The birthing process causes physical forces that compress the baby’s skull, neck and nervous system, especially in a prolonged labor or if Pitocin is used. This may affect not only the baby’s appearance but also the function of other body parts, including the nerves that control sucking, digestion and sleep. Many parents notice that their infant is more relaxed and sleeps better after receiving this gentle, restorative treatment.
Osteopathic physicians are trained to detect strain patterns throughout the whole body including the head and spine. They use their highly developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to assess the subtle movements of the baby’s skull/body, and use equally gentle techniques to release restrictions and to stimulate the baby’s own inherent healing mechanisms, aiding a return to a more balanced state. Early detection and treatment of restricted mobility can help prevent the development of chronic problems later on in life.
Things to consider that may indicate a need for an osteopathic
treatment include: (but are not limited to):
- Newborns after delivery; vaginal and c-section
- Head molding/Plagiocephaly (funny shape due to birth vacuum/forcepts,delivery, long time in birth canal)
- Feeding difficulties such as problems with latching and sucking of breast and bottle
- Irritability or difficulty relaxing
- Excessive crying or colic
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Asymmetry in movement (a preference to feed from one side only, torticollis, difference in arm or leg movement)
- Concerns about limb joint positions (clicking or asymmetry)
- Recurrent respiratory infections/ear infections
- Digestive issues (reflux or spitting up)