22 Feb How Cranial Osteopathy Can Help Your Baby
Article written by: Alison Coldridge
Is your baby crying non-stop but the doctor can’t find a problem? It may be time to give cranial osteopathy a shot.
Just like we book a massage when we’re completely run ragged, babies sometimes need a strong dose of relaxation, too. Saying ‘hello’ to the big wide world is no small feat and labourwas an incredibly stressful experience for your newborn.
Your baby probably found herself in all kinds of odd positions during labour (particularly if you had a complex labour), which would have put pressure on her head. This pressure can be relieved post-birth with the healing effects of cranial osteopathy, which can be a great non-invasive solution.
What is cranial osteopathy?
Cranial osteopathy uses gentle head holds and movements to manipulate your baby’s body to encourage it to function correctly. The process helps relieve tension and stress in your baby’s head that may’ve been caused during labour.
‘The brain is held in place by ligaments that secure it inside surface of the skull,’ says Vispi Jamooji, paediatric cranial osteopath. ‘A cranial osteopath will influence the ligaments using small, gentle cranial holds at special points on your baby’s skull.’
Just like you may find you nod off on your masseuses table, don’t be surprised if your baby falls asleep during the treatment – it means the osteopathy is working and she’s completely relaxed.
Why is cranial osteopathy useful? ?
During labour, your baby passes through a tiny 10cm space (your birth canal), which was as tight a squeeze for her as it was for you.
“As well as your baby’s head, your osteopath will check her neck, shoulder, jaw, diaphragm and spine.”
If your labour involved a C-section, the use of forceps or suction, then your baby may have suffered from various head and neck issues. ‘Every newborn baby ought to be checked for cranial strains, particularly if there was intervention in the delivery, to detect strains,’ explains Vispi.
What problems does cranial osteopathy help with? ?
Cranial osteopathy can relieve a number of problems for your baby, such as feeding troubles that are the result of a sore jaw or cases of reflux that have cropped up because of an affected diaphragm. Treatments are usually given every few days to start with and then less frequently.
‘Certain types of baby head pains can also actually masquerade as colic or reflux,’ Vispi explains.
Cranial osteopathy can also be excellent in helping with flat head syndrome. ‘Together with home measures and advice, your baby’s flat head can be successfully dealt with before any permanent changes take place,’ says Vispi. ??
Many cranial osteopaths will also work on the tailbone as well as the skull, as the brain sack and fluid extend down the spinal canal and attach near the tailbone making it possible to influence the sack and the flow of fluid from this region.
How can you help the process? ?
The idea is that you should be able to help your baby from home, so don’t be afraid to ask the osteopath what he is doing throughout each treatment.
‘Your osteopath will run through how to hold, carry, support and move your baby,’ says Vispi. ‘If your baby has a sore head, we need to identify this and make sure that your baby is helped in a way that minimises further damage.’
You’ll also be given advice on how to help your baby feed (if she is struggling with this) and how to detect in advance when baby is likely to cry in pain.