Currently the UK is having a mini-baby boom and our local maternity services are stretched to the limit. The number of midwives have decreased over a few years due to various reasons and so it is increasingly important that good health information is imparted to prospective mothers and their families to ensure that they and their babies are in optimum health and safely delivered. Making healthy babies needs to start early…
Ultimately all parents want a healthy child at the end of the pregnancy and for the new addition to the family to be a happy and active member of the family.
With over 25 years of maternity and paediatric experience means that Gayle Palmer D.O., Osteopath, can help you in many areas of this complex journey for all participants. If you want to make an appointment with her call her on 01243 641665.
Perhaps starting at the beginning is sensible!…
Pre-conception health cannot be over estimated, and this should be considered at least 6 months out for BOTH partners.
Some of the most critical factors in the diet that parents should investigate and consider are:
- exposure to toxic chemicals – smoking, solvents eg commercial cleaning fluids, petrol fumes, heavy metal poisoning – from fumes, contaminated food substrates,
- zinc intake levels – especially important for sperm health but immune systems too
- anti-oxidant levels – best thought of how many portions of fresh fruit and vegetables are eaten each day – 8 is recommended (not the Governments “5-a-day” as this is a minimum guideline only)
- Omega-3 oil intake in relation to Omega-6 – essential for nervous system, cardiovascular and growth. – The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology specifically recommend Omega-3 Salmon Oil Plus by GNLD for ALL pregnant and lactating women because of the essential uses it has for the foetus and young baby. It is completely free from contaminants and has, uniquely, ALL 8 of the Omega-3 family of oils, not just the usual 2/3 found in most, even high-quality supplements. This is why it is the only fish oil supplement that we stock in the Living Elements Clinic, and it is not available in the shops. Sufficient quantities are also important.
- Mineral levels obtained from food especially calcium, magnesium, iron.
The prospective mothers physical health is also important, not only for herself but because poor physical posture etc can and does have an effect on the health and the carrying ability of the Mum throughout the next few months of development.
This is where timely and expert osteopathic intervention can be so effective. Aches and pains and injuries happen just as much during pregnancy. There are NO contra-indications to osteopathic treatment at any stage of pregnancy, although certain techniques are avoided around the time of the most frequent likelihood of natural miscarriages (10-12 weeks).
Osteopathic treatment during all the pregnancy can help the body adjust to the changing weight-bearing forces, prepare the back and pelvis for delivery, help the Mum emotionally and mentally adapt to this life-changing event and reduce the need for outside intervention at delivery.
In a recent osteopathic research abstract from Germany 78 women were treated osteopathically three times only between the 1st and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. The outcomes were measured by the duration of the delivery and other parameters were recorded for intensity of pain during delivery, the mode of delivery, the number and type of delivery complications and injuries during delivery. The baby’s condition was further recorded by the APGAR score and umbilical artery pH score.
The results showed that the length of delivery was reduced by 3 hours in total in the group that had received osteopathic treatment. Pain intensity deceased by 37%. The number of episiotomies decreased from 46% to 31%. In the intervention group 100% of the babies had a normal or slightly acidic umbilical artery pH, compared to only 83% in the control group.
Although this was only a fairly small trial, and some women dropped out during it, it does show that osteopathy has significant effects during this challenging and potentially stressful period of life.
Ref: International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 13(2010) 104-131
I have found that osteopathic treatment will balance and relax the pelvic floor muscles ready for the “big push”. The baby can also be prepared so even if you have not received any treatment during the pregnancy, please DO consider having 2-3 treatments in the last 4-6 weeks before delivery. Changes in breast size during pregnancy places strain on the upper back and neck, restricting use and causing pain and even headaches. The pins and needles in the hands (from nerve and circulatory restrictions) and sciatic or pubic symphysis problems can be helped with treatment.
Gayle has had the privilege to attend 4 deliveries, some in hospital, some at home. Helping the Mum thoughout the delivery and afterwards can also support the family and then she can check the baby for its share of the birth trauma (even a caesarian doesn not mean there is no need for this!). A Successful delivery ie a live birth as far as the medics are concerned only touches the surface of what a cranial osteopath aims to achieve.
Even if you choose to not have Gayle attend the birth, a post-partum osteopathic checkup for both Mum and baby is strongly advised and as soon after as possible. This is why you can buy a Mums and Baby Osteopathic Gift Voucher - a timely and life-changing way to help your loved ones recover and enjoy the whole newborn experience.
Post partum checkups will check for
- back and pelvic alignment for Mum
- helps the uterus and other abdominal contents to return to their normal positions and health
- eases pelvic floor tensions (and allows you to sit down again comfortably even with stitches!)
- ensures milk production is patent and healthy (volume and quality of milk)
- advice on feeding postures
- advice on nutrition
- advice on getting back to normal life
- help with sleep / relaxation and emotional effects of looking after a new baby
- post partum check for the baby
- aids babies ability to suck and swallow properly
- normalises nerve supplies to 2/3rds of the digestive system – less discomfort, reflux, possetting, distress
- check pelvic function including bowels, hips and low back function
- helps prevent body shock which can leave the baby distressed or very quiet and “numb”
- helps nervous system balance
- helps immune function, including following antibiotic usage, often with the use of supplements
- encourages optimism in all the family even when there are challenges
To make an appointment to see Gayle Palmer please call the clinic directly on 01243 641665 or for further advice.
- You can buy the Salmon Oil by following this link for all pregnant and lactating women – as recommended by the Royal College of Obstretrics and Gynaecology.
You are purchase a Post-Natal Check-up Gift Voucher here
Found this article useful? Please pass it along to someone else who it could help please. “The more knowledge you have, the more choices you get and the better your health will be!” says Gayle. Thanks for helping us spread the word!
© Gayle Palmer Nov 2010-16