A crying baby is a significant problem for parents and siblings of new born babies and is implicated as one of the causes of post-natal depression. Sleep deprivation, stress and self-blame sometimes result.
A baby can develop problems long before it is born. While growing in the uterus the baby’s head may grow in a distorted way if it is fixed in a constrained or awkward position such as held against the mother’s ribs or pubic bone.
At birth, not only its head but also its whole body will go through a complex and stressful process. The cranial bones have the ability to overlap and bend somewhat to accommodate this process.
However, in many cases, the baby’s head retains some of the compressive and twisting forces of the labour. This happens particularly when forceps or ventouse are used, or when the delivery has been long. A very short delivery also can create problems, as the head doesn’t have time to accommodate to the sudden forces of labour. The baby may also be stressed by this process.
Babies who have been born by caesarean sections can also have problems. The caesarean is often performed as an emergency because the baby is experiencing difficulties with its passage through the pelvis, or the obstetrician may have to use force to extricate the baby.
As the baby grows the tissues become less pliable and any structural changes may take longer to deal with, meaning if you think your baby may have a problem it is better to consult an osteopath earlier rather than later.