Pregnancy: The changing body of a mum-to-be.
Found this wonderful body art of a pregnant women on the net.
The miracle of pregnancy should be glorified more often! Nothing is more satisfying then helping a mummy-to-be during these special months with her changing body! Lots of pregnant ladies are lucky and go through this fascinating time without any major hiccups- others are less fortunate and experience various aches and pains.
Low back pain, sciatica, symphysis pubic dysfunction (SPD) and upper back pain especially during the third trimester all contribute to increased tiredness as the belly keeps growing and putting more pressure on mummy’s body.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment has been
proven to be safe and effective at reducing pain
and improving function during pregnancy.
The gentle treatments prepare the body for labour by making sure that the pelvis and the entire body and spine is balanced to facilitate an straightforward descent of the baby into the pelvis.
What changes happen to a pregnant body?
There are numerous big changes happening during pregnancy, the following paragraphs describe the physical impacts of pregnancy. These may be particulary prominent if the mum is not totally balanced in her body at the start of pregnancy.
The increased load on the spine via the growing bump can increase the curvature in the back, which can highlight areas that have been niggling for a while or create tension in the back and blocked spinal segments. This is a common source of pregnancy related low back pain.
This tension can irritate the nerves and create sciatica or other nerve pain. It may lead to an unbalanced position of the uterus, which can have an effect on the position of the foetus. But mainly it perpetuates a pelvic dysfunction:, that can lead to symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)
The spinal imbalance with its associated muscular tensions can pull the pelvis (the two ilia and the sacrum) out of its proper position. This is called a pelvic torsion or misalignment. This has multifold results besides putting pressure on the nerves into the legs, difficulty walking and retained fluids and swollen ankles:
If there is a pelvic torsion in the body of the mum-to-be the psoas muscles are affected- And because these two muscles on the inside of the pelvis act like train tracks for the baby's head during birth, it is really important that they in line!
Not only the psoas, but also the pelvic floor muscles get distorted if the pelvis is not quite straight. This may lead to very painful SPD that gets progressively worse as the pregnancy goes on or prolonged incontinence troubles post-birth.
If there is a persistent side bending in the mum's spine it is likely that the ribs get more compressed from above- which is particularly painful when the baby keeps kicking up into your chest (to get some more space- or just because it like poking mummy). And breathing deeply gets trickier anyway- so there is no need for that to be even more difficult.
The reduced chest space doesn’t just affect the breathing, but can also increase the pressure on the stomach and so can lead to painful heartburn- unfortunately antacids may be off the menu during pregnancy.
The increased curvature of the spine puts more demand on the muscles in the neck, which further makes blood supply and drainage to the head difficult, facilitating headaches.
This demand on the muscles in the neck is firth increased by the growing breasts- the pull of them exacerbates the increased curvature, and hence neck pain- So always make sure that you wear a well fitted bra! Your cup size and chest circumference will be changing a lot in preparation for breastfeeding.
Lastly, the copious hormonal changes of pregnancy actually cause the master gland of the body, the pituitary gland, to swell up. Due to its location, this can affect the drainage of the head. Now this may contribute to the common complaint of a blocked nose and sinusitis and headaches - especially in the third trimester.
Oh and be careful in the sun, if your skin is sensitive- however the changed amount of melatonin can actually give you your best tan ever! :)