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There are huge changes that happen to the body during the 9 months of pregnancy,
some women cope well with these postural and hormonal changes others struggle.
Common things that women complain of during through pregnancy are:
While these symptoms are common for women during pregnancy that does not mean
there are normal, or that you necessarily have to suffer them.
These symptoms are in fact a sign that your body is struggling to cope with the changes
that the body needs to make to accommodate the growing baby and ultimately the
Osteopaths treating through pregnancy are seeking to aid the body to reach a
comfortable and optimal place of balance and health.
During the first 3 months (1st trimester) the uterus is still within the boney pelvis, this will
usually mean an increase in urination, but also will lead to period type pain through the
low pelvis sometimes with a sense of stretching. For some women this will be alarming
and very uncomfortable. The hips also start to rotate outwards producing the waddling
gait, that’s associated with being pregnant.
Osteopathic treatment at this time, is focused on any residual strains or injuries in the
body that are affecting hormone balance, or the ability for the uterus to grow and stretch.
Scarring in the pelvis is common from previous operations, endometrosis or infections.
During the second trimester the uterus leaves the boney pelvis, leading briefly to not
needing the toilet so much, and often an easing in the stretching pain. The uterus leaving
the boney pelvis means the body now has to start to shift it’s centre of gravity. This is
often the time that pain in the low back, hips and ribcage will start. Towards the middle of
this trimester heartburn and shortness of breath are common. Congestion in the ribcage,
abdomen and pelvis can also lead to varicosity’s and constipation.
Osteopathic treatment at this time, is again to make sure that the pelvis and ribcage are
able to move freely therefore accommodating the babies growth and the shift in the
centre of gravity.
During the 3rd trimester, the baby’s getting bigger and needs more room and so it will
tend to sit in a more rotated position, strain through the pelvis and torso may encourage
the baby into a non optimum position. Low and mid back pain as well as hip and
abdominal pain are common, in addition to this some women will have pain at the front
of their pelvis, which can be very debilitating. The baby may not be in an optimum
position, such as breech.
Osteopathic treatment during the last trimester, encourages the pelvis
to able to make the movements it may need during labour, , and that the mother is comfortable, feeling well and rested.
Ideally a woman would come for treatment prior to getting pregnant, this allows us to
treat any unresolved strains in the body that may lead to pain or discomfort during the
pregnancy. However, often women will see us when already pregnant, sometimes in
pain, sometimes for a check up. Pregnant women treat and respond well to osteopathic
treatment, and so will usually treat strains quickly, leaving them more comfortable. It is a
good idea if even pain and symptom free to have treatments around the time the big
changes happen to avoid issues occurring, these would be around week 12-14, week
16-18, week 22-24, week 28-32, and week 36-38.
Testimonial from Midwife
Use of osteopathy in Midwifery by Sue lennox, Midwife.
I found osteopathy invaluable in practice, it provided a check and correction of pelvic
symmetry antenatatally and a check for mother’s and their babies postnatally.
Antenatally I learned important detail about women, for example, the effects of a large
scarred episiotomy before a birth. Women learned that by correcting an immobilised
sacro-iliac joint a previous history of difficult forceps or caesarean births was changed in
the next normal birth. These pelvic distortions were often caused by falls from horses or
bikes or whiplash injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. I listened to their history of
falls or back injuries and encouraged them to visit an osteopath with whom I had great
Understanding how mechanically important the pelvis is for birthing a baby normally
remains the cornerstone of a holistic midwifery practice. Osteopathy can help women
and midwives understand and correct pelvic distortion and much more. I would not like to
work without this artful practice available to women.
The Twig Centre
Telephone. 04 939 2505
Fax. 04 939 2506
41 Kings Crescent