Spring and summer is most definitely baby season in the clinic. In fact in the last few weeks numerous babies have been brought into the clinic by parents feeling helpless as their newborns have been unsettled and appear to be in apparent discomfort since their birth.
The birthing process is a traumatic journey for a neonate regardless of a vaginal or Caesarian delivery. Without getting too technical, in a vaginal birth the foetal position (curled up and flexed) increases in response to resistance from the pelvic tissues as baby travels down the birthing canal. At the mid-pelvis, the head rotates 45 degrees. Then as babies head is delivered, extension occurs at the at the base of the skull where it articulates with the neck and this extension of the head occurs as a result of the continued pressure of the uterus pushing baby into the pelvic floor. The forehead, nose, mouth and chin are swept along the sacrum while the back part of the head rotates upon the pubis. Once delivered, the head will naturally return to a neutral position and then the shoulders pop out one by one. So baby descends in a corkscrew like motion being subjected to the compressive forces of the uterus and vaginal wall as well as the bony pelvis. Ouch indeed. This is a ‘normal’ birth. This does not even take into account ventouse, forceps, epidurals or Caesarian sections.
The torsional stresses that are presented to the Osteopath in these early days are usually cranial as the vertical forces are transmitted through the cranial bones and meet their first resistance at the cranio-cervical junction. Visual observations of baby can show molding of the vault bones, asymmetry of the head, or a slight tilt to the head. In conjunction to this the baby may be presenting with symptoms such as endless crying, crying when laid down, and suckling difficulties and generalised infantile colic.
Normal activities of breathing, crying and suckling will aid the restitution of normal function. Sometimes however a little assistance is required to get baby on parents on a less stressful pathway.
Caesarian babies have a different set of issues but endless crying and being unsettled are a good reason to bring baby to clinic. In an emergency section, baby is taken from an environment of high pressure of the contacting uterus to a lower pressure environment. This sudden change replaces the slow, gradual compressive and decompressive forces of the normal process. This often creates a ‘rebound’ effect in tissues, causing tautness usually in tissues of the head, neck and thorax.
Cranial treatment can help rectify post-birthing tissue trauma. Cranial osteopathy encourages the release of tension and stresses in the body and the head that might have been caused by the birth. Osteopaths hold and observe the baby, carefully manipulating the body to encourage it to function as it should.
The sooner baby is brought to clinic after the birth, the better the outcome. They usually require very few treatments as they respond extremely well to cranial treatment.
For more information or to make an appointment, contact Zeinah on 9452 2292 or book you appointment online by clicking here.