When to bring the baby to an osteopath?

Congratulations on your baby. It should be doing well and happily growing and eating. Parents recently asked me when to bring the baby to an osteopath?

Before I answer this question, let me tell you what osteopathy is: it is a manual therapy which aimes to resolve blockages and tensions in the body and thus rebalances the body. The used techniques are gentle and adjusted to the person. For babies the applied touch is very light, lighter than the touch applied on adults.

Pointers to bring your baby to an osteopath

Now, let me give you some pointers when it might be a good idea to bring your baby to the osteopath.

mother kissing baby on forehead

1. Your paediatrician, your midwife a nurse, your doula, the lactation consultant or a family member of friend mentions it. Especially when you hear it from several health care professionals, it might be a good idea to check for an osteopath in your neighbourhood.

There are some hints you can perceive from your baby that it may benefit from a session with an osteopath. They are:

2. Is is turning the head to only one side

3. It’s body has the shape of a banana towards one side

4. It is constantly falling asleep while breastfeeding

5. It has a poor suckling power

6. It has digestive troubles and spits up a lot

7. It had a surgery – and has recovered from it before its first osteopathy session

8. It was born with the help of a forceps or venthouse.

9. It was born with a c-section.

For number 2-6: Please note that osteopathy can improve the described sings, but it is not scientifically proven. The signs and their improvements are based on observations from practitioners in the field of osteopathy, other baby-caretakers and the parents. Number 7-9 are also based in the observations from osteopaths. These described circumstances may have caused tensions in the body, which need to be resolved.

Six weeks is a good time to start with osteopathy

baby twins lying on belly, laughing

Before you consult an osteopath make sure with the medical practitioners that your baby is overall healthy and develops accordingly. Unlike in the US, in Canada, most osteopaths are not medical doctors but “only” trained osteopaths. It has to do with the osteopathic education here. Therefore, an osteopathic session never replaces the visit at the paediatrician or any other medical doctor.

The best time to bring the baby to an osteopath is around the six-weeks-mark. This does not mean you have to go to an osteopath at that time. It means as of then it is best for all involved, especially for the baby and the mother. Both had time to get to know each other. The baby had time to arrive in the world and adjust accordingly. And the parents had time to observe what really manifested in the baby and what passed by. For example, it can be that during the first few weeks the baby prefers to turn the head to one side. But when it grows and gets stronger it starts turning the head to both sides equally. The body adjusted itself.

Further reading: A German study shows that osteopathy helps babies.