Let’s talk about bodywork and why your baby needs it!
I truly believe that every single baby and Mama should get at least one to three sessions of bodywork treatments. I personally love cranial sacral therapy and or osteopathy, but really anything is great.
If you are more of an auditory learner, you can watch my video about this topic HERE, but if you love reading, keep going!
Babies spend a lot of time in utero, scrunched up and as they’re growing bigger and bigger, there’s less and less space. With limited room, there is limited space to move and this can lead to babies being in positions for prolonged periods of time, which may lead to developing some tightness in their muscles.
Sometimes babies also get stuck (like under your ribs – ouch!) and then are stuck in one position for many weeks while they are growing, which can again lead to tightness and compression. This ‘stuckness’ can lead to a lot of straining and tightness of the muscles, and of the fascia – the thin but strong layer on top of the muscles. The fascia is really good at doing its job of protecting everything underneath. But it’s not so great at releasing on its own. And this is where that bodywork comes in. Just like you and I would need to massage or “work out” any knots or tightness in our body, the same is for our babies.
This is an interesting diagnosis and often professionals like physical therapists or doctors consider it only to be tightness of the neck. But in fact, torticollis is a body torsion or twist and may actually be stemming from the hips, to the neck and even into the floor of the mouth and tongue. This tightness can adversely affect feeding and may lead to difficulty breastfeeding on one side or in certain positions.
Sometimes you will notice your baby has a side preference when turning their head, or their head always falls to the same side in the car seat. Or perhaps you have noticed that your baby has a full C-shape and looks like their whole body is curved one way.
The other thing is that there’s a lot of nerves that come from the brain through the back part of our neck, and they come through those cranial bones. If the neck is tight, twisted or constantly bent to one side, this can lead to things like weak suck, constipation, digestive issues, reflux gas, and so many just like general discomfort and fustiness.
The vagus nerve is a very important cranial nerve and actually the longest nerve in the body. It brings information of the inner organs, such as gut, liver, heart, and lungs to the brain. It is really important in helping to regulate our nervous system, it is the nerve that is involved in the parasympathetic nervous system – rest and digest nervous system.
So if there is any body tightness going on or if there’s any compression of those nerves, it’s going to be really hard for the baby to regulate and calm or just be in a state of calm alertness.
- Play huge role in:
- GI function
- Suck – swallow – breathe coordination
- Autonomic Nervous System Regulation
- Airway Patency – how we hold our airway open; if airway is compromised in any way then you will not get better feeding
- All feeding and swallowing activities
- Sensory Processing & Interoception
Generally, bodywork can help babies. It’s a very calming touch when you get bodywork done for your babies. I personally love cranial sacral therapy and or osteopathy, but anything is great! Whether it is massage, whether it is pediatric chiropractic adjustments, any kind of body work is so important for babies and mamas alike.
Want to know how to check your baby’s body, joints, and muscles, to make sure they are all moving as they should be? I’ve got you covered! The Holistic Baby: Development Course is perfect for you, mamas! It is a comprehensive developmental course for babies 0-2 years. Check it out HERE
Want more support on sleep, development, reflux, tongue-ties and more for babies 0-2 years? Join our community of mamas in the Sleep Deprived Mamas: Holistic + Heart-Centred Support (without sleep training).