Bodywork is an umbrella term used to describe various types of manual therapy. This can be very beneficial to babies with feeding challenges (and many, many more issues). Despite how it sounds, bodywork is extremely gentle. Babies generally enjoy their treatments, and sometimes even fall asleep! This may include the following professionals and modalities:
Cranial Sacral Therapy
Physical or Occupational Therapy
Why Would My Baby Need Bodywork? For several reasons. First, the womb is a tight place, and sometimes baby's come out a little squished. Second, birth can be a bit traumatic (forceps, vacuum?). And lastly, tongue ties. Tongue ties create a pull on the fascia that can extend aaaall the way down to the toes. Tight babies can be uncomfortable in their little bodies. They may be stiff, have tense bellies, head tilt/turn preference, arch their backs, spit up a lot, and click their tongue during feedings. They may be fussy or colicky babies, have infrequent bowel movements, and hate tummy time. And I think we can all agree, that when baby is stressed, everyone is stressed.
Bodywork releases facial adhesions, restores symmetry, improves mobility, and helps babies with nervous system regulation (bye-bye colic). It can save a breastfeeding relationship, improve gut motility, support gross motor development, and restore your baby to the happy little person they want to be.
Can all babies benefit from bodywork?
Absolutely! Can I do it at home?
Yes, and no. Babies with the previously listed symptoms really benefit from professional bodywork. That said, parents can absolutely learn to massage their babies at home for added therapeutic benefit. For this reason, we host Bodywork play groups, teaching parents movement and touch that nurtures your bond, supports baby's development, and optimizes feeding skills.
At Nourish Therapy, we also incorporate bodywork into all of our infant feeding sessions. We do this because babies can't wait for coordinated care with multiple providers. Feeding issues are time sensitive, and by combining bodywork with feeding therapy we get better results for families. BUT, we're not dedicated bodywork professionals. For this reason, we also refer families to our community partners for more in depth treatment. Have questions? We are always happy to talk. Schedule a free phone consultation on our website.