Mums to be

mother holding belly

Osteopathy can play an important part in antenatal care by helping the expectant mother accommodate to the changes of pregnancy without undue stress and strain. Osteopathy and acupuncture can be beneficial before and during pregnancy to ensure that the hardest physical day’s work you’ll do is as easy as possible. Likewise post-partum treatment may help you recover quickly to enjoy your time with you baby.

Our appointments can also provide an extra screening service for expectant mums between scheduled antenatal appointments by monitoring blood pressure and noting changes that may signal a problem with you or your baby’s development.

We understand the dramatic changes that occur within your neck, shoulders, spine, hips and pelvis as your body continually accommodates your growing baby, and the way this impacts on your posture, breathing, digestion and bladder. Cranial techniques, soft tissue, stretching, acupuncture and nutritional advice can all help you and your baby through this process.

Lower back pain and pelvic pain are common complications and are estimated to occur in upto 74% of all pregnancies [1]. Some common treatments for musculoskeletal aches and pains, such as drugs are not always suitable for pregnant women. Both Osteopathy and acupuncture are recommended therapies to ease such pain [2], and offer a safe and effective way of dealing with these common conditions.

Treatment of pregnancy related back and pelvic pain can make your pregnancy more enjoyable and indeed your future bond with your baby. A team in Sweden, the country who along with Germany currently provide much of the research data with regard to pregnancy and labour support found a threefold increased risk of postpartum depression in women with lumbo-pelvic pain [3].

We can help with:
• Preparing for pregnancy ensuring you are fit and healthy and better able to conceive
• Generalised muscular back pain
• Sciatica and leg pain associated with back pain
• Neck aches and headaches of a mechanical nature.
• Easing the postural changes that give physical discomfort in pregnancy including symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and pelvic girdle pain (PGP)
• Rib and thoracic spinal pain leading to breathlessness and difficulty in deep breathing
• Reducing heartburn
• Preparing for labour, by ensuring the pelvis is balanced and offering from 36 weeks a researched acupuncture protocol to aid readying the cervix for labour thereby potentially reducing length of labour and the need for intervention. The Mannheim model used is currently standard practice in Germany [4].
• Easing the physical strains of giving birth and helping with recovery

Helen treats pregnant mums drawing primarily on osteopathic techniques and research taught by Dr Stephen Sandler, Consultant Osteopath at the Portland Clinic, London. Additionally she has undertaken obstetric training with the British Medical Acupuncture Society. All approaches have been researched and deemed safe for most expectant mums.

The work done in this area by Dr Sandler is acknowledged as providing vital to the support of expectant mums. ‘Pregnant women have always been troubled with musculo-skeletal problems…Dr Stephen Sandler has been instrumental in highlighting these very relevant problems and through anatomy and physiology, understanding their causation. He has pioneered the awareness and efficacy of osteopathic treatment for pregnant women to improve their antenatal, intra-partum and postnatal wellbeing.’ [5]

With regard to acupuncture both Sweden and Germany utilise acupuncture regularly with in many of their maternity units.
75% of all midwives working in Sweden are trained in acupuncture with Swedish data indicating 98% pain relief and relaxation during labour [6] and in Germany 97.3% of maternity units offer acupuncture [7].

Data also indicate that women using acupuncture are likely to [8]
• experience a shorter labour
• less likely to require induction
• reduced need for a caesarian section
• lower rates of forceps or ventouse delivery
• experience less blood loss

 

References

1. Ed et al. 2008

2. Pennick & Liddle 2013 p. 27

3. Gutke et al. 2007

4 Roemer et al. 2000 Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkunde 60.513-518

5. Malcolm Gillard FRCS FRCOG Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician

6.Martensson et al. 2011 Midwifery 27: 93-98

7. Munstedt et al. 2009 Forschende Komplememtaermedizin 16:111-116

8. Carr & Lythgoe, BMAS Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth September 2013