Isabella was a six month old baby who had always had a lot of wind! She would wriggle and squirm around in discomfort struggling to pass the wind. No sooner had she passed it but more would start to build up again. It was disrupting Isabella’s sleep and the whole family was feeling exhausted.
Isabella’s mum had had a good pregnancy but needed to be induced as she was overdue. A pessery didn’t work so she was put on a hormone drip – which certainly got things started. Contractions came on very suddenly and strongly. For the next twelve hours labour was very intense until Isabella was finally delivered. She had had the cord around her neck, but it hadn’t caused her any breathing problems.
Whilst Isabella was perfectly fit and healthy, she did not cry on delivery. She made up for this in the next few days and weeks by crying persistently, only to be relieved by feeding.
The parents had tried colief and different milks but nothing seemed to make their daughter more comfortable.
A gentle osteopathic examination found that she looked a bit “twisted” her lower body rotated one way and her upper body the opposite way. She was quite compressed through her pelvis. The connective tissues, that attach the bowels to our backs, felt tight and twisted too. This was possibly thought to be related to the pulling of the cord during the labour.
Osteopaths believe that findings like this could compromise the nerve supply, drainage and mobility of the bowels.
Osteopaths think that sudden, strong labours can subject the baby to greater compressive forces than a labour which builds up gradually and gives the baby time to gently and slowly respond.
Crying on delivery helps the baby to correct this increased pressure and compression. Isabella was possibly a bit shocked by the labour and so didn’t cry when she was first born.
Crying and sucking help the baby to relieve this pressure – which could explain why Isabella was quite unsettled in the first few weeks, as she tried to reduce these birth strains herself.
Gentle Osteopathic treatment was given to release and reduce the tensions in Isabella’s body, aiming to improve the mobility and function of her bowels.
Over the next couple of weeks Isabella was sleeping through the night, not waking with wind and was much happier, more comfortable and settled. Now aged eight months she continues to be a happy and contented baby who can’t wait to get crawling, to catch up with her big brother!
Osteopaths try to identify the root cause of the problem, treating mechanical dysfunctions to reduce tension and to improve nerve and blood supply and drainage. They are trained to consider and screen for any underlying medical conditions and refer the child to the GP if osteopathy is not appropriate.