Lucy Nicholson BSc(Ost Med) offers Cranial Osteopathic treatment for mum and baby to release and relieve restrictions, and help to restore normal function to aid feeding, sleeping, breathing, digestion and posture helping mum and baby to feel more relaxed, calmer and less fretful, and allow baby to sleep and thrive, and mum to sleep more too.
Cranial Osteopathy offers a gentle and relaxing way for mum and baby to recover from the strong physical strain of pregnancy and birth. As a new mum we are aware of the painful and often exhausting process labour can be but we do not know how baby is also affected by those strong forces.
Babies cranial bones are not fused when they are born to allow the plates to compress and slide over each other aiding the baby’s progression through the birth canal. The infant’s skull is made up of 8 separate cranial bones (not including facial bones), these bones are held together by strong joints called sutures which are made of thick connective tissue. They’re irregularly shaped, allowing them to tightly join all the uniquely shaped cranial bones. The sutures do not fuse completely until adulthood, which allows your brain to continue growing during childhood and adolescence.
During the 40 weeks of pregnancy and the sometimes long or traumatic process of birth strong compression forces are put through these structures and the bones shift to compensate for these forces. In a few days after birth the bones should adapt back but sometimes a restriction can remain in the baby’s body or cranium and baby needs some help to correct these compensations. Sometimes these compensatory restrictions are very obvious such as flat head syndrome or subtle like a slight asymmetry of facial features. If they are not corrected after birth, apart from being uncomfortable for baby, delicate structures such as cranial nerves can get irritated and cause problems with feeding, digestion, sleep and movement.
As a Cranial Osteopath Lucy is trained to identify restrictions throughout the body by gently feeling how the cranial bones move or do not move. During treatment a full medical history is taken and examination of baby will be very thorough including gentle assessment of tension and imbalance and treatment where the practitioner gently holds and allow the structures to release themselves with minimal to no force needed. Babies respond very well to treatment and will usually sleep very well after.
Benefits for Mum
As a mum herself, Lucy is aware of the benefits of Osteopathic treatment, both during pregnancy and after giving birth. She has treated many pregnant and post-pregnant mums for low back, pelvic and hip pain, sciatica, and pain associated with poor posture and breastfeeding, especially neck and mid-shoulder blade pain.
During pregnancy the ligaments and muscles supporting your joints are weakened hormonally, and this can continue for up to 12 months after giving birth. The combination of weaker soft tissues and extra pressure on joints can be a recipe for pain and postural imbalance.
We can offer treatment of both Cranial and classical Osteopathy to help alleviate pain, and give exercises and postural advice to help you cope with these difficult structural changes.