After working with premature babies for over 9 years I have come to realize that all babies can benefit from a CST session. Sessions are best completed with the parents participating by holding their newborn. Some babies may cry during a treatment session, and since this is one of the ways a baby communicates, we honor and support this as the baby releases various stress patterns.
Each session is tailored to the unique need of the infant and their familily. This allows the baby to learn how to be in charge of their own healing process.
During the birth process, the baby’s head molds to fit through the mother’s pelvis. It is normal for the cranial bones to override each other. After birth, these overrides and other accommodations in the baby’s skull should not persist. If they do not correct themselves, they can interfere with proper cranial nerve function leading to colic, breathing, swallowing, digestive or sensory-motor impairments and more. Sometimes birth alone may be traumatic. A very short or long birth may lead to restrictions in the body's fascia as the baby moves quickly through the birth canal or is stuck in a position for an extended amount of time. The use of forceps or suction can create a fascial pull with the Intracranial Membrane System, or cause the cranial bones to move and overlap. Any of the above may lead to both physical and emotional reactions in the body. CST can allow the fascia in the body to release and relax allowing the infant to release any undue stress in its body.
Craniosacral Therapy and Infants
CranioSacral therapy can help the infant by correcting any restrictions that may have occured during the birth process allowing the body to release the effects of stress naturally and relieve any undue pressure on the brain and spinal cord. The benefits of CST for all infants is multifaceted and includes but is not limited to:
- Minimizing or eliminating the repercussions of a difficult birth
- Soothing the fussy baby
- Helping babies who seem uncomfortable in their bodies
- Assisting babies who have digestive or elimination difficulties
- Calming babies who seem overly sensitive
- Improving sleep
- Ensuring overall good health
Most babies, after a session, will either be hungary or tired.
Premature babies are not just small babies. They come with their own set of concerns and stress patterns due to the maturation of the sensory system. Well meaning nurses and doctors have a tendancey to look at the baby in terms of current medical need and not look at the baby as a future person. Some babies have learned mal—adaptive behaviors due to stress that can be released and relearned by usilizing CST. As an infant gets closer to coming home it is not unusual for the focus to be on the quantity versus the quality of feeding. This can lead to feeding issues post discharge that may benefit from CST.
Craniosacral Therapy and the NICU
The noninvasive treatment of CST is extemely underutilized in the NICU setting. Baby's can be treated in their isolotte and since they do not need to be moved can be treated between care times. My favorite time to treat for physiological stability was as a second set of hands during care time.
CST may also be utilized to help facilitate the bonding between parents and the infant, decrease recovery time with invasive procedures, decrease the use of positioning aids for misshappen heads, and improve sleep.Back to top of page