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Your body and pregnancy

During this unique time you will undergo vast physical, chemical, and often emotional changes over a relatively short period of time. These are some of the changes your body experiences:

Structurally

Your body has to adapt to carrying up to 20lb of baby, waters and placenta, which requires it to readjust into the “pregnancy posture”. This increases the hollow of your low back (lordosis) and tilts the pelvis forward, which has a knock-on effect in the mid and upper back, pelvis and legs often causing back ache and muscle pain as the body tries to adopt this new position .

Secondly the diaphragm gets put under pressure by the expanding uterus which can lead to heart burn and nausea and on occasion shortness of breath.

Your pelvis also has to adapt to this new posture, and the position of the baby can often dictate how well it does this. The baby can push on certain areas which can cause pain and strain. Osteopaths understand the importance of resolving tensions within the pelvis and uterus to allow free movement of the baby, so that it can find a position that provides the least strain on both them and Mum!  Previous injuries and pre-pregnancy trauma or strains can also often become much more apparent once pregnant, and can often influence how well the pelvis can adapt to the pregnancy posture. Osteopaths will consider these when taking the case history and treat the whole of you not just your pregnancy.

Chemically

Your body produces the hormone relaxin in large quantities in the first trimester, which is thought to help loosen the ligaments in your body and help your pelvis open, allowing proper room in the birth canal for delivery.

Unfortunately this can often cause pain during pregnancy, as the pelvic joints can move too much resulting in hypermobility.  This pain is often experienced at the pubic symphysis, where the two pubic bones meet at the front of the pelvis, and in the sacroiliac joints where the pelvis attaches at the back. These two common problems respond particularly well to osteopathic treatment.