Cranial osteopathy is something that I don’t know a lot about, but that I have come across several times during my work as a midwife.

It is natural and normal that babies heads undergo a process of compression and decompression, and twisting and turning, during the labour and birth process, and they are well equipped for this. The various bones of their skull have the ability to overlap during birth and there are two fontanelles (‘soft spots’).  The majority of newborn babies adjust over the first few days after birth, when you can often see a misshaped head become a more natural shape.

However, some babies heads experience a prolonged or more firm pressure, and I believe this can impact newborn abilities and behaviour. Examples of this are; a prolonged labour, malposition of the fetal head within the pelvis, a breech baby (whose head enters and exits the pelvis relatively quickly during a vaginal birth, or in an extended breech has his/her head compressed between their legs for weeks prior to birth), assisted birth by ventouse or forceps, or a precipitate (very quick) labour and birth.

This can present with a newborn baby who may have one or more issues, ranging from being generally unsettled, to having a lot of ‘wind’ or colic, and/or breastfeeding issues, since any tension in the head, jaw or neck can result in difficulty obtaining an effective latch and suckling.

I have witnessed really positive changes in babies following gentle manipulation by a cranial osteopath specialised in the above. As with many things as a parent it is good to have a wide variety of options, after accumulating and considering accurate information, then deciding what might be good to try for our baby with his/her unique journey into the world.