GENERAL & PREGNANCY OSTEOPATH
Pregnancy can be a joyful time but unfortunately can bring some unwanted aches & pains. Osteopaths work closely along pregnant mother's to guide them through the process and alleviate those unwanted pains. These aches and pains can be from mechanical causes like the growing baby putting strains on muscles, joints & ligaments and/or from all the hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy. Osteopaths also like to work along side expectant mother's before these issues arise to try to prevent them occurring in the first place.
- Back pain
- Rib pain
- Pelvic pain
- Difficulty sleeping
Osteopaths also offered tailored advice to expectant mum's on exercises that are best during pregnancy and what exercises to avoid. Pelvic floor exercises can be very helpful to help support the growing baby. Daily exercise of gentle walking is a great way to build muscle and help avoid aches & pains. Stretching can also be very beneficial if done correctly and tailored to the individual.
After your baby is born a few aches and pains can arise while adapting to parenthood. It can take your body a while to adapt to some of the new tasks that come with having a baby. During pregnancy, your hormones work to loosen muscles, ligaments and joints to allow for the growing baby and to prepare your body for birth. It can take a few months for your body to return back to normal, making it more prone to aches and pains. Some common activities that can cause pain for mother’s include; breastfeeding, changing and dressing babies, bath time and carrying the car capsule. Osteopaths commonly treat mothers for muscle strains, neck and shoulder pain, pelvic pain, postural issues and back pain.
Whilst breastfeeding can be a joyful and humbling experience for one mother, it can be very painful for another. There are many causes for pain during breastfeeding, relating to latch, nipples, babies position and mum’s posture. Always consult to your midwife or doctor if you are experiencing any pain. Advice I give my clients includes; having your shoulders relaxed, lower back well supported, a comfortable chair, a foot stool to elevate your feet slightly and a pillow under the baby and/or your elbow to support the baby. You can also ask your midwife your various positions for feeding which best suit you and your baby.
"It is often thought that 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 pregnnacy 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 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.
A lot of women experience lower back, shoulder and neck pain during and after pregnancy. Osteopath and mum Sarah Boughtwood, who specialises in back pain and pregnancy, shares her three favourite upper-body stretches to keep your neck, shoulders and lower back strong and supple.
It can be tough finding time to work out when you're a parent, but there are times during the day in which you can squeeze a few minutes of beneficial exercies or stretches. There are also ways in which you can incorporate your little ones into your exercises. Osteopath and mum Sarah Boughtwood shares her favourite ways to include kids in exercises.
First up, how to fit in exercise. Are you the type who likes to plan, or to do things on the fly? If you're a planner, try sitting down every Sunday night and mapping out your week, for example, what exercises or body regions you want to exercise, and on which days.
I also advise my clients to start off with small goals. Don’t expect to start off doing 60-minute sessions, five days a week to begin with, unless you are an ‘all or nothing personality’. Small, achievable goals make it far more likely that you will succeed. We all have off-days and bad nights with babies waking, days where babies only want to be held. Don’t be hard on yourself; you can only do your best. Aim to build up to 20-30 minutes, four times a week.
And remember, make it fun! If you're doing an exercise with kids, make them laugh (it's the best form of medicine)! This might be as simple as turning up the music and having a dance!
Pregnancy is a special time in a women’s life that often brings unwanted aches and pains. Osteopaths often see pregnant women suffering from back pain, reflux, headaches, pelvic pain, difficulties sleeping, hip pain, leg cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica and abdominal pain. These are all very common and normal. The aches and pains during pregnancy often occur due to the added weight of the growing foetus, the change in your centre of gravity, 40% increase in blood volume and hormonal changes. Relaxin is a hormone with increased production during pregnancy that relaxes your muscles and ligaments. This allows for the expansion of the pelvis, which aids in the delivery process. Unfortunately the relaxation of muscles and ligaments creates unstable or loose joints, which makes them more prone to injury and strains.
Here are some simple ways you can manage your aches and pains.
Light exercise during pregnancy can help create muscle tone needed for strength during delivery and also increase’s circulation around the body. It elevates your mood and energises you. A simple walk is all that is needed. It does not need to be long or strenuous to achieve the desired result. Swimming can also be an effective form of exercise. Floating in a pool can take the strain off the lower back and provide relief. Before doing strenuous exercise, consult a professional for guidance.