Osteopathy for babies

Osteopathic treatment techniques for babies are gentle and non-invasive. Babies are so supple that they only require minimal pressure to initiate positive changes in their tissues. Paediatric osteopaths have a highly developed sense of touch, which they use to find and treat tension in a baby’s body.

Where does tension in a baby’s body come from?

Most commonly tension in a baby’s body will be caused either by in-utero strain from their positioning inside the womb during development, or from birth trauma.

During pregnancy babies have limited space in the womb. This can lead to the baby being pushed up against the uterine wall, the mother’s bony pelvis or ribs for an extended period of time. Pressure against the baby in these situations can lead to bony tension or moulding of the facial and cranial bones, joint tension and muscular tightness.

Birth trauma may occur during either natural or caesarean births. During natural birth there can be a huge amount of force exerted on a baby’s head and neck as they are trying to find their way out of the mothers bony pelvis. If the baby gets stuck or intervention is required such as caesarean, forceps or ventouse this can lead to even higher amounts of force on their cranial or facial bones, neck, jaw, shoulder girdle or rib cage. Osteopathy is a gentle, safe and enjoyable form of treatment that can be particularly effective for babies.

When can a baby have treatment?

Common conditions treated by osteopaths

  • Feeding and latching issues

  • Colic and reflux

  • Neck tension or torticollis

  • Plagiocephaly (flat, uneven or abnormal head shape)

  • Sleep issues

  • General irritability

  • Developmental delays

  • Dislike or inability to push up during tummy time

  • Poor neck strength

  • Delayed rolling, sitting, crawling, walking

Babies can have treatment from as early as a few hours old. If there are obvious strains in a baby’s body at birth or the birth has been traumatic we recommend treatment as soon as possible. If there are no obvious signs of strain or tension then we recommend getting baby checked at around three weeks of age as it can take a few weeks for the full extent of a strain pattern to start to show in a baby’s body.


Hester Aba