Osteopathy can be used to treat patients from conception until the time of death. Like all processes, parts of the body can become immobilised from time to time as we grow or get hurt. The role of the Osteopath is to gently unwind these restrictions to allow health to flourish.
The treatment of babies is a wonderful part of Chris and Margis clinic. Osteopathy is about helping the baby grow and develop naturally to his or her full potential. There are many reasons to bring your baby to the clinic. The baby is treated to restore health rather than have a set protocol for a certain condition.
Osteopathy is well known to help babies recover from the effects of pregnancy and birth, and can help reduce crying and colic, improve sleep and general contentment of a baby. However, osteopathic treatment has many benefits beyond treatment for birth issues, and may help the childs overall health and development. There are certain times when treatment is particularly helpful although an annual check is often beneficial in picking up subtle imbalances that may be affecting the child in some way.
The entry into the world is a beautiful, natural process but it can be traumatic. It is often the case that the skull bones and the neck vertebrae do not release of their own accord after the birthing process and this can cause discomfort for the newborn. This can be called retained moulding. Issues such as plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome), colic, glue ear, latching difficulties and constipation are a few problems that can occur as a result of retained moulding.
The babys skull bones need to overlap slightly to allow passage through the birth canal. Ideally, the neck will be tucked in, chin to chest to protect the babys delicate neck. However, this is not always the case and different presentations can lead to different strains and problems in the baby. Issues arising from the birth may not be immediately apparent as babies are very adaptable and can cope with a large amount of birth trauma. Margi and Chris always advise new parents to bring their new born baby in for a check up to prevent stresses and strains developing into problems later.
Other issues that can effect your new baby are pain relieving drugs taken by the mother during labor, assisted deliveries (ventouse and forceps), premature or overdue births, foetal distress and cord around necks.
Retained moulding can still occur in caesarean sections, particularly if there has been a long period of labour prior to the c-section. Part of the moulding process and compression of the infant head begins in late pregnancy.
The natural birthing process is an important part of development. The squeezing out of mucus from the face and head as the baby passes through the birth canal inoculates the baby with the mother’s bacteria beginning the growth of correct gut flora. The pressure, and then release of birth, is seen as an important part of our development. It basically starts our engine, so C section babies may have other issues.
As your baby starts to grow and learn, certain milestones are reached. Everyone is different so it is not overly important as to when these milestones are reached, but if they are not reached at all, there is room for concern. Crawling is an important milestone, babies need to crawl for their neurological development. If your baby doesn’t want to crawl or is a bum shuffler, then it may be a good idea to visit the clinic. The main reason for not crawling is discomfort in the neck when they lift their head up, so getting on all fours is uncomfortable.
If you did not crawl as a baby, a great exercise is to get back on the floor and crawl no matter what your age!
When you bring your precious baby to the clinic, a detailed case history is completed, including the mother’s pregnancy and labour. The baby is then usually undressed to their nappy for gentle assessment. The findings are discussed with the parent or guardian, and then with consent, gentle cranial treatment is given. This can be done in any position comfortable for you and the baby. Often treatment works well when the baby is feeding.
No clicking or strong techniques are used, only very gentle cranial techniques. These techniques usually make the baby sleepy, but sometimes can cause them to cry. After treatment, advice is given about any changes that may be beneficial to you and your baby. Over the following 24 hours, treatment will continue to make changes in their bodies, and their sleeping, feeding and nappy routine may be altered slightly. Sometimes it can take 2 treatments to notice any significant changes.
Osteopathy can be part of the general health care of your baby. You don’t need to bring your baby into the clinic every time it has a cold or upset tummy, but osteopathy can be particularly beneficial for recurrent or prolonged problems.
Homeopathy can help with some of these issues and Margi and Chris are happy to work alongside a homeopath for the wellbeing of your baby.
Please feel free to contact Chris or Margi if you would like to discuss these issues or any others with regard to our baby. It can be a wonderful, but sometimes stressful time for new parents and they are happy to answer any questions. They can be contacted on 06 834 0651 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If Margi or Chris have seen you during your pregnancy (even just the once) then they are happy to see your baby free of charge for their first appointment. Their gift to a new arrival in the world.
As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.
William Garner Sutherland DO.