Colic, cranial osteopathy, crying babies, Forceps/ventouse delivery, how to soothe a baby, how to treat colic, Paediatric occupational therapists, Scared New Mum www.surreykitchen.com, sensory overload in babies, SurreyKitchen
Welcome to the first in SurreyKitchens new series ‘Scared New Mum.’ Apologies again for the delay in this post but as anyone with children will know the first six weeks in a new babies life are extremely busy for the parents.
Baby Alice was a ventouse /forceps delivery. This type of birth can subject a newborn baby to enormous forces when they are born, twisting and turning as they squeeze their way out into the outside world. This means a lot of stress and pressure particularly on the baby’s head.
This feeling of pressure can be retained in the first few days of life leading to crying and screaming or what is more commonly known as Colic. It can also cause a baby to have difficulty feeding because of stresses through the head/face and throat.
What can I do about Colic?
There are no proven cures for Colic. What works for one baby may not work for another. For example some parents swear by traditional remedies such as gripe water, while others claim it makes no difference. Remember your baby is an individual and if something does appear to bring comfort to him/her, then repeat it every day. Here are some suggestions
1) Try rocking your baby, singing to them, patting, stroking or massaging the area around their belly button. Try these techniques in isolation first and then in different combinations.
2) Babies can become overstimulated by a busy or noisy environment. Occupational Therapists call this Sensory overload. Try moving your baby to a calm environment: keep the lights low, play soothing music and do not have any visitors.
3) Try holding your baby in different positions to see if this will ease his/her crying – lay baby across your knees face down and gently stroke his/her back. Or try laying your baby along your arm, on his/her tummy with their head at your elbow. Health professionals believe that gentle pressure exerted on a baby’s stomach can be soothing.
4) Apply gentle heat to your baby’s tummy – hold a covered hot-water bottle containing warm water against his/her stomach.
5) A change of scene may help. Take your baby outside in their pram or a sling and he/she may find the outside world distracting.
6) If nothing appears to be soothing your baby, then place him/her safely in their moses basket or cot and pat them gently on their stomach to see if he/she will stop crying or go to sleep. If this doesn’t work then leave the room and let baby cry for a few minutes to see if he/she settles themselves.
If you are worried about the sound, duration or frequency of your babies crying talk to your health visitor or GP.
How can Cranial Osteopathy Help?
Cranial Osteopaths are able to recognise any effects caused by the stress and pressure to a babies head suffered during labour. They can release that pressure, particularly in the base of the skull where nerves to the tongue and gut may become irritated effecting suckling and causing nausea.
Traumatic birth can also cause a build up of pressure around the temporal bone which houses the hearing apparatus and the eustachian tubes which may be compressed,especially by forceps, during delivery and led to blocked ears and infection.
Cranial Osteopaths are trained to feel for the fundamental subtle movement within all body tissues present throughout the connective tissues (fascia ligaments, muscles and bones) of the whole body including the head. The sensitive meninges within the skull and spinal cord expresses this movement as a shape change. When a baby is subjected to the strong compression or twisting force of labour these connective tissues can become strained or misshapen and he/she will feel uncomfortable as a result.
Cranial Osteopaths use their highly developed sense of palpation to feel theses strains and to gently release them leaving your baby feeling much more comfortable.
A mixture of the above helped me to soothe Alice’s colic when she was born. Now eight weeks old she is a calm and settled baby who sleeps well.