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Birth can be tough on little babies. Their heads and necks experience a great deal of pressure and stretching in the process of delivery, which can cause lingering issues and discomfort. If your young baby cries more than usual, appears excessively “fussy”, has problems with feeding or struggles with sleep, cranial osteopathy might just be able to help.

What is cranial osteopathy?

This particular type of osteopathy is specifically for babies and young children. An osteopath gently manipulates the head and spine in order to increase comfort.  By removing any tensions that occurred during pregnancy, labour or delivery, and restoring proper balance and alignment of the body, the osteopath can optimise the health and wellbeing of your baby.

Osteopathy is a holistic technique, that focuses on the interconnectedness of all the different elements of the body. Issues in one part of the body can cause pain or problems in another, and so an osteopath will work on rebalancing the systems of the body to help it heal itself.

Why do babies need cranial osteopathy?

By reducing tension in your baby’s body – particularly in the skull, spine, abdomen, jaw and throat – an osteopath can help with a number of issues, including:

  • Trauma from delivery – such as damage caused by forceps or ventouse
  • Head shape irregularities or “flat head syndrome”
  • Feeding difficulties – for example, latching challenges
  • Crying, fussiness or difficulty settling
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Colic or unexplained discomfort
  • Digestive issues – such as reflux, gas or constipation

Babies can have cranial osteopathy treatment from birth, and if you suspect any issues then the sooner your child is seen, the better.

In toddlers and older children, cranial osteopathy can also be beneficial to strengthen the immune system and improve ear, nose, throat and lung issues.

What does cranial osteopathy involve?

Your osteopath will ask a lot of questions to understand your pregnancy and birth journey, and to gain insight into your baby’s behaviour and medical history. Then they will gently examine your baby to assess tension in all the muscles and joints, with particular focus on the skull; they may also look inside your baby’s mouth.

Once the osteopath has an understanding of your baby’s particular needs, they will correct the areas of tension in your baby’s body with gentle manipulation.

Cranial osteopathy will likely make your baby very tired and they will probably sleep afterwards. It’s not unusual for babies to be a little agitated or hungry, or for their normal patterns to be disrupted for a few days as they adjust to their new equilibrium. After one to three days, this should settle down.

Sometimes results from cranial osteopathy can be immediate, but they make take a few days to be fully evident. In some cases, you may need a few sessions to fully restore your baby’s function.

The treatment will be as individual as your baby, but, whatever their particular needs, your child will be in safe hands with us.

What about cranial osteopathy for mothers?

From the moment we become pregnant, we often shift all our attention to caring for our baby, but it is vital that you don’t neglect your own wellbeing. Not only because your baby depends on you for everything, but because you matter too!

Cranial osteopathy can be highly effective at soothing some of the changes your body goes through during pregnancy and after delivery.

Back pain, neck pain, joint pain and headaches are all common for expectant and new mothers, and most of the usual over-the-counter remedies you might rely on are not recommended when pregnant or breastfeeding. Cranial osteopathy offers a gentle, natural alternative that is safe for you and your developing child.

If you think you or your baby would benefit from cranial osteopathy, you can book an appointment online, or call 01273 698687 to find out more.