Enjoy your pregnancy and baby
For those of you that are expecting a baby or have recently given birth, you may be only too aware of the physical and emotional strains experienced by becoming a mum. Low back pain is a common problem for many of the expectant mums I see but Osteopathy can help with so much more.
The pregnancy hormone relaxin is produced as early as the second week of pregnancy. Relaxin softens the ligaments and muscles, to enable the delivery of your baby through the birth canal. With the steady increase in weight, as your ‘bump’ gets larger, your centre of gravity changes and hence your posture will alter to ensure you maintain your balance. Towards the end of pregnancy, bending forwards becomes more difficult and so you have to adapt how you move. All of this, not surprisingly, causes more stress on your spine, sacro-iliac joints, symphysis pubis and the muscles in your low back and abdomen.
A word of warning, your body continues to produce relaxin for up to 5 months after giving birth, longer if you are breastfeeding.
Another misconception is that women are most likely to get back pain during pregnancy. In my experience, I treat more women after the delivery.
Bear in mind that you spend a considerable amount of time leaning over a cot, carrying your baby in a car seat and leaning into a car to secure your baby. This puts your low back under considerable strain at a time when your abdominal muscles are weak. And don’t forget that your ligaments do not return to normal until you stop breastfeeding.
In addition, I see many women with upper back, neck, shoulder and arm pain from the hours spent feeding their baby.
You and Your Baby offer
During 2019, The Odiham Clinic is offering a Mother and Baby package for £70 – consultation and treatment for mum, plus an assessment for your baby. If you are suffering pain, seeing a manual therapist such as an Osteopath is a safe and natural choice when you are limited on taking painkillers.
Tips for enjoying your pregnancy and baby
- You are more likely to resolve the problem if you seek help early, before you get too heavy.
- Try and keep active during your pregnancy, eg. swimming, pregnancy yoga. You need to prepared for what some people would describe as a ‘marathon’!
- Your midwife will give you post-natal exercises, including pelvic floor and abdominal exercises. It is important to keep these up, to regain the strength and help support your low back.
- When you lean over, ensure you engage your abdominal muscles to protect your low back.
- To avoid upper back problems, sit in a high backed chair with arms when feeding. Put pillows on your lap to support your arms and your baby so that the pillows are doing the work; not your neck and shoulder muscles.
So why not make a resolution and let one of our Osteopaths help you enjoy your pregnancy and baby.