Additional hormones, changes in posture, ligament laxity, and changes in nutritional requirements all put a big strain on the body throughout the nine months of pregnancy. It’s no wonder that it can become an uncomfortable time with common symptoms such as back and pelvic pain, headaches, fatigue, reflux, and swelling just to name a few.
Expectant mothers are always told that it is something they will have to put up with. This is not the case! With a bit of extra care and advice pregnancy can be a whole lot more comfortable. Our osteopath has come up with some top tips to help you get through your pregnancy pain free.
The benefits of exercise are endless; it can help prevent headaches, stress, depression, tiredness, pelvic pain, back ache, constipation and swelling. Not only this but it also reduces the likelihood of needing a C-section by a third and causes an increase in blood flow to the placenta – meaning it is great for baby too!
Babies need lots of space to grow, so your muscles, joints and organs all have move to make more room. The spine and pelvis change shape and become more elastic sometimes causing back and pelvic pain, and the abdominal organs can become very compressed resulting in reflux and heartburn.
By exercising regularly you will gain additional strength and flexibility, making it easier for you to adapt to physical changes your body undergoes during your pregnancy.
Examples of safe exercise include pregnancy yoga and Pilates, swimming, walking, personal training, and most other non-impact sports. Consult a health professional before starting an exercise regimen while pregnant, they will be able to advise you what is suitable.
2)Get the right support
To fit around a growing bump, your spine will change its shape. Your bottom may stick out more and your upper back and shoulders become more hunched. This is very natural but there are a few things you can do to help adapt and prevent it causing pain:
•When at work, driving or sitting prolonged periods, use a lumbar support or cushion in the small of your back to make sitting more comfortable
•Sleep with a pillow/ folded towel between your knees. This takes some pressure away from the pelvis and spine (See our blog on the Sleep on Side campaign for more information on how to sleep during pregnancy)
•Ditch the heels! Flat shoes with arch support will be your new best friend to help your feet carry the extra weight
•Maternity belts can be beneficial in certain circumstances, but need to be used appropriately, it’s better to seek a professionals advice before use
Lower back and pelvic girdle pain affect over 50% of pregnant women. This can very easily be treated without the use of medication through manual therapy. Research has found that women who see an osteopath throughout their pregnancy tend to have a better birth than those who didn’t have treatment.
Osteopaths are musculoskeletal experts who can provide a very safe way to alleviate some of the common complaints during pregnancy including lower back and pelvic pain, headaches, sciatica, and digestive issues. Many women pop in for check-ups throughout pregnancy to keep the common side effects of pregnancy at bay.
At Lotus Osteopathy we have much experience in treating women before, during and after pregnancy; working together we can make it an easy process for the body so that you can focus on getting on with normal life! If you are not enjoying your pregnancy due to aches or pains, or even if you are concerned that a current issue will give you pain during a future pregnancy, please speak to us so that we can help you. You do not need to suffer!