Craniosacral Therapy for Newborns

It is beneficial for the health and well-being of all newborn babies to receive a Craniosacral Therapy evaluation and treatment. Craniosacral Therapy is a very gentle, non-invasive approach that will locate and dissipate any stress or structural strain that occurred during the birthing process. Even in a “normal” delivery, compression, stress, and strain have the power to create trauma patterns that may cause symptoms and hinder later development.

It is undoubtedly true that modern birthing techniques have saved countless newborns that would otherwise have died. It could also be said that the birthing process as we know it today may be responsible for causing trauma in some newborns that cannot be easily dissipated. The use of devices such as forceps and suction, caesarean section, and drugs given to the mother, have the potential to disrupt the natural rhythm and flow of the birth experience for both mother and baby. For example, births are often rushed by flooding the mothers’ body with Pitocin, an artificial hormone. This increases the strength of the contractions which often necessitates the need for powerful pain reducing drugs through epidural injection. This may increase compression and trauma on the child.

Perhaps it would be of value to share my own family’s birth experience with you, which I view as somewhat typical.

 When my wife and I arrived at the hospital, 16 hours after her water “broke”, we were scolded and told that she needed to get a Pitocin drip immediately because the baby was in danger and needed to be born as soon as possible. When we asked what the danger was we were told that our baby was at risk of infection…because we were in a hospital! We said “no,” and it was implied that we were ignorant and therefore bad parents. After a few hours the medical professionals convinced us to start an I.V. antibiotic to protect against infection. Now my wife was tethered to an I.V. that limited her mobility and ability to move.

 At 20 hours, our yet to be born son still wanted to take his time.  We were again implored by the staff to start Pitocin to jump start and regulate the process. We were informed that the hospital rule is that all babies must be birthed within a 24 hour window after the water breaks. After multiple attempts to convince us we finally gave in… with potentially disastrous results.

Immediately after receiving Pitocin our baby’s heart rate decreased, and the health care professionals began to panic. They insisted we now inject as much Pitocin into the system, as quickly as possible, to get that baby out now! That seemed beyond all logic. Why would we increase something that hurt him? I insisted they remove the Pitocin from the I.V.  Immediately after that our baby’s heart rate quickly returned to normal and the process (his and his mom’s natural process) was back on course. The doctor now insisted that we allow her to screw an intrauterine heart monitor into the top of our baby’s head to monitor his dangerously erratic heartbeat. When we refused she left the room.

Twenty five hours into the labor process a small dose of Pitocin was again given and this time my wife and our son were ready. Twenty nine hours after the water broke Luke was safely born into this world.  He is a happy, healthy 4 year old kid.

Of course I was right there at the moment of his birth to evaluate his craniosacral system and to help dissipate the stress of labor and birth by rebalancing his delicate system. My wife received a lot of work too!

With any delivery, common trauma includes compression of the head and spine. The critical Atlas-Occipital Joint, Cranial Base, Cranial Bones and Intracranial Membranes receive and may retain incredible stresses. Compression can negatively influence function of the brain stem, cranial nerves and spinal cord. Compression of the Cranial Base, Cranial Bones and Intracranial Membranes may inhibit cerebrospinal fluid flow, crucial to the delivery of nutrients to and removal of metabolic waste from the brain. Simply put, when tissue and systems are confined and compressed, they just don’t work as well.

Some of the early symptoms of compression/trauma are neck stain known as torticollis, colic, digestion and elimination problems such as gas and constipation, inability to be comforted and failure to thrive. Later a host of problems may arise such as sensory integration dysfunction, motor coordination difficulties, developmental delays, learning disabilities and other functional deficits.

As a Craniosacral Therapist working with infants, I have heard countless birth stories, not all of which are happy. What could and should be an awesome, inspiring experience turns into a traumatic event for many. What we need to realize as parents of that beautiful, newborn child is that no matter what our perception is of the birth event, our child has had their own experience and often it is a traumatic one for the mind, body and spirit.

Let me share just a few successful stories with you…

I recently treated a very fussy 2 month old diagnosed with colic. The CST evaluation discovered a right coronal suture restriction and a left side compression. Within 20 minutes the treatment was completed. Mom called back two days later to say the colic and other symptoms were completely gone.

I have treated several cases of torticollis or neck stress, and each one has responded favorably within 2-3 CST treatments.

Problems latching, eating, digestion and elimination problems have been resolved with excellent results.

Parents tell me that they see progress and change in their toddler children with speech and other developmental delays after just a few CST treatments.

My first mentor, Dr. John Upledger, the developer of craniosacral therapy, would often say that all babies need a CST evaluation and it should be protocol at all hospitals and every birth.

There may not be a craniosacral system problem but is it worth 20 minutes of your time to find out? Come and see me for a free newborn (up to 3 months old) evaluation. It may make all the difference in the world.

By Ken DiPersio