The holistic approach in osteopathy does not alter when treating a pregnant woman. We do not treat single structures, but the woman as a whole, taking into account the little miracle in her belly!
After all, a balanced mind in a balanced body not only means peace of mind for the pregnant woman, but also ensures a good development of the fetus.
During pregnancy, a woman changes her posture several times. meaning that the curves in the spine, the neck and the position of the pelvis constantly change position. The woman’s body must therefore be flexible to undergo these changes.
Old blockages, scars, trauma, tense muscles, etc. can be a reason why these changes do not take place smoothly. We see complaints arise such as:
- Pelvic girdle pain (better known as pelvic instability)
- Fluid retention
- Digestive problems: reflux (heartburn), nausea, intestinal problems, …
- Back pain
- Head and neck pain
- Radiating pain
Osteopathy for fetal position
If there is a misalignment (e.g. transverse position, breech presentation) with the fetus, the osteopath can intervene by making all structures around the uterus as flexible, elastic, and symmetrical as possible. An osteopath will never turn a baby directly (this is done in hospital under the supervision of doctors and ultrasound), but when the baby is given more space because compromised movement in the pelvis has been treated, there is a greater chance that the baby will turn spontaneously.
When to treat?
Treatment can take place as of the 12th week of pregnancy until the end of the pregnancy. The first weeks of a pregnancy are the most delicate and involve major hormonal changes. After 12 weeks, the pregnancy hormone HCG gradually decreases, and a more stable period begins for the woman. If you suffer from neck complaints at the very beginning of your pregnancy, an osteopathic treatment can of course take place.
As an osteopath we will always strive to optimize the balance in the body of the pregnant woman. If there are complaints, we look for the possible cause and start working on it. We use manual techniques for this since the joints are considerably looser during pregnancy, we can achieve a great result with very gentle techniques. Naturally, we opt for techniques that are safe for both mother and child.
I wrote a blog post on the subject, which can be found on (in Dutch): https://happybabycoach.com/osteopathie-tijdens-de-zwangerschap/.