Babies need treatment too!
Updated: Mar 30, 2019
Jennifer Spak has watched the collective mindset shift over her 18 year career as a RMT and Manual Osteopath. What once was a battle to get people to understand the need and value in making their health and quality of life a priority, has shifted into a general acceptance. People are more educated about their bodies and are actively working towards keeping themselves healthy and pain free by using manual therapy as part of their regular routine.
Jennifer is so excited to watch this shift, but now her focus has moved to "when is the right time to start taking care of ourselves". Often people begin this new journey of care once pain, dysfunction or lifestyle limitations have set in. So she asks;
What would it be like if we addressed issues BEFORE they had time to settle into our bodies and create years of compensation? What if we started to take care of ourselves right from the beginning?
Over the past 5 years, she has shifted an aspect of her practice to focus on Infant/child assessment and treatment.
With the pleasure of team-working with several highly regarded Midwives and IBCLC's (international board certified lactation consultants) and other Health Care professionals who have also recognized the importance of infants being treated for conditions presented from birth.
These babies see Jennifer for treatment for a long list of problems;
Torticollis (head tilted to one side and chin rotated to the opposite)
GERD (Gastro-Esophogeal Reflux Disorder)
Acid Reflux (medicated or non-medicated)
Tongue tie (Ankyloglossia) (ATT, PTT)
Lip ties (upper)
Buccal ties and other oral dysfunctions (suck reflex, disorganized tongue etc)
Breastfeeding issues (latch difficulties, poor milk production, pain, etc)
Digestion (gas, colic, constipation, distended?swollen abdomens)
Traumatic births (emergency cesarians, difficult labour and delivery)
Hyper sensitivity (sympathic Nervous System firing)
Flat head syndrome (Plagiocephaly)
Open mouth breathing (an other oral or tracheal dysfunctions)
This list goes on....
WHAT MAY HAPPEN IF YOU CHOOSE TO NOT HAVE YOUR BABY TREATED FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE CONCERNS?
In some cases, nothing....the body can correct itself if given enough time and an ideal environment. That means, that the cause is removed. This could be a simple as a digestive issue that resulted in bloating and constipation, but mom learned the baby was sensitive to dairy. By removing dairy, the irritant or cause is gone. This allows for the body to begin healing properly. In all likelihood, the baby will make a full recovery.
But...if that baby had been exposed to dairy for an extended period of time, their body will have made some compensatory changes. Even once the dairy is removed, the symptoms may not. That is due to the changes that have occurred because of the exposure to dairy.
This is why treatment is needed.
HOW DOES TREATMENT HELP MY BABY AND THEIR SYMPTOMS?
By seeing a qualified provider that is skilled in BOTH the assessment and treatment of the conditions, the cause of the problem can be identified and the secondary compensations can be addressed. This will ensure that the problem doesn't return. Using a variety of approaches that best suits your baby and the conditions identified will ensure that you get the best treatment possible.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BABY NEEDS TO BE TREATED?
Chat with your Midwife, IBCLC, Doula, Medical Doctor...they can be great resources to help you decide if what you are experiencing is something that needs further investigation. It is normal to have some difficulties with things like breastfeeding, sleep patterns, crying etc, that is part of learning who your baby is and what their needs are. Having issues persist beyond several days (breastfeeding) or a few weeks (sleeping, digestion, etc) is when it is time to have it further investigated.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS IN DELAYED OR NO TREATMENT?
The simplest explanation is the problem will persist, possibly worsening. In more serious cases such at Ankyloglossia or Torticollis, the consequences are more concerning.
With Torticollis, because of the body's natural reflex action to correct the eyes to be level, the body below the eyes will contort to make this happen. This can result in a functional scoliosis over time. The body will twist itself into an "C" or "S" shape to level the eyes. This will cause a secondary condition that will need to be addressed.
For Anklyoglossia, improper movement and function of the tongue will affect eating/breastfeeding, suck reflex, possible speech issues, food aversions, and in severe restrictions can impact the formation of the oral cavity extending into the throat and causing breathing issues (open mouth breathing) or dental concerns.
WHAT TYPE OF TREATMENT DO I LOOK FOR?
Finding a therapist that is trained in modalities like Myofascial Release (John F. Barnes'), Craniosacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation are all safe and gentle methods. Working with someone that has expertise in assessing and treating infant conditions will improve the outcomes. It is always better when you can find therapists that will collaborate with other Health Care Professionals to make sure we are all working towards helping the infant and parents.
If you would like to learn more or discuss if there is a need for an assessment of your infant please follow the link . Contact Jennifer
Disclaimer - Everything shared is for informative purposes only. It is not intended for assessment, diagnosis or treatment purposes. If you feel there needs to be further investigation, please seek out a qualified health care professional for a proper assessment.