Cranial osteopathy?

So the lovely breastfeeding midwife also mentioned something called cranial osteopathy to us – something we’d never heard of before. When she swaddled baby, she commented that her shoulders & neck are stiff, and are may benefit from this therapy. She gave us a print out to read & told us that are thought it should be made available on the NHS.

The text from the print out comes from Sutherland Society website. Basically it states that the various compressions & pressures on a baby’s body during labour & birth can lead to adverse reactions – from colic to stress. Osteopaths use gentle pressure on the body to realign it, and can make baby more happy & comfortable.

Since then we’ve done a lot more research & found a great deal of positive (and a couple of neutral or negative) reviews, and found out 2 members of my family had it fit their children, and we’re very happy with the results. My cousin’s wife stated that she was skeptical but it got them this results for their son, when nothing else worked for their colicky son. Our baby had a long labour – from 2am Saturday morning to 9:30pm Sunday evening – and I was stuck at 4-5cm dilated for over 12 hours although the contractions were getting more & more intense & closer together. She also did not have her chin tucked in, and after I was finally given an oxytocin drip & epidural, she moved down into my birth canal quickly but was stuck there for hours, as I tried unsuccessfully to push her out, then she was delivered by ventouse. This is the kind of birth osteopaths suggest may cause unhappiness & that they can treat.

My partner called a couple of osteopaths in town & we settled on one run by 4 women, who can do a joint mother & baby session run by 2 women who work on both of you at the same time. My partner particularly liked the idea of me being treated too; although I didn’t feel I needed it, he thought after such a long birth the word probably be some residual stresses after all the pain I went through (even with the epidural I had break-through pain).

Unfortunately we couldn’t get an appointment with 2 osteopaths, and our session ended up being split over 2 sessions, which I didn’t realise to begin with would be really inconvenient! I went alone to the first session and we talked through my & baby’s medical history, for 40 minutes. The lady seemed lovely, asked a lot of very specific questions, and wrote a lot of notes. She suggested we do the talking bit first & then treat the pair of us in the second session, with my partner there to hold baby when I was being treated. We talked about how at 3 weeks baby has started writhing during feeds, and crying & fussing after them. The health visitor suspected silent reflux (where stomach acid comes into the throat but is swallowed back down) , and wind, and the osteopath thought the same. She asked if she was a  ‘sucky baby’ – which she is, feeding for comfort regularly, and keeps latched on long after she’s finished feeding, and moans if I detached her before she’s totally asleep. The osteopath asked about her feeding cycle, and commented that baby’s cycle of feeding on & off for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, then wanting feeding again sometimes as quickly as 20 minutes, was a lot. I also told her about baby writhing during feeding & arching her back, and pulling at my nipples (very painful!). She thought perhaps the silent reflux was causing baby pain, and as breastmilk makes it feel better, she drinks more, but that overfill the stomach & exacerbates the problem.

Feeling positive I drove home to pick up baby & partner fire second session 40 minutes after, but found both frantic baby had vomited up her feed & my partner couldn’t console her as she was now hungry again. We had to make the call to the Osteopaths to cancel the second session as she desperately needed feeding. However we’ve rescheduled for next Thursday when my sister is coming up to help during the session – I’ll keep you updated! Anyone had good/bad/indifferent experiences of cranial osteopathy? What did you get it done for?

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