10 Signs That Your Baby needs Craniosacral Therapy
February 13, 2016 by Vivien Ray (Registered Craniosacral Therapist – UK)
1 Baby has difficulty latching onto the breast
It is one of those things that everyone is told: The baby needs to have a “good latch”, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem to work and no amount of changing position or waiting for the baby to open her mouth seems to help. It is important to make sure that the baby is in the best position and that the mother is comfortable, but if all that is in place and the baby is still struggling there is probably an underlying cause that needs to be sorted.
If the baby has experienced too much pressure during the birth, the palette
may be pushed forward so that the gag reflex is close to the front of her mouth. It is not helpful to try and force the breast into the baby’s mouth in these circumstances as this will cause her to choke and will make her (understandably) frightened of feeding.
Craniosacral Therapy is very effective in changing this. Especially if it is possible to treat the baby within the first few weeks or ideally the first few days after the birth.
2 Baby makes a lot of “slurpy” or clicking noises during feeds
This is a sign that the baby is finding it difficult to get a good suction on the breast. The baby will be taking in a lot of air which will cause discomfort.
It can be caused by the joint at the jaw being uncomfortable from the birth or the muscles and bones in the neck being pulled out of place as the shoulders are delivered. (This can also cause what is known as tongue tie, which is often resolved during Craniosacral treatment. See 10)
3 Baby has a lot of wind after feeding
Burping a baby is a traditional part of feeding, but if your baby suffers from a lot of wind or is unable to burp, or is still uncomfortable afterwards it may be that the vagus nerve is under pressure where it comes out of the skull. After the baby is born, the bones of the skull, that have been molded during the journey down the birth canal, need to unfold. Helping the skull to complete the unfolding process can realign the holes in the skull (known as foramena) through which the nerves go to the rest of the body.
4 Breast feeding is uncomfortable or painful for the mother
I am so sad when I hear about mothers who suffer agonies when breastfeeding their babies. And I am filled with admiration that they continue despite the pain.
Mostly, if I can treat the baby within a few days of birth, this situation changes in one treatment as the baby is helped to reshape his mouth and is able to take enough of the breast into his mouth to avoid “nipple nipping”. Older babies have to be “retrained” to learn how to suckle properly and it takes a bit longer to turn things around.
5 Baby is in pain after feeding, cries or curls up in pain
Any of the discomforts I have already mentioned might cause this, but it can also be because the baby’s pelvis was twisted during the birth or she was put on her back too soon before she could uncurl herself from the position she had been in while in the womb.(None of these strains are huge, it only takes a little too much pressure or twist during the birth to make it hard for the baby to reorganise his body afterwards.) Craniosacral Therapy can help the baby to realign the pelvis and relieve the strain on the digestive system.
6 Baby can take one breast but is uncomfortable on the other one. May need the “rugby hold” on one side
Babies often suffer from a stiff or sore neck after birth, making it difficult to turn one way. They are so relieved when this can be made more comfortable. If you notice that your baby lies with his head facing the same way all the time, or can only turn to one side, or only lifts and waves one arm, he may have a sore neck or need some help to undo the twists in his body.
7 Baby is unable to sleep or restless when sleeping
Sometimes this can be from shock after the birth. This can be caused by the baby experiencing separation from the mother, or after a long or difficult birth. Sometimes the mother will be shocked or upset too and as there is such a close connection between the mother and baby they will feel these things together. I love to see both mother and baby able to release the shock and settle during a Craniosacral Therapy session.
8 Baby seems tense and restless, it is difficult to cuddle her/him
Sometimes a baby seems stiff and hard to cuddle. Maybe she is still suffering from shock from the birth or has some pain or discomfort that makes being handled unpleasant. Craniosacral Therapy can help her to resolve the problem and enjoy cuddles.
9 Baby vomits or brings up some of the feed
Vomiting in babies is so common it is called normal, but we don’t as adults expect to bring up some of every meal we eat.
Pressure on the vagus nerve, twists in the pelvis and residual shock in the baby’s body can all contribute to this. As can antibiotics and other drugs given during birth.
It seems to me it is worth trying a couple of Craniosacral Therapy sessions before embarking on an elimination diet for the mother if that is possible. Life is hard enough without having to go without all your favourite foods.
I am not saying that cutting out certain foods may not be helpful, but a baby with a comfortable digestive system can cope with a lot more food types than one who is struggling with internal discomforts.
10 It seems that your baby is suffering from “tongue tie”
Babies having difficulties feeding are sometimes diagnosed with tongue tie. I have seen this resolve itself with Craniosacral Therapy. It seems that if there is too much pressure on one shoulder, or the shoulder has got stuck during the birth, all the structures of the throat are pulled out of shape and the tongue is pulled down with them. Sometimes this resolves with Craniosacral Therapy especially if the session is soon after the birth.