Tuesday, January 29, 2019

CranioSacral Therapy for Pregnancy, Birth, & Postpartum

Through its gentle, client-led approach, CranioSacral Therapy can help mothers' bodies as they prepare for (and/or recover from) one of the biggest events of their lives.

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Childbirth is a natural and powerful physiological process that all women's bodies are designed to undergo. Every baby will be born in some way or another, but many women have specific ideals that they hold for their births. If you are expecting, there are various things that you and your partner can do during pregnancy and labor to contribute to an easier birth and faster postpartum recovery. Due to its gentle, non-invasive, client-led approach, CranioSacral Therapy lends itself especially well to supporting this innate physiological process. Keep reading to learn more about how CranioSacral Therapy can contribute to an easier pregnancy, birth, and postpartum recovery.

Stock Photo Credit: Canva
CranioSacral Therapy During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most transformative experiences a woman can undergo. She goes from nurturing and growing just one person -- herself -- to two (or three or even more, if she is carrying multiples). The unborn baby's needs change as he/she develops in utero, but throughout the process the baby will rely exclusively on the mother's body to fulfill these needs. As their babies grow, most mothers experience the infamous "pregnancy aches and pains" that are often the result of her body trying to integrate all of the changes it must undergo in order to accommodate the growing fetus within her.

Our CranioSacral Therapists at the Lake of the Ozarks can facilitate this integration process by tuning into mothers' bodies, helping their tissues release restrictions, and encouraging much-needed tissue reorganization so that both mother and baby can be more comfortable. Because the baby is constantly growing, the uterus is constantly expanding, which in turn causes all of the surrounding structures to undergo constant readjustment. For this reason, many women find it extremely helpful to make professional bodywork a regular part of their self-care routine throughout their pregnancies.

Stock Photo Credit: Canva
CranioSacral Therapy During Birth

As every woman who has given birth will tell you, childbirth is one of the biggest, most life-changing events any woman can experience. Its process and its outcome, whether positive or negative, will likely impact her life for many years to come. Receiving regular CranioSacral Therapy treatments during pregnancy can help the body release restrictions that might otherwise make childbirth more challenging or difficult when the time comes.

There are also certain CST techniques that can be used during labor to help facilitate the process. Some of these are relatively simple and can even be taught to the mother's partner, doula, care provider, or other members of her birth team. Carol McLellan's article in Massage Magazine states that women who receive CranioSacral Therapy during pregnancy and labor experience a number of benefits, including:
  • Less need for Pitocin or other drugs to either induce or speed up labor
  • Fewer incidences of prolonged labor
  • Less need for an epidural or other pain-relieving drugs (as well as fewer negative effects when pain-relieving medication is used)
  • Babies who are more peaceful during the first few weeks

Stock Photo Credit: Canva
CranioSacral Therapy During Postpartum

Recovering physically from birth and learning how to integrate a newborn into the family are huge processes that deserve a great deal of attention and support. Depending on how the pregnancy and/or birth went, both mother and baby may have developed certain physical lesion patterns that their bodies need help overcoming. Structural issues can be the core cause of physical symptoms (such as pain or prolonged recovery), or they can lead to emotional challenges such as postpartum anxiety or depression. Conversely, emotional issues such as these, if left unaddressed, can lead to additional physical symptoms.

Newborn babies can also benefit immensely from CranioSacral Therapy. CST can help overcome any structural issues that may have stemmed from the way infants were born or from the care they received immediately following birth. CranioSacral Therapy has been shown to help newborns in a variety of different ways, including improved latch/breastfeeding and reduced symptoms of colic or other distress.

Stock Photo Credit: Canva
The Emotional Aspects of Pregnancy, Birth, & Postpartum

No conversation about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum would be complete without also addressing the vast array of emotions that mothers experience. Pregnancy often brings deeply rooted emotions to the surface -- emotions that may have stayed safely hidden for years, but now demand attention. If the pregnancy was not planned, the emotions expecting mothers experience may be even more burdensome. 

Childbirth and postpartum, depending on their process and outcome, usually bring even more emotions into the picture. Some of these emotions may have logical sources that can easily be reasoned through, and others may not. As we discussed in our previous blog about SomatoEmotional Release, CranioSacral Therapy often lends itself very well to uncovering and addressing deep emotional issues that are stored within the tissues.

Unspoken and/or unaddressed emotional challenges can lead to increased pregnancy discomfort, as well as prolonged labor or other birthing difficulties. By helping our clients uncover and process their emotions, whatever they may be, our Lake of the Ozarks CranioSacral Therapists help our clients achieve easier pregnancies/births and swifter postpartum recovery periods.

Click here to learn more about SomatoEmotional Release.

Stock Photo Credit: Canva
CranioSacral Therapy for New or Expecting Fathers

While we have primarily geared this article towards the physical and emotional changes pregnant and birthing mothers undergo, it is important that we also acknowledge the changes that new or expecting fathers experience. Even when they are excited about the baby, expecting fathers often experience a great deal of pressure and stress during pregnancy, such as concern over providing for an additional family member or worry about their wives' safety during birth. Fathers' emotional burdens may change focus once the baby is born, but rarely do they go away completely.

CranioSacral Therapy can provide new and/or expecting fathers with a safe place to explore and process the emotions that may be impacting their lives (whether that impact is conscious or non-conscious). CST can also help their bodies overcome any physical restrictions that may be contributing to greater physical or emotional discomfort.

Contact Us for More Information or to Schedule Your Appointment!

Every pregnancy and birth is different, but each one is beautiful and powerful in its own way. Our bodies have a greater wisdom and intelligence than we may ever consciously understand. Our job -- as mothers, fathers, caregivers, therapists, family, and friends -- is to simply trust and support the process as best we can.

Give us a call at (573) 280-4470 or (573) 480-7080 to learn more about how our CranioSacral Therapists in Mid-Missouri can help you!
Hands That Listen

- Post by Bailey Puppel, Owner

Infinite Touch Integrative Therapies, LLC



(573) 280-4470 
(573) 480-7080


8:00 AM - 7:00 PM Monday-Friday
by appointment only


110 Crossings E Drive, Suite 5
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

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