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July 7, 2016

Osteopathy can offer mums-to-be many benefits from soothing those pregnancy aches and pains to preparing their body for birth.  

The journey from conception to the birth of your new little person is one that although incredibly fulfilling, is often not without its aches and pains and anxiety about all the changes. There are a range of holistic treatments that can support you through this special time “It is often thought that the aches and pains during pregnancy are all ‘just part of the ride’, but this isn’t true,” says Auckland Osteopath Sarah Boughtwood.

Pregnancy is a time of immense change for your body: your joints and muscles are placed under extra pressure as your baby grows and this, coupled with the resulting postural changes, can bring up a range of discomforts and difficulties. “Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy is aimed at helping the mother’s body adapt to the growing baby and the increased demands on it,” says Sarah.

Some of the common pregnancy issues for which people seek help from an osteopath are headaches, back pain, sciatica, reflux, heartburn, muscle tension, rib pain, pelvic pain and even sleep difficulties. Many women opt for this natural form of treatment during pregnancy, given that some painkillers are off limits and the ones that are safe don’t necessarily offer a strong enough effect.

And, as Sarah explains, “You don’t actually have to wait until you reach the pain stage. Osteopathy can help the body along the way during pregnancy, and ensure that your muscles aren’t being strained in certain positions. “The treatments will aim to have your body in the best possible state leading up to the delivery, making sure that the pelvis is aligned nicely, the joints are mobile and the muscles are working as optimally as they can.  “Labour is going to be what labour is,” says Sarah, “but the more you prepare your body to be in the best state possible leading up to delivery the better. And this has a significant impact on birth and recovery.”

By working with the mother’s body, osteopathy can also help the baby by giving it as much room as possible. “If you have really tight back muscles, then it’s going to compress through that lower back area, which will affect how much room the baby has, compared to if it is nice and soft through there,” Sarah explains.

Once baby does arrive, osteopathy can be used for other issues that come up such as tight shoulders and arms from breastfeeding, even strain from repetitively picking up baby. Postnatal treatment “helps your body adapt to all the new movements you are not used to doing”, says Sarah, “as well giving your sleep deprived body some much needed help with the repair and recovery process."


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