Osteopaths diagnose and treat structural stresses and strains that may be interfering with health. Osteopathy is well known to be beneficial for aches and pains in the musculoskeletal structures of the body. Less well known is that it can also help an enormous variety of different symptoms in babies and children.
Osteopaths treat the whole person and continually search to understand and treat the underlying cause of a particular problem, rather than just treating the symptoms.
The birthing process is a traumatic event for baby (and mum for that matter) and the descent down the birthing canal poses a big challenge for the little ones.
At this stage in a neonate’s life, the bones in the skull have not hardened. They are soft and made of cartilage. The ossification process (hardening of the cartilage into bone) occurs by 1 yr of age. The malleability of the skull at this stage allows the head to be compressed and moulded during labour and delivery. Distortions in the head as a result of labour are usually released naturally afterwards, particularly in the first 10 days. The actions of crying, yawning and suckling assist in the unmoulding process.
There are many reasons as to why stresses are more problematic for some some babies. Some of these factors are shown below;
* Unresolved Musculoskeletal issues in the mother prior to pregnancy and during the pregnancy.
* Limitations in the mother’s pelvis.
* Positioning of the baby in the uterus.
* The labour particularly if labour too long, too quick or if instruments were needed to assist getting baby out.
* Strength of contractions.
* Presentation of the baby’s head.
* The size of the baby’s head.
* Drugs used in labour.
Symptoms of retained moulding and unresolved stresses;
* Crying and Irritability
* Fussing with feeding. Difficultly latching on and sucking. Thrashing body, arms and legs around.
* Infantile Colic
* Odd shaped heads.
* Sleep disturbances.
Cranial Osteopaths diagnose specific areas of retained distortion and compression in the bones of the head. We use careful, specific and accurately applied techniques to help guide the bones to a more comfortable balance. This will help baby’s body to adapt to different demands, and maintain itself in a state of balance and harmony.
Babies generally are calmer following treatment, able to settle themselves more independently, sleep better, feed better and are generally a lot happier. Its a win win situation for baby and their family.
By Dr Zeinah Keen
Click here to book an appointment with Zeinah or give us a call if you want further information on Cranial Osteopathy.