Being born and learning to feed and thrive in a new world can be quite the challenge. Not to mention, the forces the baby’s body is subjected to at the birth itself can have quite the repercussion on their tiny head, neck and shoulders amongst other areas.
Babies and infants are just small humans and can suffer similar muscular strains and pains to the rest of us. The difference is, they can’t tell us what they’re feeling or where the pain is. So, as osteopaths, we try to look for subtle clues and perform some gentle tests to see where the problem is coming from.
Babies spend their entire day developing and using muscles that they have never used before – be it those in the neck and shoulders to hold up their heads, their throat and tongue for swallowing, their diaphragm and tiny lungs for breathing and their gut for digestion. From an osteopathic perspective, we are interested in how a baby is able to move, as we believe that a dysfunction of movement may contribute to a range of reasons that can make a baby unsettled – wind, colic, feeding issues, inability to keep milk down, problems with breastfeeding, difficulty feeding both sides, and slow bowel function to name a few issues.
Osteopathy for babies (known as paediatric osteopathy) is very gentle and uses soft movement techniques. In fact, to the parent, it hardly looks like us osteopaths are doing much at all! It’s only afterwards the changes are evident in their (and your) everyday life.
Anykloglossia – Tongue tie
A birth defect which many babies can suffer from to a greater or lesser degree, where the little ‘string’ of tissue connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is too tight or too short. This can have implications for feeding in newborns, as can other biomechanical tensions around their jaw and upper neck.
Andre brings with him a wealth of experience in the management of babies with this condition. In Australia, he worked alongside a specialist dentist to help many little ones on their road to recovery pre and post-corrective surgery.
Contact us if you want to know more or book an appointment online.
Plagiocephaly – Flat head
This is a really common problems for babies. Their head appears to be flat on one side, or the back, and looks quite asymmetrical. While plagiocephaly can be due to a number of causes, one cause we may be able to work with is when a baby is unable to turn their head one way or another. This often causes the baby to lie with their head turned to one side, putting more pressure on that side and causing it to flatten over time. Distortion of your baby’s head shape can also happen during the birthing process, especially if it is an assisted delivery (e.g. ventouse).
Andre has worked with many cases of plagiocephaly in the past, with very some gentle techniques, to try and address these kinds of issues.
We are happy to chat with you any time.
Treatment of babies is a very specialised area, and requires much postgraduate study, practise and supervision. Make sure to ask your therapist, whomever they are, about the courses and qualifications they have gained before booking your little one into their care.
Details of Andre’s experience specifically with treating babies, infants and young children:
- New Zealand May 2009 – March 2012 Working weekly in specialised clinic for children and babies, modeled on the Osteopathic Centre for Children in London,
- UK. Australia November 2014 – November 2017 Primary practitioner responsible for treating infants attending the clinic.
- Development of professional alliances with lactation consultants, midwives, GPs and a holistic dentist specializing in laser release of ankyloglossia.
Paediatric-specific courses completed:
- An osteopathic approach to paediatrics (November 2015)
- Developmental Biology: Human Embryology course content research and design (September 2013 to June 2014)
- Paediatric Osteopathy part I (November 2010)
- Paediatric Osteopathy part II (October 2011)