Child Birth is an intense and powerful process. Bringing a new life into this world requires proper body alignment, powerful muscle contractions, and LOTS of hard work for both mom and baby. Sometimes these 3 variables line up smoothly, and sometimes they just don’t. Either way, birth is a life altering, and body altering process for mother and child.
The uterus is an incredibly powerful muscle, and the birth canal is only just wide enough to allow the passage of a baby through it. The malleability of a newborns’ bones and soft tissue are what allow it to move between the bones of the pelvis and out into this world. This process, however, is not always without consequences to the body of mom or baby.
The many possibilities for misalignment of a baby’s body with the birth canal create situations where increasing levels of pressure get applied in differing ways to the bones of mom’s pelvis and the bones of baby’s head/neck/spine. These pressures are not always optimal to the birth process and can cause injury to mom’s pelvis or baby’s head/neck/spine creating restrictions in the bone or soft tissue that can ultimately cause chronic pain for mom and the foundations for chronic disease in the baby.
Osteopathic Medicine is the science of healing founded on the concept that structure and function are interrelated. This means that if your physical body has a restriction in the bones, fascia, or soft tissues it can ultimately affect the function of that tissue and result in symptoms of disease. One branch of Osteopathy is know as Craniosacral Therapy (CST). CST is defined as a light touch hands on body work that can balance the craniosacral system in the body: bones, nerves, fluids, and fascia of the cranium and spinal area.
CST is one of the most effective therapies for detecting and treating mild to severe birth trauma for mom and baby. These techniques allow a practitioner to uncover restriction patterns in the fascia ( connective tissue that covers every muscle, nerve, and organ and creates an interconnected web that overlies the entire body).
If these restriction patterns are left in the tissues of mom or baby they introduce instability into the balance of the physical body, and can ultimately set the stage for future functional problems: reflux, colic, torticollis, difficulty with latch and breastfeeding, poor sleep patterns.
There is also speculation that underlying structural restrictions can predispose to problems with attention and focus, behaviour, and chronic recurrent ear infections in early childhood.
What can you do to help prevent structural injury and functional problems?
Having a CST rebalancing treatment pre-birth helps to ensure that the birth canal is not restricted by any sort of pelvic bone imbalance. This will decrease issues with back labour and facilitate the passage of baby through the birth canal.
Another treatment after birth can help reposition any bones that have been separated or moved out of position (Ex. Pubic symphisis, sacrum, coccyx)
As soon as possible after birth bring the newborn in for an assessment, so any restriction can be treated quickly before they get set up in the tissues.
Regular assessments with each developmental milestone (rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, running, jumping climbing) will help keep your baby/toddler on track and catch any restrictions that can result from the normal bumps and bruises of early childhood.