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Paediatric Osteopathy

All babies cry, but if yours cries a lot, isn't sleeping or is just plain irritable, many parents have found that a paediatric osteopath can help, particularly if the birth was difficult.

By gently touching a baby, an osteopath can use manipulation to ease the tension and help improve the way baby's body functions. During birth and pregnancy your baby's body is subject to considerable pressure and can suffer physical strain.

Andy Naddick, from the Osteopathic Centre for Children says: 'All your baby's systems are interconnected - the skeleton, the muscles, the internal organs and so on. If pressure or tension occurs in one area, the effect can continue throughout the body. For example, if there's an imbalance in the shoulder, your baby may hold her body awkwardly, which in turn may cause irritation in the chest or tummy, affect her digestion and even sleep patterns.' An osteopath uses gentle touch to find the parts of the body which may become stressed, strained or unaligned.

At your first visit to an osteopath he will take notes about your pregnancy and the birth to identify any problems. He will then examine your baby and very gently work on her body using subtle manipulation.

'Each child and every treatment is different' says Andy, 'but most babies usually only need three or four sessions to assess response to treatment. Your baby grows fast and has great potential for change and improvement, so getting her back to "normal" doesn't take long.'

Paediatric osteopathy has been shown to be effective with many serious conditions including epilepsy and cerebral palsy. It is also helpful for the following baby problems:

  • Wind and tummy pains.
  • Prolonged bouts of crying.
  • Fractiousness and irritability.
  • Frequent waking.
  • Feeding difficulties.

All osteopaths undertake four years training, followed by a further two years in paediatric osteopathy.

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Author: Tony Luck who runs a site with advice on how to look after a baby and a personalized gift shop.

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