Osteopathy can be defined on the principle that all ailments whether minor or serious are as a result of an imbalance somewhere in the network of the body's systems (muscular, neurological, circulatory or immune).
During the pregnancy and delivery the babies' skull bones have the ability to bend and overlap when stresses and forces are placed upon them such as the delivery process and descent through the birth canal. (This is a natural process called moulding). Many babies when born may have an altered shape to their head either from intra uterine moulding, forceps or vonteuse deliveries and some tenderness to shoulders or other parts of the body. These are normally resolved during the next few days as the baby begins to cry, suck and yawning which help dissipate some of these forces.
Some babies cope well with retained stresses however some may display a variety of problems including.
- Difficulty winding
- Digestive discomfort
- Irritability, poor sleeping and inability to relax
Many babies can't settle themselves for long periods of time and remain 'jumpy' and disturbed at the slightest noises.
- Restrictions in the neck and shoulders
This can be displayed as babies who prefer to feed off one side as they may have stiffness in the muscles or joint around the neck making it uncomfortable to rotate to one side. Also if the muscles around the jaw and neck are restricted related from the birth process babies may find it hard to open their mouths wide enough to obtain a good latch to feed well and obtain a strong suck.
- Moulding of the skull and sometimes flattening retained from birth – plagiocephaly.
Paediatric osteopaths have a highly developed sense of touch. We use this, combined with a detailed birth case history and structural examination to determine the extent and location of any areas of restriction (strain patterns) in the babies' body. We then use very gentle manual techniques to resolve these strains in order to relieve discomfort and improve the body's function. This then enables all the body systems to work effectively and with ease. The treatment uses no drugs and is non-invasive. All osteopaths are registered under the general osteopathic council and have undergone 4 years of extensive training. Additional to this is a 2 year paediatric master's degree which I have obtained at the Osteopathic Centre for Children in London in 2008. If you would like any further information on how paediatric osteopathy may help please contact us at 01707 327135.