Woman sitting on exercise mat during her pregnancy

Can Osteopathy help during my Pregnancy? Do Osteopaths treat pregnant women? 

Following on from our blog for new mums, we thought we’d give some insight on how Osteopathy can help during your pregnancy. Perfect timing as we say goodbye (for now) to our Osteopath Nicola Shelton this week as she is going on maternity leave!

The Osteopaths at Holistic Bodyworks love treating pregnant women and supporting them through their journey from pre-natal to post-natal care. We know that pregnancy can be a daunting but exciting time. We also understand that during pregnancy and motherhood a lot of physical, emotional, psychological and social changes occur.  


What are the most common complaints during pregnancy?

  • Lower back Pain 
  • Pelvic girdle Pain (Sacroiliac Joint and or Pubic Symphysis)  
  • Groin pain 
  • Hip pain  
  • Sciatica 
  • Middle, upper back and neck pain 
  • Headaches  
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 
  • Postural changes  
  • Rib cage pain 


How may Osteopaths be able to assist you during your pregnancy?  


During pregnancy your body can undergo a vast amount of change every day as the baby develops. The body changes significantly even from the first day of conception as hormone levels change in the body. Some of these hormones cause softening of the ligaments, which assists the body to posturally changing over the next 9 months.

Osteopathic treatment uses a range of treatment techniques with the aim to assist the physical changes of the female body. Manual techniques may reduce pain and improve range of motion throughout the body. Home care will include regular stretches and exercises as well as postural and ergonomic advice to support your changing body.


What does treatment entail?


As with any new patient, our initial appointments range between 45 minutes to an hour. This allows an in depth history to be taken and ensure that treatment is safe for you. We do an assessment, which involves movement testing and any relevant tests. We will then discuss the diagnosis and the treatment plan with you before treatment occurs.

What techniques are used?


Treatment techniques may include soft-tissue massage, stretching, articulation and more gentle indirect treatments known as counter-strain, Balance Ligamentous Tension (BLT), cranial and biodynamic. These treatment techniques may help the body to adapt to the changes that occur throughout pregnancy, including weight gain, changes in posture, walking/gait and other movements that occur in daily life.  


NOTE:It is advised to check with your general practitioner or obstetrician if you are in a ‘high-risk’ category before seeking osteopathic care and whether it is appropriate for you.


Can I see an Osteopath after I have given birth? 


As Osteopaths, we have an understanding of the accompanying physical, mental and emotional changes required during the birthing process and postnatally.  The adjustment postnatally is quite significant as you now have a new baby to care for. There is the obvious fact of interrupted sleep, as well as your body undergoing more change to re-adjust back to “normal” over the next few months to years. 

Initially postnatally, a lot of women may experience muscle fatigue and aches due to the exertion and physical stress on the body during labour. The hormone relaxin gradually decreases allowing the ligaments of the body to start to return to their pre-pregnancy structure, which may cause joint pain and feelings of restriction.  

Even after a few months you still may be experiencing physical stress through your lower, mid or upper back, that may be left over from labour or even exacerbated by holding, bathing and breastfeeding your baby. There may also be associated menstruation issues, incontinence, constipation and abdominal wall weakness, separation and pelvic floor weakness. As Osteopaths we may be able to assist in reducing the muscular tension and aches felt through your body and prescribe gentle stretches, exercises and postural advice that will further assist mothers in their recovery. For some helpful tips on good posture for new mums read our previous blog for new mums.

Note: We usually advise that you gain medical clearance at your 6 week check up before coming to see us postnatally.


What other things can I do to aid recovery from pregnancy and childbirth?

At Holistic Bodyworks, we also have the option to conduct one on one post-natal and pre-natal Clinical Pilates. Pilates may help the body physically prepare for the pregnancy related changes, labour and the stress postnatally.

If you are pregnant or have recently given birth or you have any questions make an appointment with one of our friendly and caring Osteopaths you can call us on 9570 3388 or book online.
Call (03) 9570 3388