Cranial Osteopathy - treating babies
There are a number of reasons why parents bring their babies to a Cranial Osteopath like :
- Delivery types - babies delivered using forceps or ventouse can cause tension in a baby’s head which can result in a cone head or even bruising from the forceps. Babies can show their discomfort by crying particularly when their head is being touched or when they are laid down on their backs or have clothes or hats put on them. Cranial Osteopaths can identify and release these tension patterns.
- Breast feeding issues - if there is tension in the jaw joints or other bones of the baby’s head, neck or whole body which are involved in their latch and suckling then their feeding can be difficult and they can take in air and be have colicky symptoms. Also, quite often an intense or difficult birth can lead to the baby finding it difficult to find a comfortable position to feed. Often babies prefer to turn their heads to the right rather than the left to feed. In all these cases, Cranial Osteopathy can help release these tensions and help with breastfeeding - enabling you to feed the baby longer if you wish to do so.
- They won’t stop sucking - babies who constantly suck, cluster feed or snack can result in mothers giving up breastfeeding as they are exhausted and in pain. They are often not doing so because they are hungry but because, firstly, the sucking motion is calming to them and releases pain relieving chemicals and, secondly, sucking actually relieves the tension in their head (possibly caused by a traumatic or forceps or ventouse delivery). Treatment can help ease these tensions, calm the baby and the sucking reduces so that they only eat when they are hungry.
- Babies needing to be held continually or swaddled - often these babies have had a shocking or surprise delivery. Babies who have experienced a C-section, a fast delivery or some sort of stress around or just before delivery can be in a state of stress or anxiety which manifests in wanting to be constantly held, being very light sleepers or being jumpy or needing swaddling. The gentle nature of Cranial Osteopathy can ease this anxiety and lower the tone of the nervous system.
- The stiff arching back baby - also noted for their ‘strong’ neck although their necks are not strong they’re stiff. These babies arch a lot and throw themselves backwards. In this case, the delivery has usually been quite long and they may have got stuck low down or engaged for a long time prior to delivery. This long duration of compression leaves them upset and cranky and they struggle to sleep or don’t like lying on their backs. Again, Cranial Osteopathy can help relax and calm them by releasing the compressive tension and relaxing the ‘wired’ nervous system.
- Curled up ‘little frog’ baby - these babies usually have their knees curled up so they are like a little ball. Often these babies have had a surprise like a C-section or a fast birth and therefore haven’t had their bodies stretched out properly as they traveled through the birth canal. This curled knees up position can result in windy, colicky and reflux problems all of which can be relieved with treatment.
A check-up anytime from about 4 weeks after delivery really helps to minimise these problems and ensures that the baby’s alignment is correct and their nervous systems are calmed and unwound.