Your health visitor, lactation consultant, midwife, GP or other mums may recommend you to bring your baby/child to see an Osteopath. We recommend all babies and their mums come in for a check up after the birth. The best time is within a few weeks of the birth.
Birth is a stressful experience where the soft bones of the baby’s skull and neck/spine undergo extreme forces coming through the birth canal. These forces can contribute to strains in a baby’s body as they are compressed, twisted or stuck in one position for extended periods of time.
Forceps/ventouse can also leave residual pressures on a baby’s head/face. Quick or long deliveries or if born by a C-section can be very quick and equally traumatic to their body. Tensions along the spine, pelvis and limbs are frequent findings too.
After birth these soft bones and tissues start to unmould as a natural process as the baby starts to yawn, suck and cry but any retained tensions can affect this process. Some babies cannot cope with these retained stresses and start to display common symptoms of digestive discomfort, irritability, long periods of crying, difficulty winding, poor latching, weak suck or flattening of the skull (most usually on the back).
A baby may have feeding problems where they pull away from the breast frequently, fall asleep during feeding as it is tiring or their latch can make the mum’s nipple very sore. These often arise when the baby cannot obtain a good latch or strong suck due to tension in the base of the skull or in their neck muscles. A poor latch or suck means the baby takes in more air so causing them further discomfort.
Our osteopaths can evaluate any blocks to these sensitive tissues and with very gentle pressure and subtle touch with cranial osteopathy can encourage the tensions to release. This releasing mechanism then stimulates the body’s natural corrective healing abilities. You may witness the osteopath holding your baby’s head, lower back, abdomen and limbs to help the soft tissues unwind at it’s own natural pace – it can be hard to observe if the osteopath is doing anything but they will be working at a deep level!
For toddlers and growing children, if there are any unresolved birth strains not treated in their early weeks and months, these can still be treated to help with any developmental milestones – rolling over, crawling and walking.