By Anne-Marie Mougeot, Osteopathic Practitioner D.O.M.P., D.Sc.O, B.Sc. Kin
One of the most beautiful examples of our body’s ability to adapt and to demonstrate balance and strength can be seen during pregnancy. There are amazing physical, hormonal, and emotional changes that take place in order to accommodate and support a growing fetus. So many shifts in the body, in addition to the anticipation of caring for a new baby, can be big changes to get used to. Although many pregnancies progress smoothly without any major discomforts, it is not uncommon for aches and pains to arise during this time. Osteopathy can help provide relief from these problems and is a safe and gentle approach for both mother and baby.
Common complaints that may arise during pregnancy include pubic symphysis pain, pain in the back of the pelvis or lower back, neck pain, wrist pain, and pain down the leg(s). As most drugs are not advised during pregnancy, it seems quite obvious that a natural gentle hands-on-treatment is the best option. Mom-to-be will also get the added bonus of putting her feet up and relaxing for a while.
Osteopathic Practitioners can help to assist the natural process of pregnancy by helping the body to adapt as the pregnancy progresses. This is achieved with the application of safe and gentle techniques, while making sure that the mother is comfortable at all times. Osteopathic Practitioners can also offer advice about managing painful or uncomfortable symptoms and demonstrate self-help techniques which can be done by the expecting mother and partner during pregnancy and labour. Osteopathic Practitioners work with other health practitioners, such as doctors, midwives, or pelvic floor physiotherapists, to ensure optimum care and open communications. In addition to osteopathic manual techniques, Osteopathic Practitioners often provide gentle exercises to help keep the mother active throughout her pregnancy.