Recognising and dealing with birth trauma
After the struggles of birth every new mother and baby should be able to enjoy a restoring and harmonic time together. Nevertheless some babies will seem unsettled and are unable to get comfortable.
Cause for this could be birth trauma due a complicated or prolonged labour. This is frequently unrecognised with babies being classified as ‘cry-babies’ and consequences are often underestimated.
The qualified chiropractor will detect any underlying issues with a thorough examination. He can then treat the baby with soft neuromuscular techniques to allow a healthy development without any functional disturbances to the musculoskeletal system.
When do we talk about birth trauma and how can a mother possibly recognise it?
The baby’s body is under a lot of stress and enormous pressure during the natural birth process. Mechanical forces from contractions and the passing through the birth canal act on the skull bones, spine and nervous system. Overlapping of the skull bones is essential to prevent any excessive head deformities or damage to the nervous system. Moreover it creates healthy movement of the membranes lining the skull from the inside (cerebral membranes) and healthy circulation of the fluid inside the skull (cerebrospinal fluid).
Any interference or complication during birth can cause interruptions to these necessary processes; for instance medication, use of ventouse or forceps or a C-section.
Tight muscles, joints and fixations of the skull bones are the result which in return can have a mechanical or neurological impact on the rest of the musculoskeletal system.
Breastfeeding difficulties are one of the major effects of a traumatic birth. This is caused by joint dysfunctions in the cranium (skull), base of the skull (occiput) or the jaw. A poor latch for instance could be caused by compression of the relevant nerves or a fixation in the jaw.
Positional effects are common following a difficult birth. Such babies show one-sided head or body positioning and difficulties rotating the head to both sides equally which is caused by tight muscles or joints in the spine or pelvis. Mothers might notice the baby is only able feed or sleep in a certain position. Often they are not able to react to visual and audio stimuli from all sides.
Babies who can only lie on one side or turn their head to one side only will eventually develop an asymmetrical head shape. This flat-head-syndrome becomes visible a few weeks after birth and causes further restrictions in the skull – a vicious cycle that should be stopped as soon as possible to prevent permanent asymmetry.
Should you recognise any of these symptoms with your child, do not hesitate to see a qualified paediatric chiropractor. The treatment is very gentle using light pressure and easy mobilisations. Most babies can improve after only a few sessions!
Call 0208 661 1613 for further information or to book an appointment.