Osteopathy for pregnancy, babies and children

The variety of techniques that osteopaths are trained to use allows for different treatment approaches, thus osteopathic treatment is appropriate for the treatment of new-born babies as well as for the pre and post natal mother.
For new born babies a more subtle and gentle approach is used, such as cranial, and for pre and post natal mothers the treatment approach will vary depending on your needs, wants, and wishes.

From the moment of conception the female body starts to change in preparation for carrying and giving birth to a child. During this time, many musculoskeletal (MSK)changes occur to accommodate the babys growth: spinal curves gradually increase, the pelvis tilts, the hips widen, the muscles of the back and legs tighten, while those of the abdomen are stretched, and various joints become restricted and the internal organs are gradually compressed. On top of this, hormones that are responsible for ligamentus laxity are released to help loosen the joints and prepare the pelvis for birth, which leads to hypermobility in some joints.

Due to the rapidity of change in MSK system, posture and the increasing weight of the baby, restrictions within the muscles and joints can become painful, and underlying problems can worsen. Due to these changes many future mothers suffer: pubic symphysis dysfunction; pain in their neck, back, hips, knees and ankles; swelling in their feet and ankles, hands and wrists; shortness of breath as the lungs, diaphragm and ribs are compressed and stretched; headaches, circulation problems, and gestational diabetes.

Post-natal, the hormones that are released to help keep your ligaments lax in preparation for birth continue to be released for up to 6 months after you stop breastfeeding. This means that MSK problems sustained during pregnancy can continue to cause discomfort even after the birthing process is complete, but it also means you are suseptable to new problems arising. The new routine of sleep and feeding your baby means you may not always have the awareness of your physical condition, but it is important to address these MSK problems before they develop into something worse.

How can osteopathy help?
Osteopathy can help manage you MSK complaints and help prevent more serious conditions like pubic symphysis dysfunction from developing. Furthermore, once the tight muscles are relaxed, the joints can move as free as possible and the pelvis is balanced – delivery is much easier, both for mother and baby.

Pre natal treatment is aimed at relaxing muscular tension and addressing restrictions in the joints of the back, ribs, pelvis and limbs. By doing this, body is more able to deal with the ongoing MSK changes that occur during the pregnancy. In this way you experience less stress and pain, but your body will be better prepared for birth.

Post natal treatment is aimed at recovery and stabilising your musculoskeletal system. The birthing process, although a natural process of life, is a highly traumatic event both physically and mentally. It is important to rebalance your body after so many physical changes have occurred, and to address any torsions or problems that have arisen.