Osteopathy care for pregnant women in Paris
Are you getting tired over the first months of your pregnancy ? It is the right time to schedule an appointment with an osteopath who treats pregnant women.
Let’s meet Pascale Cassou, who is a maternity-enthusiast osteopath.
Pascale had always wanted to practise medicine. She graduated from the national school of physiotherapy and re-education in Saint-Maurice (Val-de-Marne, France) and became masseur-physiotherapist in 2005.
In 2011, she decided to use this combination of skills to open her practice in the 8th Arrondissement in Paris. She is now focusing her work on maternity, gynecological issues and pediatrics.
Pregnant in Paris : Why do women come to see you at the beginning of their pregnancy ?
Pascale Cassou : The most common reasons are back pain and lower abdominal pain. Most of the time, we observe that these aches and pains are actually linked with fatigue, nausea and vomiting, migraines, heartburn, etc. For most people these pains are normal, however they can be valid reasons for check-up.
During pregnancy, the woman’s body undergo great physical and hormonal changes. These changes are responsible for many of the pains arising in the first trimester. The body needs to be released as much as possible to accommodate a growing fetus. As professionals, we have to give more flexibility to the body of a mom-to-be especially on the tissues, joints and organs to improve blood flow, drainage and control. Our role is to help alleviating the discomforts at this early stage of the pregnancy.
Pascale Cassou : You shouldn’t wait to feel stiff or be injured to get a check-up. I think that it is necessary to get your first appointment within the first three months and to follow up with the osteopath over the pregnancy. I have the same recommendation for physiotherapy. It is good to attend a few sessions to get to know some exercises such as stretching, breathing, postures, massages, etc. And you can continue the sessions throughout the pregnancy if needed.
Note : Some medical issues can not be treated with osteopathy and physiotherapy and require a proper medical diagnosis. In this case, the practitioner should immediately refer the patient and avoid carrying out the intended session.
Pregnant in Paris : How many osteopathy sessions do you usually need to efficiently treat the pain ?
Pascale Cassou : Every case is different. It depends on the reason why you come for a consultation. If everything is alright, I usually treat the patient once every trimester, more often if needed. There isn’t any rule but it is advisable to keep some time between two appointments (at least 2 to 3 weeks, but it depends on the case) to let the body « work out ». We release some body parts but the body has to align itself afterward.
Note : The patient has to adopt a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis, with good nutrition and physical activity.
Pascale Cassou : No, it’s not covered for whatever osteopath practitioner : exclusive, doctor, physiotherapist, midwife… But the sessions can be partially or totally covered by a private health insurance.
Be careful, it is not legal to put osteopathy sessions on a prescription.
Pregnant in Paris : What are your methods and technics ?
Pascale Cassou : I mainly use methods known as functional and not so structural. The technics are gentle and adapt to the response of the tissues. I work a lot at the visceral level. Depending on the case, I can also manipulate (structural method) but it is not systematic. Everybody has a specific method and I think that we tend to work with women who fit our approach.
Pregnant in Paris : Did you ever get clinical cases of pregnant women ?
Pascale Cassou : I treated Marie, 30 years old, who I knew before her pregnancy. It took her over a year to get pregnant. She started her pregnancy with many tensions resulting from all the waiting and hoping to get pregnant. In addition to that, she was suffering from the middle back, the hips and she also had heartburn. We worked on easing the ligaments and the tissues of the uterus and the pelvis, which helped releasing the tensions in the hips. Then, we carried on working on the abdomen to enable a greater mobility of the colon, the kidneys and the liver. This helped a lot reducing the tensions in her back. I saw this patient twice every trimester. Her pregnancy went well but her anxiety and her great muscle tone were preventing her from releasing herself easily. I had to help her release her body and feel her baby inside.
MammaFashion is regularly holding free workshops about maternity and breastfeeding at the Maternity and Nursing Boutique in Paris Bastille.