All kinds of challenges can pop up in pregnancy, and in the early stage of a baby’s life. Osteopathy can certainly help.
It is a big job being pregnant. Normal everyday strains and injuries can occur, not to mention the added complications of expanding rapidly. Your body posture changes significantly during pregnancy – as your baby grows your lower back tips forward often leading to lower back pain and upper back tightness. In the later stages as your hips prepare for birth you can get discomfort around that area and the outer thighs making it uncomfortable to sleep. These are just some of the normal pregnancy issues that are often very responsive to osteopathic treatment. Not only do we want to reduce your pain and discomfort, but we want these areas of your body to work as well as possible for your upcoming birth. You don’t really need to have any extra pain heading into your labour!
These same areas of your body (especially your lower back and pelvis) form the birth passage, and it is important that they can move as well as possible to give your baby space to descend. Having some osteopathic treatment to align your pelvis before you go into labour can be helpful for both of you during the birth. Baby is designed to go through the normal but very strong pressures of being born and in an ideal world, they (and you) would pop back into their most comfortable and physically relaxed state after this journey. The reality is this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes babies have areas of tightness from their in-utero position, sometimes from the way in which they birthed and sometimes we don’t know why they appear uncomfortable.
What seems like a “good” birth such as a relatively fast one, may in fact be more challenging for your baby than a long slow birth which could of course be more challenging for you. This is why we recommend an osteopathic treatment and check up for baby sometime early on, even if the birth went well and baby seems settled. Small strains at birth tend to become more noticeable as they grow, and treating when they are very little can often prevent some strains developing into problems.
It is a huge adjustment for baby to get used to the world, and where osteopathy can really help is settling any areas of physical discomfort they may have. Because our babies can’t tell us they are uncomfortable, the way they may show us is with crying, not sleeping, general unsettledness and so on. Osteopathy can help them to be more comfortable – especially with colic and reflux – and parents may see changes in breastfeeding, ease of burping. less spilling, crying less and sleeping more afterwards – hooray!