Babies and Toddlers
Paediatric osteopathy at its highest standard.
When babies cry, it can be hard to decipher why – if they’ve been fed, winded, changed, cuddled and are nice and warm you may wonder what else could be causing the problem!
Andrea Rippe (BOst, MSc Paed Ost), Laura Wheatley (MOst, PgDip Paed Ost), Chiara Ribera (PGD WHO, MOst, DPO) and Arabella Gaunt (MSc, MOst, DPO) all conduct full examinations of babies musculoskeletal systems as well as looking for signs of other problems that may cause babies to cry excessively. They all explore numerous avenues in your baby’s feeding, sleeping and playing routines as well as taking account of family history, baby’s age, pregnancy history, birth history and baby’s medical history (if any) searching for clues that may highlight the cause of the problem.
Having conducted a standard infant examination they then use their hands to search for palpatory clues to the source of discomfort or dysfunction, just as with adults. And just as with adults, our hands and fingers do much of the searching and finding, so your baby doesn’t need to say ‘you’ve got the spot – how did you know?’ because, its our job to know how bodies should feel, and when they don’t feel quite right.
Just as we can highlight problems from our questioning and examination, and give advice on routines, orthodox treatment and referral pathways (back to your GP or paediatrician for medication or screening of your baby’s hips or nervous system) so our treatments may help to soothe and relax your baby.
Osteopathic techniques are suitable for children at all stages of development; we will assess your child to see what might help. We are often asked to check over a child’s gait for instance. Infants who are just learning to walk adopt some odd habits that may need an experienced eye and older children may present with intoeing or knock knees that are normal at certain ages, but not at others.
Occasionally, musculoskeletal asymmetry develops and causes pain or stiffness that is amendable to manual treatment.
If you’re not sure whether we can help, please let our reception staff know your concerns and we will call you to discuss whether osteopathy is the right approach for your child.
If the answer to any of the above, it may be worthwhile bringing your baby for a check-up.
This depends upon the problem. Some problems are very simple and straight- forwards; others are more difficult and may involve many factors, some of which are not related to the field of cranial osteopathy. For this reason, when you see a cranial osteopath they will ask about your baby’s well-being and general health, and they will ask you about your pregnancy and birth experience. Your baby will then be gently examined. Before treating your baby, your osteopath will have a chat with you about what they have found to give you a tentative idea of what to expect.
Some babies that have a checkover may need just one appointment, but others may benefit from a course of treatment.
Babies that have difficulty latching on often show an improvement immediately after a treatment. Babies with sluggish bowel movements often empty their bowels shortly after a treatment. Change tends to be a steady and progressive, but depends on the individual baby.
Sometimes, when a cranial osteopath sees a baby they may be unsure whether they can help. Depending on what they find when they examine a baby, they may propose a trial of treatment, or they may refer you to another healthcare professional.