Circulatory problems

Tensions within the pelvis and abdomen, altered posture and changes to foetal positioning can restrict blood and lymphatic flow to the abdomen and pelvis, impeding drainage from other parts of the body. This is because there is an increase production of body fluids for foetal needs combined with an insufficient return of the fluid into maternal  circulation, causing fluid congestion in the mother's body. As the foetus is adding pressure on a major vein in the mother's body, this can impede blood flow to the pelvis, and restrict the return of the fluid to the mother's heart. This extra fluid can cause extra pressure on the nerves and spine causing back pain. Other symptoms include swelling or puffiness in the hands, face, ankles, abdomen and feet and circulatory problems, such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Osteopathic treatment can help improve that drainage by working on both the pelvis and thoracic diaphragms. Treating the body as a unit and paying attention to the change in gravity and how it affects the spine can also relieve back pain.

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Research:

Hensela KL, Pacchiab CF, Smith ML

Published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine Volume 21, Issue 6, December , Pages 618–626 2013

OMT can acutely improve hemodynamic control during engagement of the skeletal muscle pump and this was most likely due to improvement of structural restrictions to venous return.