Please note that cranial osteopathy is not different to osteopathy, it is a type of approach to treatment and is interchangeable with the word osteopathy on this page.
Pregnancy is a life-transforming experience for both parents, heralding the birth of a new being. Although it is a natural process and part of the normal life cycle, each pregnancy is a special experience. There are a myriad of physical, chemical, hormonal and emotional changes.
As the baby grows inside the uterus, the mother’s body has to make space and her posture needs to adapt. Each woman responds differently, depending on her previous history. Past pregnancies and accidents may have affected the mechanical workings of the spine and pelvis, whilst illnesses may have a bearing on the tissue state of the body. These factors, plus the natural loosening of the ligaments in preparation for birth, may lead to aches, pains and fatigue.
As the birth approaches, with reducing space to move around, the baby needs to be in the optimum position for delivery. Any past trauma to the pelvis, sacrum or coccyx may distort the birth canal potentially affecting the baby’s descent.
Osteopathy is safe and non-invasive method of treatment that may help relieve the stresses and strains on your body during pregnancy or after birth. Osteopaths also offer self-help advice and exercise therapy to support you. Some osteopaths work with local Midwives and Health Visitors to help pregnant women and new mothers.
After the birth
During birth the pelvic ligaments stretch to allow the parts of the pelvis to separate. After birth, these ligaments tighten and return to normal length, and any distortions from giving birth may remain, disturbing the normal function of the pelvis and spine. Repeated bending to change nappies, poor feeding positions, lifting baby and car seats, or carrying the baby on the hip can all add to postural vulnerability at this time.
Osteopathic treatment aims to help the new mother’s posture to return to normal. Some osteopaths work alongside lactation consultants to give postural advice related to breastfeeding.