Was your baby stuck in one position during pregnancy - sometimes known as a "breech birth" or "breech baby"?
Maybe you felt your baby do lots of kicking but he\she didn’t move around?
Or they stayed lying on one side of the womb?
Or did your baby adopt a breech position? This is a transverse lie of the baby in the womb. It feels like your baby is lying across under your ribs.
If any of these positions remind you of how your baby presented in pregnancy please read on and discover how these different positions in the womb affect your baby’s health and comfort after birth and into their first year.
The answer to how the baby presented in utero tells us a lot about the baby’s comfort level and what might now be causing them discomfort after birth. Mums first become aware of foetal movement in the second trimester between 4th and 5th month. Foetal position and movement are important from this time onward.
The ideal position to grow in the womb, especially in the final months is in a longitudinal lie i.e. upside down with head down towards pelvis and feet up towards ribs. The crown heel length at the end of the second trimester may exceed 10 inches. During the 7th,8th and 9th months the baby continues to grow and sometimes they get stuck in an awkward position. And here is where the problem begins..
Being stuck in this awkward position is called positional entrapment .This can result in compression and misalignment of the spine (scoliosis) or neck (torticollis) where the baby finds it difficult to straighten themselves. Even after birth this restriction is still felt by the baby.
If the baby cannot descend into the pelvis and present in the correct position for birth, labour may be prolonged or fail to progress to a vaginal delivery. This then may lead to a c-section for safe delivery of the baby.
Some babies while presenting incorrectly may turn themselves into the correct position during labour. These babies have a vaginal delivery but often need to be assisted with vacuum or forceps in the final stage of delivery. Others are in the right position head down but facing the wrong way and are O.P. or facing upward which results in lots of pressure on the face instead of back of neck and head. If any of the above are similar to your pregnancy, birth and delivery then bring your baby for a cranio session and allow the extra strain on the baby to be eased with a gentle touch.
Positional entrapment or getting stuck in utero leads to an uncomfortable baby.
Many babies come to my Craniosacral clinic at Elmwood Medical Centre and they are uncomfortable lying flat or their head is always on one side. Before starting to treat the problem I always spend time to find out how this baby was in the womb. As our American lecturer said “Check out the condition of the condo!”(womb)
Did the baby stay in one position and maybe all mum felt was kicking and not much moving? If so the problem their baby is now experiencing has been there since before the birth and the baby has grown into this spine, neck or head restriction.
So, what is the solution if my baby won’t lie flat or is falling to one side and can’t look around?
The first thing is to look at your baby and see if they are having difficulty.
At their six week check you could bring this to the attention of your doctor.
They may refer you for physiotherapy and this will assist you in helping your baby.
An immediate, effective solution is starting the treatment craniosacral therapy in the first few weeks and combining with physio when it becomes available .Many babies improve with craniosacral therapy alone.
The gentle touch of craniosacral therapy is wonderful in releasing the restrictions of the membrane under the bones and allowing them to move freely and into the correct position. By releasing the incorrect pull on the membranes we also free the nerves allowing them to do their job without causing pain.
Jack was 3 weeks old when he came for craniosacral therapy. His mum had heard about the effectiveness of the therapy from a friend at her daughter’s crèche. Jack was irritable, didn’t want to be put down and favoured his left side. He had been breech from week 25 of the pregnancy and was delivered by C-Section at 39 weeks. As a second time mum Jane felt that there was something bothering Jack but he had the all clear from his doctor and she couldn’t understand why he wasn’t sleeping more.
I explained to Jane that Jack was compressed along his spine and neck due to his entrapment and breech position in the womb. Now, he needed some help to stretch out and take the pressure of the nerves that help him relax, sleep, feed, have comfortable bowel movements and turn his neck to see over his right shoulder.
While he sucked on his soother I worked with a gentle touch along his spine, neck and over the bones of his head. He visited me on 5 occasions, improving a little after each session.
When he was free of restriction he was also happy to lie down and started a good feeding and sleeping routine.
I see Jack every few months or if he has difficulty in progressing on to his next stage of development i.e. crawling etc.
In summary, I have found that Craniosacral Therapy is a great treatment to start with because it is safe, effective, non-invasive and cost effective.
Feel free to Contact Carina for an appointment or the find out more.