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  • Writer's pictureMegan Dunn

What's bodywork? How might it help my baby?

Bodywork or manual therapy includes many types of hands-on treatments focused on supporting normal movement and function.

This can include chiropractic care, cranial sacral therapy, osteopathic manipulation, and many other therapies! See the Resources list for local providers.

Babies who experience a challenging birth - like a c-section, vacuum, or even just a not ideal position in the womb - often present with tension in their body which can impact their feeding, contentedness, sleep, and crying.

On the flip side, an infant with feeding problems can, over time, develop these same problems due to compensations.


What's a compensation?


A compensation is what we do when the normal way of doing something isn't working.

Twist your left ankle? Well, you might lean into using your right side a bit more until you heal.

It's the same with our babies


If it's not comfortable to move or feed in the normal way, they may develop compensations. Okay, what's the problem with that?


Compensations when used long term are dysfunctions.


Baby is using muscles which aren't developed enough to work how they are using them. It also puts baby into a stressful state called sympathetic state.


This often means they cry more, have digestive problems are just generally not content. This is stressful for parents, too!


Bodywork and manual therapy for infants is incredibly gentle and works with their body to get back to balance. Gentle touch and massage can be beneficial for all babies!


And if your baby is having feeding problems which aren't resolving with basic help or interventions, if your baby cries a lot, has sleep or nap difficulties, or it just doesn't feel right...be sure to contact your provider and IBCLC for a referral to a skilled infant bodyworker. It may be just the thing your baby needs to feel better.

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