416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 8pm

416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-8pm

Why Should I Take My Baby To See An Osteopath?

Published by Better Health Osteopathy on 24 April 2022, BabiesChildrenPregnancyUncategorized

At Better Health Osteopathy, our Osteopaths regularly provide osteopathic treatment to newborns and infants. The benefits of paediatric osteopathy are becoming more widely known across the world. Many babies that come for treatment will come from a referral from an allied health professional such as a GP, midwife, pediatrician, or personal recommendation.

Osteopathic treatment for babies follows a very gentle and holistic approach that focuses on the root of the problem. Treatment aims to remove any tensions that may have occurred during pregnancy and/or delivery and to restore proper balance and alignment of the body to optimise health and well-being.

With gentle and appropriate techniques, the Osteopath will rebalance the baby’s tensions by working on the whole body (skull, spine, abdomen, pelvis, lower and upper limbs.) It can also release the tensions around the mouth (jaw, throat, soft palate) to allow your baby to breastfeed and bottle feed better if having difficulty.

Baby Osteopathy – What Conditions Does An Osteopath Treat?

Parents bring their babies to see an Osteopath for many reasons, but most commonly when facing the following challenges:

  • Traumatic and challenging delivery (very long or short delivery, ventouse or forceps interventions.)
  • Neck restrictions where the baby will favour one side more than another.
  • Breastfeeding challenges (latching difficulty, preference for feeding on one side.)
  • Noticeable head shape issues such as plagiocephaly
  • Restricted movement in the shoulders, legs, neck, or other areas
  • When a baby cries when in their car seat or capsule
  • Continuous crying or unsettled sleeping patterns

From What Age Can My Baby See An Osteopath?

There is no minimum age. You can take your baby to see an Osteopath from birth. If you have any particular concerns, the sooner, the better, as treatment could help settle and calm the baby. However, your baby can have treatment at any time during its development.

What About Toddlers And Older Children? Is It Too Late?

It’s never too late to address strains and injuries in children. In fact, about a third of our patients at Better Health Osteopathy are made up of babies, infants, and children. Children go through many developmental milestones and can put much-added pressure on their developing musculoskeletal system from; sports injuries, growth spurts, postural strains such as text neck, and too much time spent on computers or on their phones.

What Happens During A Consultation With An Osteopath?

At your first appointment, the Osteopath will undertake a detailed medical history, where questions will be asked about the delivery, the baby’s health, family history, and the mother’s health.

A thorough Osteopathic exanimation of the baby’s spine, joints, and muscles will be undertaken. The examination will be very gentle and aims to feel for any unusual restrictions, tightness, or stresses within the joints, muscles, and ligaments of the spine. Any findings will be discussed with the parent, and consent for treatment will always be sought from the parent in advance.

A treatment plan will be developed and tailored to the baby’s needs. The Osteopath will use exceptionally gentle manual techniques to address any dysfunction, tensions, or imbalances in your baby’s spine and body during the treatment. These hands-on techniques will improve mobility and release tension in your baby’s body and spine.

In some cases, we may feel that Osteopathic treatment is not suitable for your baby’s condition; we will then refer you to your GP or paediatrician for further screening or treatment if needed.

What Can I Expect After The First Treatment?

Osteopathic treatment rebalances strains and stresses in your baby’s body. The majority of babies respond very well to Osteopathic treatment. You may notice they can turn their neck better, have a better latch, sleep better, cry less, and have less constipation, but that all depends on their specific condition, treatment, and individual response to treatment. Some babies can feel tired after treatment. Often it can take a couple of treatments for babies to respond fully, but most babies will start to improve after their first treatment. If you have any concerns after treatment, your Osteopath will be happy to discuss those with you.

How To Plan For Your Baby’s First Consultation?

Here are some tips to help you plan for your baby’s first osteopathic consultation.

  • Try to pick a time that will suit your baby’s routine.
  • Make sure your baby is fed beforehand.
  • Feel free to bring along your favourite toys.
  • It may be a good idea to bring their Plunket book along.
  • Also, try to bring other helpful information like x-rays, medical notes, supplements, and medication.

What About The Post-Natal Mother?

Compressive forces from birth and pregnancy can affect your baby, but they can also affect the mother. If you are feeling any pain or discomfort, we would recommend a post-partum check-up so we can address any issues that Mum may be struggling with.

Conditions Include:

  • Low back pain Pregnancy and Back Pain
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Rib Pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches – Tension-Type Headaches and Cervicogenic headaches
  • Mummy Thumb –de’ Quervain tenosynovitis (pain in the big thumb)
  • Pain in forearms – Medial and lateral epicondylitis

If you have any concerns about your baby and believe that osteopathic treatment could be helpful, make sure to reach out to our caring and highly trained osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy and discuss your concerns. You can also conveniently book your appointment online. We’re here to support you and your little one!

Feel free to contact our Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopath or simply book your appointment online.

Call 027 755 5700 or book online.

We’re here to Help! 🙂

Better Health Osteopathy

Lorraine Herity is the Clinic Director of Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch, New Zealand. She previously worked in Osteopathic clinics in London and Ireland, before moving to New Zealand. Lorraine trained at the British School of Osteopathy in London, where she gained her Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost). Lorraine is a dedicated and passionate Osteopath. Her main aim is to help her patients regain their health and to return her patients back to their everyday activities, in as quick a time as possible. Lorraine is also a clinic tutor on the Osteopathic Course in Ara and relishes the opportunity to teach the next generation of osteopaths.