In the previous Osteopathy blog we explained what Osteopathy is, a hands on form of treatment that aims to facilitate optimal body function. Just look back a couple of posts if you’d like to read it. In this blog we focus on Osteopathy during Pregnancy because there is almost no better time to get Osteopathic treatment than when you are pregnant!
What happens to your body during Pregnancy?
If we think about the day to day strain we put our bodies through – lifting toddlers, working at a desk, housework, you name it, then we can see that often we do a lot of repetitive movements day to day. This can cause a so called “repetitive strain pattern” in the body where certain tissues become tighter or shortened to make those familiar movements easier. Your body is pretty clever, it is always trying to find an easier way to do things!
When pregnant, your body all of a sudden goes through major changes thanks to your hormones and of course a growing baby. Add on top these strains that your body usually tolerates pretty well but now they can feel like a big deal, leaving you feeling uncomfortable at best and in a bit of pain at worst.
Why choose Osteopathy during Pregnancy?
Osteopathy is a natural and safe way to maintain your health and wellbeing throughout your pregnancy. It is important however to find a good Osteopath, one that is registered with AHPRA and has taken a special interest in treating women during pregnancy.
Supporting women throughout pregnancy is a real passion of mine and I have completed extra learning in pregnancy and postpartum care. This means I have the tools to assist you during your pregnancy, alleviate pregnancy related complaints and ultimately creating balance within your body and make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible.
I am not the only one who thinks Osteopathy is great for pregnancy – there is a number of studies that show the benefits of treatment throughout pregnancy. One such study by John Lavelle (1) found that:
“Treatment of somatic (body) dysfunction in pregnant women can enhance homeostasis (balance) and improve comfort and quality of life as the maternal body adapts to the physiologic and structural changes of pregnancy. Through the application of Osteopathy, osteopathic physicians can dramatically improve the lives of women during pregnancy”.
When should I see an Osteopath during my pregnancy?
You can come in for treatment any time through pregnancy for any symptoms that you may be having, from headaches to back pain to swollen feet. Usually I will see you once a month through the first and second trimesters. We ramp up around the same time as your other appointments moving to every 2 weeks in your third trimester and then from 36 weeks onwards we will have weekly sessions.
Do I need to be in pain to see an Osteopath during pregnancy?
The answer is no, you don’t. Regular osteopathy sessions can also be used to prevent problems from arising in the first place. Chances are at some stage during your pregnancy your body will start protesting a little and prevention is better than cure. You can start your sessions at any time during your pregnancy.
What is an Osteopathy session like?
Every Osteopathy session will be tailored to you individually. We will work on optimising your alignment and treat any pain or discomfort you have. We also use “optimal maternal positioning” techniques that balance your pelvis and uterine ligaments to make sure you are balanced and moving was well as possible leading up to your big day – the birth!
Is Osteopathy covered by my Private Health Fund or Medicare?
Most Private Health Funds do cover Osteopathy if you have an “Extras” cover. Please refer to your own policy to make sure you’re covered or give your health fund a call.
If you have a Chronic Disease, you might be able to get a referral for osteopathic treatment from your GP under a Chronic Disease Management Plan. This rebate covers part of your fees.
How can I make an appointment?
(1) Lavelle, John (2012), Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in Pregnant Women, The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 112(6)