Craniosacral Therapy & Birth
Our birth patterns live on in our bodies as emotional and connective tissue experiences. Depending on how we meet, and we were met, this challenge influences how these patterns are carried and expressed.
One of the first things to express in a craniosacral session with a little one, is their birth pattern. The compressions and rotations we make use of to navigate our way into the world is both predictable and completely unique to each individual.
During a session, it is the practitioner's role to to facilitate release and unwinding as baby's body remembers this journey: our role is to listen, and bear witness to, baby's birth story.
Ideally, birth is the most challening event our body will ever experience.
A baby is not a passive observer, but an active participant in their birth process. To be born vaginally, babies will need to rotate their head to drop into the pelvis, again to drop into the birth canal and tuck chin to chest to open the way along with their A baby is not a passive observer, but an active participant in their birth process. To be born vaginally, babies will need to rotate their head to drop into the pelvis, again to drop into the birth canal and tuck chin to chest to open the way along with their mother's effort. Ideally, a baby will keep hands down by their sides and actively kick and move to assist their decent and entry to the world. effort. Ideally, a baby will keep hands down by their sides and actively kick and move to assist their decent and entry to the world.
Our bodies are made for this level of challenge and are equally made to recover. It is a series of biologically hardwired movements after birth, sucking their hands and being at the breast, being stroked and held close, that tell the body, "we made it, we are safe and we are together."
Craniosacral therapy comes in when there has been an interruption or when navigating these pre-arranged birth sequence gets a bit out of order.
Long labors can create a pattern of cranial (head) molding that can be persistent or lead to issues in head turning simply from the force of the head being turned and compressed for an extended period of time. Long labors also run a higher chance of leading to bigger interventions from pain management to vacuum, forceps or cesarean assisted delivery.
Precipitous or fast labors can be equally jarring when a mom and baby don't have a chance to land, or pause after the birth. Often, these babies and their families are still trying to orient to their post birth world.
Birth Patterns as mentioned above, are often the first thing to express during baby sessions, as if the body is saying,
"Watch. Watch how I turned this way, and then the other way and where I got stuck or where it went too fast for me."
Craniosacral therapy guides a gentle release in the connective tissue as baby re enacts these movement patterns. As baby expresses how that was for them, if it was challenging or too fast, they will often show us in facial expressions or waves of sounds or tears.
To stay in neutral witness to this process allows the birth story to be heard. Parents often report immediate changes in mood, nursing, range of motion and comfort.
While this post has focused on vaginal birth, we only touch on the surface of how CST can effect feeding or be helpful to other situations like cesarean births. Stay tuned for upcoming posts more specific to these experiences!
If you know a little one with:
High Intervention Birth
Head Turn Preference
Delayed Movement Milestones
Consider reaching out for bodywork from a trusted Craniosacral Therapist or similar care provider.