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By Tony O'Brien D.O Osteopath at the Littlejohn Centre.

During pregnancy a women goes through enormous change, both physically and emotionally. Pregnancy causes major hormonal activity throughout the body. This is to assist the body in adapting to the new life inside it. The body has to adapt to the increasing size and weight of the baby, the placenta and the fluid surrounding the baby. All this change occurs over a period of around forty weeks, and therefore is quite traumatic.

Hormones cause softening of the ligaments throughout the body to allow the bony pelvis and the body in general to allow for these changes in size and shape. Unfortunately this causes the body to become vulnerable to strain, and if the mother has any unresolved back or pelvic injuries, these can become worse and cause pain and discomfort.

The gradual increase of size and shape of the mum causes change in posture which can result in strain to the muscles of the back shoulders and neck. Headaches are a big problem with this type of strain. The steady increase in the size of the baby can also cause pressure upon the internal organs, and again cause pain. Pressure on the diaphragm and ribs can cause heartburn and indigestion.

An early visit to your Osteopath can help to alleviate these strains and conditions. Osteopaths are trained in gentle techniques which ease pain and do not cause harm to mum or baby. Osteopathic treatments can reduce strains caused by the changes in the mother’s size and shape and therefore make the pregnancy less stressful and more comfortable. The treatments are gentle and relaxing to both mum and baby.