Treating young babies and their mothers is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences for Craniosacral therapists. Young infants tend to respond very quickly and effectively to treatment and parents often bring along babies for treatment, suffering from colic, sleeping trouble and digestive problems.
Being born is most definitely one of the biggest events of our lives – on a spiritual, emotional and physical level. Indeed many adults still hold trauma in their bodies from their own birth into the world (which can still be cleared at any age) but what I want to address here is the impact of birth on a newborn baby.
How birth can impact on breastfeeding
The compressive forces experienced during birth as a result of the passage through the pelvis and the tight fit in the birth canal can cause imbalance in a baby's system, even in natural and apparently problem-free births. Certain situations (such as a fast birth, a caesarean, forceps) can also result in undue pressure placed upon the cranial nerves, particularly those that control the mouth, which in turn may impact on breastfeeding success. The three nerves of the cranium that affect breastfeeding are the glossopharyngeal nerve (which controls the muscles of the pharynx), the vagus nerve (which controls the muscles of the soft palate), and the hypoglossal nerve (which controls the tongue muscle). Compression of any or all of these nerves can cause dysfunctional nursing (Hewitt 1999).
CranioSacral Therapy offers a promising approach to solving difficult breastfeeding problems. It helps bring mothers and babies closer to the loving relationship that breastfeeding can be.
What to expect in a session
Listening to the mother’s story is the first important step in a therapeutic relationship. The types of questions that a craniosacral therapist may ask include
• How was the pregnancy for you?
• How was the birth?
• How were the first few days with your new baby (awareness, ability to settle, suckling)?
• How are you all sleeping?
• What kind of support are you all having?
• Are there any concerns you have about parenting or about your child?
• How often does the baby feed?
• Do you notice a difference in the baby depending on your moods, diet etc?
• Do you notice a pattern to your child’s discomfort (time of day, after meals, before meals)?
Treatment is performed with babies fully clothed and usually treated on their mother or father's lap. However treatment can still take place during breastfeeding, whilst being cradled or during sleep. It may require several sessions to notice an improvement, although most babies improve with one session.
Please feel free to ring or email to discuss any worries you have with your baby or pregnancy.
Craniosacral sessions are available with Ri in Bristol, Cirencester and Cherington.