Birth can be a traumatic time for an infant. The pressure of the contractions and the journey down the birth canal can leave many newborns with odd-shaped heads as a result. The newborn’s head, however, is wonderfully designed to cope with the usual pressures exerted during the birth process. The bones of the cranium are soft and easily overlap, allowing the size of the infants head to actually reduce for birth; this is called birth moulding.
In the the majority of infants the birth moulding and any birth tension is naturally resolved with the actions of crying, yawning and suckling within the first week of life. However, this is not the case for all infants, particularly after a long and drawn out labour, or the use of forceps or suction. Equally a very fast or sudden labour can create residual birth tension in the newborn.
Infants who have not fully resolved their birth moulding may have residual birth tension. The babies may have a constant feeling of pressure in the structures of the head which may be made worse by the extra pressure on the head when lying down. This can affect suckling, digestion and the baby’s ability to relax. These infants are often:
Cranial osteopathy is a gentle, safe and effective for babies and children. Very specific, skilled, light pressure is applied where necessary to assist the natural ability of the body to release stresses and tensions.
An osteopath uses observation, case history and highly skilled palpation to assess the infants whole body (not just their head!). By identifying where the tension patterns are the osteopath can use gentle techniques to release the tension and rebalance the body.
On average or 2-6 treatments are required, this however varies from infant to infant and the complexity of the issue.