your body has to adapt to the change in size and weight of the baby. This often causes substantial changes to your posture, which may aggravate previous back pain episodes and may mean it is more difficult for your body to adapt resulting in some discomfort. As the baby develops it will require more space within the abdomen to find the most comfortable position. However this often contests with the mother posture needs potential causes some considerable strains.

The intention of osteopathic treatment is to release and ensures structural balance in the pelvis so it is prepared for the labour. Furthermore it aims to elevate previous problems within the pelvis and back to promote the chances of a simple delivery and physical recovery.

During pregnancy the body will produce a hormone called relaxin in order to prepare for labour by slightly relaxing your ligament. Relaxin will enable the pelvis to promote the safe progression of the baby’s head by increasing the space of the pelvic outlet through the pelvis on delivery. Unfortunately the hormonal effects on the ligaments occur throughout the whole skeleton and make the body at more susceptible to other aches and pains.

Is Osteopathy safe during pregnancy?

Osteopathic treatment is a safe and gentle approach to treating both the mother and baby throughout the different stages of pregnancy. The beneficial and safe affects of elevating lower back pain in pregnancy is documented in several research articles stated below:

Sandler SE. The management of low back pain in pregnancy.
A brief summary of the literature concerning the osteopathic management of patients during pregnancy Carol Fawkes
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in Pregnant WomenJohn M. Lavelle, DO

Further information on Osteopathy and pregnancy can be obtained from:

The National Council for Osteopathic Research: Osteopathic management of patients during pregnancy a snapshot summary report (Nov 2012)


You can download this guide at: The A State of Health Clinic’s Website.

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