Do you wonder what effect birth has on your baby? Victoria McLelland local, registered Osteopath shares some of her experience in treating babies after birth.


Most babies cope well with birth and bounce back quickly within the first week. However for some newborns, the pressures applied to the head and body during labour can be traumatic. Many problems commonly experienced during infancy may be a result of these unresolved forces and strain, during the birthing process.


During what’s deemed a ‘normal natural’ birth, the baby’s head needs to pass through the mother’s pelvis. So their neck flexes, rotates and extends using the back of the baby’s head as a pivoting point to exit. At the same time the contractions of labour are compressing the cranial bones to fold and overlap one another, to reduce the size of the head coming out.


In addition to that, as the baby enters the world and takes their first breath, a chain of events unfolds. There is a change to the circulation as blood no longer comes or goes to the placenta and a hole in the heart closes. Fluid is squeezed out of the lungs and filled with air. The central nervous system is stimulated and the baby is separated from the mother, so to function independently.


As a registered Osteopath, I use gentle techniques aimed at unwinding the birth forces, relaxing the nervous system and allowing normal growth to follow.


Mothers will commonly bring their babies into our practice for:

  • 6 week post-natal check-up
  • Torticollis (head only goes to one side) and Plagiocephaly (misshapen head)
  • Difficult births – long labours, forceps, ventouse, shoulder and hip problems, breech
  • Latch and feeding difficulties – plus pre & post tongue-tie surgery care
  • Excessive crying, unsettled or nervous babies
  • Colic and wind symptoms


Words: Victoria McLelland

Victoria is a qualified and nationally registered Osteopath. She runs a newborn, infant and child Osteopathic clinic out of the My Midwives Gold Coast group, located centrally in Ashmore. For more information on the effect of birthing on babies or to read about how Osteopathy might help your child visit: www.childosteopath.com.au or phone the clinic on (07) 5594 4525.


Guest writer

Guest writer