Birthing and Craniosacral Therapy
Whatever the birth experience, Craniosacral Therapy for baby help a newborn recover quickly. Whether it was a long or fast birth or a cesarean there are many ways that tension and torsions show in your baby. Even the most natural of births can place tension patterns on a newborn baby’s nervous system.
During labour a newborn leaves their warm, safe, secure environment in utero and enters the bright, noisy, unfamiliar world. Sometimes it is necessary for some intervention, whether this be assistance from forceps or Ventouse or a caesarean birth and this can contribute to minor tension patterns within the newborn. Tension patterns can cause irregular shaped head, feeding and latching problems as well as colic and reflux. Muscular restrictions such as torticollis or wry neck can also come from positioning in the uterus as a result of the arms up position or being squashed in an odd position.
Cranial Bones and the Baby
The bones in our heads (the cranial bones) can often become restricted and tight. This might feel like there is a tight band around our head, similar to the feeling of wearing a headband that is too tight and it gives us a headache. When the cranial bones are tight, we can feel irritable, have difficulty concentrating and generally feel a bit ‘off’. This is the same in babies, toddlers and older children. The action of birthing can squeeze these bones and move them slightly out of the correct alignment. Upledger Craniosacral Therapy uses a very gentle treatment to encourage the bones to return to their correct places.
Tongue and Lip Ties
Tongue and Lip ties are increasingly being assessed and treated by Midwives and Dentists. The impact of a tongue tie can be felt throughout the body. As a result of the ties, a baby cannot successfully latch at the nipple and transfer milk easily. Because the tie holds the tongue to the floor of the mouth, it is not able to fold around the nipple or extend out enough to take in enough nipple. Therefore, reducing baby’s ability to latch correctly. This causes clicking or sucking in of air which can cause wind and pain issues such as colic in the newborn and baby.
Craniosacral treatment before and after the revision, support and increase the feeding and structural improvements that come with the revision. The whole body is worked on as well as working with the nerves and muscles to improve the tone and working of the tongue. Therefore the latch and transfer of milk is quickly improved.
What does a Craniosacral treatment look like?
Each treatment starts with an in depth discussion of how the baby is, its’ history and also how Mum and the rest of the family are. This allows the full picture to be seen.
The baby is then either placed on the table or held by a parent. Each Craniosacral treatment for baby is baby led. That means that the baby decides what needs working on and when. This allows the baby to relax into the treatment. Unwinding and releasing restrictions and tension at the rate the baby can cope with. Craniosacral Therapy for baby (or Cranial Baby Massage as some call it) gently works to relax and release these restrictions. Tilted heads or Torticollis is a good example. The baby will often move its head to a new position or even its whole body as the muscles unwind
Baby may be quiet throughout the treatment or it may verbalise that there is a restriction or that a release is happening. If baby during the Craniosacral treatment begins to get very upset I will get someone to feed him or her. Sometimes it is because the baby has had enough treatment. Each treatment is done with the parent at the table with the baby. They are fully part of the session
Newborn and Baby Treatments
Common reasons to use Craniosacral Therapy for Newborns and Babies
- Difficult birth – long labour or pushing stage, Cesarean birth, Ventouse or forceps delivery, fast delivery
- Breastfeeding challenges/latching issues
- Tongue or lip tie
- Fussy, hard to soothe baby
- Sleeping concerns
- Head misshapen or has bumps or ridges
- Digestive issues including colic, reflux and constipation
- General Development/Gross Motor Skills
- Torticollis or tilted head
Craniosacral Therapy for Mum and the Family
Craniosacral Therapy is a very light treatment designed to address the needs of the whole family. Each treatment will also include addressing the well-being of Mum and the rest of the family. As the whole family unit is as important as the baby, the overall picture of the family is looked at. Mum, Dad and siblings can also get treatments during the appointment
The Postnatal Mum is listened to and worked with to help find solutions to the many issues she faces with a baby. Topics that are addressed are varied and can range from her own post birthing pain to feeding issues whether it is from the breast, expressing or from formula. Often taking time to de-brief about the birth or how they are feeling that day or week. Siblings at the same time are going through their own growing and developmental issues. Therefore older toddlers and children will also receive Craniosacral treatments.
When a family unit comes in for a treatment I treat whoever is in need at that time. Often I will be treating a Mum and Baby on the table and a sibling will take my hand and place it on themselves for a minute then wander off. Thus their treatment is complete. Sometimes a baby will refuse a Craniosacral treatment until Dad or Mum or the siblings get theirs. The treatments are individualised to the day and the people in the room.
Rolling, crawling, sitting and walking
Our nervous systems are integral to our ability to learn and develop new skills. In babies these are things such as learning to roll, sit, crawl, talk and walk. If our nervous system is tight or restricted a lot of energy goes into maintaining those restrictions rather than on developing new pathways for skill development. Craniosacral Therapy for baby can assist in these developmental processes. By working with the muscles, fascia and nervous system with Craniosacral Therapy, we can help baby move to rolling, crawling, sitting and crawling. Treatment can look a little bit different to that of a newborn. Often it is done on the ground with the parent reading to the child, or with the child moving around the room. Releases are usually very fast and time is allowed for the child to move in and out of the the treatment space. Often the parent is worked on first if this allows the child to relax easier.