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Postpartum Osteopathy-Seeing an Manual Osteopathy therapist after childbirth

During a vaginal birth, the baby needs to pass through the ‘levator hiatus’ in the pelvic floor, and the muscles, connective tissues and nerves can be damaged in the process. The levator muscles are stretched by 1.5 to more than 3 times their normal length as the baby passes through, depending on the size of both baby and pelvic floor muscle opening.2,3 In many women, these muscles return to normal but in 10-30% of women the muscles are overstretched or sometimes torn off the bone. This injury is called a ‘levator avulsion’.

It is also important to note that it’s the first vaginal birth that generally causes the most damage.After birth your body will mostly revert back to its former shape in a short period of time. This period can bring significant changes in how you carry yourself and your centre of gravity. This, coupled with the need to hold and feed your baby, can result in a range of postural problems. Because of this, lower back pain, is a very common complain among new mothers and one of the most common symptoms an osteopathy sees to.

Our manual osteopathy technique aims to provide the following treatment:

  • Balance the diaphragm and pelvis region fasciae

  • Osteopathy articulation on the pelvis structure alignment

  • strengthening of the pelvic floor

  • healing of scar tissue following a C-section

  • treatment for postnatal depression

The Osteopathic treatment is an effective way to address these concerns, promote optimum recovery and help prevent future problems due to unresolved issues. Besides, by relieving postural strains resulting from long hours spent carrying and feeding your baby as well as repetitive movements such as lifting your baby, osteopathy will make the day-to-day demands of motherhood much easier for you. It also can harmonize your nervous system, improve sleep and help hormonal balance.

An osteopath uses physical manipulation to increase the mobility of joints, relieve muscle tension and enhance blood supply to tissues. The techniques and non-invasive treatments are based on a holistic view of the human body where it is important that the bones, muscles and ligaments work together. The treatment aims to improve the overall health of all body systems by manipulating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. Techniques include

  • Osteopathic pelvis adjustment,

  • Osteopathic Lumbar and cervical spine adjustment,

  • The Barral institution Visceral Manipulation and neural meningeal manipulation

  • Craniosacral Therapy and Lymphatic drainage

  • Pre & Post Natal massage and trigger point release

  • Hand and feet stress and tension massage

  • Focus on hip flexors and hamstrings restoration.

  • The mission to achieve the normal range of motion on hip, shoulder, and neck.

  • Advice on posture, exercise to aid recovery and to prevent symptoms from recurring.

How soon can I see an osteopath after giving birth to my baby?

We recommend you consult an osteopath as early as you feel comfortable travelling to your clinic, following the birth of your baby. Osteopathy is especially beneficial if you have a difficult labor and birth, to help recovery and to prevent problems as quickly as possible.

If you have an uncomplicated delivery, we recommend a postpartum check-up between 3-4 weeks to help support you during this time.

What if I’ve had a C section?

If you’ve had a caesarean birth, please get in touch, even if your scar is “fresh”.

Your osteopath will not work on the scar directly but will promote healing by working the tissues around your abdomen. C-sections cause scar tissue on the uterus and pelvic tissues. Releasing adhesions and mobilizing the scar tissue can help to alleviate low back and pelvic pain. This is important for your comfort and mobility as well as future reproductive health, fertility and successful latter vaginal births. Be sure to make time for your own healing and self care during your postpartum period. A happy Mother after all, means a happy baby.

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