By Hannah Schenker
When you are going through the various stages of pregnancy, you may find yourself confronted with any number of bodily complaints – aches and pains in numerous parts of the body, headaches and the dreaded heartburn. You are limited in what you can take to relieve these complaints though, as you want to protect your growing baby, so natural alternatives are the way to go. Osteopathy is a gentle but effective bodily treatment that can ease a range of pregnancy complaints. But they can go further than that too and treat your baby as well.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a hands-on gentle and safe treatment for all ages. They find the source of the problem and address that, rather than simply treating the symptoms.
Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners who use a hands-on approach to facilitate healing. They focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
In New Zealand, osteopaths undergo a five-year degree and are trained in anatomy, physiology, pathology, diagnosis and osteopathic techniques. Osteopaths are also trained to recognise conditions which require medical referral. Osteopaths work with and alongside other healthcare professionals such as GPs and specialists to ensure patients are receiving the best care possible. For more information about osteopaths please visit www.osteopathsnz.co.nz.
How can an osteopath help a baby?
Being born is physically a huge process for a baby to go through. The birthing process may have taken place naturally or via a caesarean, the duration may have been long or short and may or may not have been assisted (forceps, vacuum, induced) – all of which can have a different effect on the baby’s body. Sometimes, babies need a little help to get everything smoothed out and working properly, which is how an osteopath can help.
Osteopaths can treat a range of baby presenting complaints, including but not limited to:
- Refux, spilling, vomiting
- Bloating, constipation, diarrhoea
- Baby turning his/her head in one direction
- Difficulty latching and/or feeding
Addressing small strains while the baby is little can often help to prevent the strains from developing into problems as the baby continues to grow and develop.
Luckily, babies typically respond very well and quickly in a few sessions to gentle and effective osteopathic treatment.