Baby Osteopathy- Why and how can it help?

There are many reasons why a parent may bring their baby in to see one of our paediatric osteopaths. Here Betts and Grant share a few of the common ones;

  1. Baby seems to need to be constantly held or cradled. Sometimes this may be due to a fast delivery or stresses around the time of birth or just before delivery. This can create anxiety or stresses which makes babies more prone to wanting to be held and cradled. They may also be light sleepers and jumpy generally due to an overactive ‘stress’ state. Cranial is very calming and can help settle stressful babies (and adults).
  2. Baby has a mis-shaped head or does not like their head or face being touched. This can be due to forceps and ventouse, which create a tension in the baby’s head. This may cause them to cry or seem agitated when their head is touched. Commonly parents will say their baby does not like having clothes put on, hats on, lying on certain parts of their head or face or having certain areas touched. Treatment can help to locate the issue and release patterns of tension within the skull, face, neck or jaw.
  3. Baby won’t feed, has issues feeding or won’t stop sucking. To latch and suckle involves a lot of movements of the neck, head, tongue and really the whole body, along with coordination. Some babies find this really difficult and treatment can help ease tensions and assist freer movement and comfort for the baby to do this. Sucking also has a calming effect on babies and they can continue to do this to not only soothe themselves but ease tensions in their neck and body. Osteopathy can alleviate this for them, so lessening the need to constantly suckle.
  4. Unusual movements or movement patterns. Sometimes parents bring babies in as they favour to move only to one side or they don’t like being in a position. There are many reasons for this, but a very fast or very slow birth can be a trigger to it. Babies can get irritable when something doesn’t feel right to them, just the same as adults. Osteopathy can help to search out the reasons for this and addressing any mechanical issues and tensions, calming the baby. Long periods in one position, without allowing sufficient wriggling can also be a problem. Car seat babies are a good example of this. When babies are left in car seats, in a lovely curled up foetal position, they can get cranky when then lying down outstretched. The osteopaths role will be to look at babies routines, patterns and history and piece their jigsaw together.
  5. Curled up babies. These babies tend to have their knees curled up and their bodies in a ball. Often they have had a fast birth or emergency C section and their bodies have not been through a stretch process of being born. Babies who have always been ‘curled up’ or become ‘curled up’ are often more windy, colicky and reflux prone. Treatment aims to stretch them out more and get them moving better and feeling more comfy.

For more information about Betts, Grant and Baby Osteopathy, take a look at worthingosteopathy.com. You can also book appointments direct from the website.