First and foremost, congratulations on finding out you’re pregnant. Being pregnant may be smooth sailing at first; however, as we progress through the weeks, our body undergoes quite a few changes. Through a combination of hormonal changes and eventual weight gain, the unfortunate physical stresses may eventuate to pain or discomfort.

Why does pregnancy cause body aches and pains?

Firstly, as the foetus grows, the expanding womb leads to the gradual accommodation of the woman’s abdominal wall stretching. Since the muscles are stretched far beyond their normal capacity, they lose their ability to give complete support to the surrounding lower back structures to maintain a good posture. Secondly, the increased release of the hormone relaxin. The hormone relaxin, in conjunction with progesterone, tends to increase the water holding capacity in the soft tissue structures (ligaments) involved in joint articulation, which leads to an increased laxity in the sacroiliac and pubic joints. The extra mobility and muscle fatigue can lead to pain and inflammation in the lower back, pelvis and buttock muscles through the varying postural demands in sitting, standing, bending and even sleeping.

Other areas which may be involved are the neck, shoulders and chest wall due to the postural overloading.

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Treatment

The treatment involved will be tailor-made to the needs and wants of the pregnant female and also how far she is in her pregnancy. Very gentle massage is performed to loosen the overloaded muscular structures commonly including the gluteals, piriformis, quadratus lumborum, hip flexors and erector spinal muscles. Conservative mobilisation techniques are performed to articulate the lower back and pelvic joints to restore lumbo-pelvic function and ease pain and stress to accommodate for the increased mobility produced by the hormone changes. Light stability exercises and modifications to home ergonomics will be assigned to maintain a suitable posture for an increased front load.

Through the restoration of biomechanics in the articulation between the lumbar spine and pelvis, there will not only be a reduction in pain and increase in mobility, but there will also be a reduction in in-utero constraint which will be advantageous to the baby positioning and helping the mother have a safer and easier birthing process.

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For any “extra information” regarding an up to date and extensive source of information on pregnancy, birth and parenting, patients should visit

www.pregnancy.com.au

You’ll be able to find lots of information on midwifery care, pre-conception care, pregnancy, birth, waterbirth, homebirth, vaginal birth after caesarean, postnatal care and breastfeeding. Providing a rich resource for families. Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond provides private midwifery services, quality childbirth education and lactation consultations.

Jane Palmer is a guru and has dedicated her life to supporting families, as they move through pregnancy, birth and beyond.

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