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The benefits of osteopathy for pregnant women

During pregnancy, the woman's body is put to the test: nausea, lumbar pain, headaches, disturbed sleep ... Why not turn to an osteopath to relieve these symptoms?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines osteopathy as a non-drug medicine that relies on the use of manual contact for diagnosis and treatment. It takes into account the relationships between body, mind, reason, health and illness, and emphasizes the structural and functional integrity of the body and the intrinsic tendency of the body to self- cure.

Osteopaths use a wide variety of gentle manual therapeutic techniques to improve the physiological functions of the body, and in fact support its balance, its "homeostasis".

Osteopathy, the ally of future mothers

Osteopathy can significantly improve the comfort of the pregnant woman by balancing functional disorders related to pregnancy. During this period of great physical, hormonal and psychic upheavals, the osteopath will complete and reinforce the classical medical path (general practitioner, gynecologist, obstetrician ...).            

Consultations can be performed at all stages of pregnancy . It is however recommended to act in prevention, the stake being to treat the cause and not only the symptoms, in order to prevent the appearance of certain disorders.

To facilitate childbirth and recovery

During the nine months of pregnancy, the body of the future mother evolves in synergy with the growth of the fetus: the mass and the abdominal pressure amplify, the posture and the equilibrium are modified, the vertebral column arches ... These morphological changes, far from being harmless for the body, can cause various pains to disrupt the smooth progress of pregnancy and childbirth.

In this sense, the osteopath is able to intervene on many levels, for example:

  • Prepare, check the tissue flexibility of the pelvis, diaphragm and perineum;
  • Prepare, check the musculoskeletal and joint flexibility of the lumbar, dorsal and cervical spine;
  • Participate in the prevention of the risks of instrumentalization and complications during childbirth;
  • Work indirectly on the baby's mobility;
  • Prepare the postpartum (end of delivery until the return of diapers)

Be careful though, these prenatal consultations do not provide birth preparation classes !

When painful symptoms are already installed

Some people mistakenly believe that osteopathy is limited only to back pain. False! Without being magical, its field of action is vast , and it can intervene on evils of very varied origins: 

  • Mechanical disorders: lumbar, dorsal and cervical pain, sciatica, coccyx pain, ligamentous pain ...;
  • Digestive disorders : nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain, altered transit (diarrhea, constipation) ...;
  • Circulatory disorders: migraines, headaches, heavy legs, hemorrhoids ...;
  • Gynecological disorders: spasms, painful contractions, pain during sexual intercourse ...

Do not wait for the pain to set in over time, impacting your physical and moral health: from the first signals, it is important that you are quickly taken care of in order to avoid that the symptoms increase in intensity to the point of becoming disabling.

Back of diapers: when to consult?

Fortunately, most of the time, the births go perfectly, both for the mother and the child. However, complications during and after delivery can occur. As such, the action of the osteopath can be beneficial , in the following cases in particular:

  • Difficult delivery (under epidural, caesarean or instrumentation);
  • Twin pregnancy;
  • Significant pressure on the maternal abdomen during expulsion of the baby;
  • Presentation of the fetus by the seat, the face or the forehead;
  • Work too long (more than 8h) or too short (less than 2h);
  • Cord wrapped around baby's neck or arm;
  • Fetal Suffering and Resuscitation ...

If it is possible to resort to osteopathy right out of the maternity, some mothers will prefer to wait a few weeks. Know that it is never too early or too late to consult: everything is about personal feeling. 

Beneficial effects for infants

Childbirth is a test for a newborn, and the first months of life strongly call for its capacities of resistance and flexibility. In addition to pediatric medical management, osteopathic monitoring will help you support your child during his growth and optimize his development.

Do not hesitate to consult if you observe in your baby these signals which could, eventually, generate functional disorders:

  • Deformation and flattening of the skull;
  • Congenital torticollis, preferential rotation of the head and repeated and prolonged posture;
  • Colic and regurgitation;
  • Incessant crying;
  • Sucking or sleeping disorders
  • Recurrent ENT disorders ...

Last tip: choose an infant care practitioner who can be referred to you by your pediatrician. He will be perfectly aware of the actions to be taken and will take maximum precautions during handling.

This article was written in partnership withthe Ait Krim and Compagnone Osteopathy Office


Posted on November 20, 2018.

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