During pregnancy the body changes to accommodate the increasing size and weight of the uterus. The ligaments of the whole body soften during pregnancy allowing the pelvis to separate slightly during the delivery to facilitate the baby’s passage through the pelvis. This softening means that the ligaments throughout the body are more vulnerable to strain during pregnancy and along with postural changes backache, headache, neckache and aching legs are common. Craniosacral therapy can offer relief during this time supporting the muscles and ligaments as they change.
Craniosacral therapy is also helpful in the preparation for labour and childbirth. Trauma to the pelvic bones, coccyx or sacrum at any time in a mother’s life can leave increased tension in muscles and strains within the ligaments and bones of the pelvis. This can have an effect on the movement available to these bones, thus reducing the diameter of the pelvic outlet. Old strains held by the pelvis may also affect the lie of the baby preventing it from lying in the left occipital anterior position or LOA. LOA is the ideal position for the baby to be entering into the pelvis as it means the smallest diameter of the baby’s head is entering into the largest diameter of the pelvic outlet.
Craniosacral therapy can release old strains within the pelvis and this realignment can help with discomforts caused by the baby’s position, also helping the baby to turn into a better position.
After birth the body not only has to recover from the changes it has made during pregnancy but also from the effects of the delivery especially if there was a lengthy second stage or an instrumental delivery was necessary. Unresolved birth stresses in the mother can contribute to ongoing back problems, headaches, period pains, stress incontinence, constipation and more. Craniosacral therapy can help release the forces held by the body allowing the mother to return to normal both physically and emotionally thus allowing her to relax and enjoy her new role as a mother.
Craniosacral therapy can also be very helpful if feeding problems are experienced as it supports the mother and baby through this potentially challenging time and explains why some babies find it difficult to attach to the breast.