BABIES & CHILDREN
People are sometimes surprised that Osteopaths treat babies and children but there are many reasons why parents seek our help.
During labour the plates forming baby’s head move in specific directions when subjected to pressure from contractions. These compressions are naturally relieved upon delivery when baby starts to cry. Sometimes this process may not fully resolve after a difficult birth with a long labour, a forceps or ventouse delivery or a caesarean section. Osteopaths sometimes find these cases to be linked to unsettled babies with poor sleep, constant crying and problems with feeding, wind and reflux. Similarly baby’s position in the womb and the process of baby uncurling and growing as it adapts to cots, car seats and its environment can lead to a lack of physical ease. These factors can be identified and helped by osteopathic treatment and advice.
Older babies and toddlers present different problems. The most common is Otitis Media or Glue Ear. School age children continue to adapt dramatically into the teen years. At Chapel Place Osteopaths we understand how each developmental stage can potentially cause pain or discomfort as children begin playing sport, studying or playing on various screens!
How Osteopathy can help Babies Children.
At Chapel Place Osteopaths we enjoy working with babies and find them very easy to treat.
We scan through baby’s body to look for where there may be a lack of ease. We work from head to toe looking at large scale movements in the limbs, breathing and sucking, and then gain a sense of how different body areas feel in relation to each other, such as baby’s pelvis and abdomen.
Osteopaths almost always look at baby’s cranium to gain a sense of shape and ease of movement. Important nerves emerge from the base of the cranium that control the digestive tract. If this area has been impacted by a difficult labour it may affect baby’s comfort when feeding and winding, and its sense of contentment when trying to sleep.
Osteopathic treatment for babies is simple, including gentle techniques throughout the body to release areas of tension using easily visible movements or Cranial Osteopathy. In this way we help to put baby at ease, reduce wind, reflux, excessive crying and to sleep as well as possible.
Some parents are concerned about the shape of baby’s head, which may have a rhombus shape from womb positioning, be conical from ventouse delivery or have indentations from forceps. At Chapel Place Osteopaths we don’t attempt to remould the cranial shape but instead ensure a balanced ease of the neck and shoulders when lying in their cot. This discourages baby head from always rolling to one side, helping baby’s cranium to naturally mould symmetrically.
When babies and toddlers have Otitis media or glue ear we use Osteopathic techniques to encourage drainage via the head neck and throat.
With older children we try to alleviate symptoms and address any underlying factors taking into consideration their developmental stage and activities.
We take a detailed case history with all babies and children and will always refer to a GP or specialist quickly if we believe Osteopathy is not the answer at that time.