Osteopathy and Postnatal Care.
Just as pregnancy, the period after the birth of a baby can have a tremendous impact on a woman’s body. The psychological as well as postural adaptations the woman developed during pregnancy while carrying the baby for months should be readapted following childbirth.
Various hormonal changes also occur during pregnancy and the process of preparing for labour i.e., levels of pregnancy hormones may increase (rise) or decrease (fall), which has a significant impact on her. Post-delivery too, this pregnancy hormonal balance continues its effects on the body. The muscles and ligaments of the uterus and pelvic tissues become laxer by which risks of getting injury to the lower back or joints or ligaments may increase. These effects may last for about 6 months post-delivery.
To add to the list, breastfeeding and lifting the baby also put enormous physical and emotional changes in addition to the extra strain on the body.
The view of medical science on the human body is that the body’s muscles, bones, and ligaments work together. The science of osteopathy also emphasizes this principle where an Osteopath (Osteopathy specialist) uses techniques such as massaging, moving and stretching of skeleton and musculature. Thus, an Osteopath primarily works on the musculoskeletal system where he is expertise in diagnosing, treating, and preventing various health issues.
Osteopathic treatment is unique in its way as no medication or surgery is used in detecting or treatment. Instead, it only uses manual means or tools, i.e., analysis of the disease condition is carried out either visually or by touching.
For the perfect balance of the body, any disease condition should be eliminated from the root itself, i.e., treatment must be targeting the cause. Thus, all those factors that have brought the symptoms should be considered with due respect rather than merely treating the condition. Osteopathy considers these facts and approaches holistically.
Every treatment aims to bring an end to patient’s discomfort and to raise their quality of life. The process of healing and improving your body function will improve the quality of life and the probability of reoccurrence of the condition will reduce to a greater extend, by approaching the condition efficiently. Proper assistance and aid must be provided. An Osteopath is trained in treating the problem likewise to avoid future issues.
Osteopathy for New Mothers – The Benefits
A new mother is also born along with a new life or baby following delivery. Everything will be new to them whilst feeling exhausted, as they both enter a new world with day to day demands. As a result of which there will be a lot of emotions also which is the primary concern in the first few weeks. Osteopathy can help you in addressing any issue, providing management, and preventing future problems post-delivery.
Postural imbalance or simple postural strains on pelvic organs might have occurred due to carrying the baby for hours. Lifting the baby for long brings postural imbalance for many women. Osteopathic techniques like gentle massage or movement help resolve the issue. Proper breastfeeding techniques can also be offered by an osteopathic practitioner which can help you enjoy motherhood without additional strain.
Hormonal imbalance occurred during delivery may have a significant impact on your day-to-day activities, which might bring alterations in the sleep cycle. Thus, proper harmonization should be carried out for bringing the diurnal rhythm to that normal state and correcting the hormonal imbalance i.e., nervous system should be considered. Seeking help from an Osteopath helps you overcome your difficulties.
How does Osteopathic Treatment work with new mothers?
The female body takes time to revert to its normal shape after childbirth. Also, there is a need of holding and feeding the baby. By coupling both, various postural changes may occur during this period. Low Back Ache is a common complaint among new mothers where they can seek help from an Osteopath to get a cure from the same.
Releasing adhesions and mobilising the scar tissue can alleviate low back and pelvic pain. In addition, this work is essential for future reproductive health, fertility, and successful vaginal births.
Treatments provided by Osteopathy during the post-natal period
It is recommended that strenuous activities, those that bring abdominal pressure should be avoided after childbirth. Instead of that, gentle and simple activities like postural re-education exercises should be included. For example,
decent posture while breastfeeding.
Lift objects only by keeping the back straight and flexing the knees.
Avoid any overload on your lumbar spine – any activity should be carried out only by providing support to the foot (a stool can be used for the same).
Techniques used by an Osteopath include.
Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM): to stretch, apply gentle and simple pressure as well as resistance.
Treatments an Osteopath provide postnatally:
- Techniques to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
- Treatment for postpartum depression.
- To heal the scar tissue from C- section.
- Can provide postural advice.
- Exercises that boost the recovery process.
- Techniques that prevent the diseases from reoccurring.
When to seek consultation with an Osteopath?
Consult without any delay. Treatments should be carried out as early as possible, to reduce the pain and tensions at the earliest and for maintaining fertility, proper reproductive health, and future normal vaginal deliveries. The health of the mother is particularly important as it, directly and indirectly, affects the wellbeing of the child.
A post-delivery check-up for 4-6 weeks is recommended to reiterate and assure that the body has attained its equilibrium state and the functions are carried out well.
In case of a difficult delivery, medical aid should be taken at the earliest to speed up recovery and to avoid further complications. Consulting an Osteopath can help you prevent the same.
In the case of C- section, an Osteopath can help in promoting proper healing of scar tissue that will prevent future pain.
C- sections can also cause scars on pelvic tissues and uterus, eventually causes pelvic and low back pain. Assistance for proper scar management should be done to avoid future complications.
In case of episiotomy,
Osteopaths use gentle methods to release the pain and aid the healing process.
How soon can I consult an Osteopath after giving birth?
If you had a difficult delivery, It is recommended to consult an osteopath as early as possible to speed recovery and prevent future problems.
In a nutshell, Osteopathy and the post-natal period
The body of a woman will be in an imbalanced state post-labour. Appropriate osteopathic care helps to bring her back to normalcy from the overall weakness following delivery and enjoy motherhood.
Can provide with Long term preventive care, thus generalized aches and pains after childbirth can be avoided forever and help her live in a relaxed healthy environment of the body.
Pelvic rebalance is particularly important after the delivery of a child. Hence weakened and tired muscles post-delivery should be appropriately considered. A post-natal check after delivery can help to attain the same.
Low backache is a common medical condition seen after delivery due to weakened abdominal muscles by carrying the baby for nine months. By providing proper support and movement to the low back region, the pain may subside to a greater extend. Exercises that engage the pelvic floor muscles and abdomen can help you vanish your pain. Osteopaths are trained to assist you to do simple and safe exercises.
Provide support in conditions like back pain associated with breastfeeding.
Back pain may also occur due to lifting the baby inappropriately. Needed medical support can be provided through osteopathy.
Gives postural advice related to breastfeeding by working alongside lactation consultants.
In postpartum depression – Proper aid provided will make her happy and healthy.
Proper medical assessment and intervention on the craniosacral axis help the nervous system to reach a normal state, which interdependently affects the psycho-emotional state.
Finally, it can harmonize your nervous system, improve sleep, and balance your hormonal production. It’s never too late to look for osteopathic care!