Osteopathy During Pregnancy..

Pregnancy is a unique and powerful experience. Enormous physical, hormonal and emotional changes take place over a relatively short period of time.

The body has to adapt to carrying up to 20lb of baby, waters and placenta, which can impose physical strain on all the organs and tissues. Pregnancy hormones also cause the ligaments of the spine and uterus to soften making them more susceptible to injuries.

As a result, many pregnant women may experience one or many of the following symptoms during their pregnancy:

•Low back and pelvic pain
•Pubic symphysis pain
•Neck pain
•Rib pain
•Uncomfortable pressure on the diaphragm, leading .to shortness of breath and indigestion.
•Hemorrhoids and constipation



"Due to a bad car crash in my late teens & owning to the injuries I received, I’ve had to endure years of chronic back pain.

I’ve tried all sorts of treatments & medication but with every day life my injuries kept resurfacing.

I’m now in my thirties & in July 2010, 3 months pregnant, my back already acting up & physio never quite getting rid of my pain, the prospects of carrying a wee bundle for another 6months looked miserable.

Through a family member I arranged to see Lorraine the Osteopath in Cavan & I’ve never looked back.

She diagnosed problems which all connected, from my headaches, neck stiffness, shoulder stiffness, trapped nerves, and pain across my middle & lower back & over a number of sessions treated the lot.

I’m in my third trimester & for the past few months have been attending Lorraine for a monthly maintenance of Osteo & Cranial therapy.

I’ve loved every minute of my pregnancy & do believe the treatment I’ve been receiving contributed to this!"

Ash x

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Is Osteopathic treatment safe for me and the baby while I'm pregnant?

pregnancy and osteopathy


Yes, during this time you require the safest and best possible care.  Osteopaths are trained for a minimum of four years in gentle non-invasive techniques that guide the muscles out of a state of tension, and gently realign the pelvis and spine.

This really helps the growing baby as well as you, get into a more comfortable position/posture.

How can osteopathy relieve my aches and pains, sciatica or symphysis pubis dysfunction?

pregnancy and osteopathy
Aches and pains are common during pregnancy, as the body changes shape to accommodate the increasing size and weight of the uterus. This involves considerable changes to posture. If the mother has existing back problems, or strains in her body from past accidents or trauma, it may be more difficult for her to accommodate these changes, and she may suffer more discomfort as a result.

The ligaments of the whole body soften during pregnancy due to the action of hormones. This allows the bones of the pelvis to separate slightly during the delivery to facilitate the passage of the baby’s head through the pelvis.

Unfortunately this softening affects the whole body and makes it more vulnerable to strain during the pregnancy. This can result in the aches and pains, sciatica or pubic pain. Osteopathic treatment can help the body adapt, and make the pregnancy much more comfortable.

How can an osteopath help with the physical discomforts of pregnancy?

pregnancy and osteopathy

The physical discomforts can include nausea, heartburn, varicose veins, carpal tunnel syndrome, and hemorrhoids.

During the pregnancy, the tension in the diaphragm changes to accommodate the growing baby.

This has many knock on effects throughout the body.

  • The diaphragm forms a loop of muscle that wraps around the entrance valve to the stomach, so this can get irritated causing heartburn.
  • The diaphragm movement in breathing is very important for venous blood flow since it acts like a pump. However, when it is tight, the pumping mechanism is affected and venous blood flow is reduced causing congestion of the veins. This can lead to varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It will also cause congestion of the veins from the liver and this can lead to nausea. This venous congestion also causes the swollen ankles and hands which can be very uncomfortable.

How does osteopathic treatment help me prepare for labour?

pregnancy and osteopathy
As labour is likely to be more difficult if the baby is not lying correctly, it is worth trying to help them to move into a better position. The baby generally settles in a head downward position and facing backward with his spine curled in the same direction as his mother’s spine. This puts the baby in the most advantageous position for passing through the birth canal during labour.

  • In addition, Osteopathy during pregnancy may be of benefit in facilitating an easy passage of the baby through the birth canal. If the pelvis is held in poor alignment it may make it more difficult for the baby to rotate down through the birth canal and emerge into the world.
  • Patients also report that they recover more quickly after the labour if their pelvis has been prepared for the birth.


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