recognises the particular stresses on the body children experience as they grow
from babies to teenagers, and has developed an approach to work with children
of all ages.
Musculoskeletal restrictions can
affect an infant doing simple activities or reaching development milestones.
Osteopathic treatment for babies may be able to assist with musculoskeletal
issues that relate to:
• Feeding and latching
Comfort and settling
Difficult or traumatic birth
Preference of neck turning or feeding on one side
Issues with rolling, crawling and walking
Issues or discomfort with tummy time
should I expect at an appointment?
• A thorough medical history will be taken
Questions around the pregnancy and birth
examination of suck and latch
Discussion of any findings
Every appointment is tailored based on the
individual infant considering their age, developmental stage and other health
relating factors. Osteopathic treatment of babies and infants is very gentle
and involves stretching, light massage and unwinding of tissues but never
involves strong forces like manipulating joint or ‘cracking’.
Management of your child's health may include
referral to your doctor or other health professionals.
What to bring to an
• Your Child’s Maternal and Child Health ‘green’
bottle (if not breastfeeding)
"Hi I’m Maddi, I am an Osteopath here at
Premier Health Partners and I have a great passion for Paediatrics and
Pre/Post-Natal Health. This originally stemmed from treatments that I received
from an osteopath myself during my childhood, a passion that grew even further
throughout my University studies and numerous external courses that I have
completed relating to these fields.
love working with babies and mothers to help provide practical support and
options for breastfeeding and musculoskeletal issues. This is done by building
a support network around YOU; working alongside Doctors (we have one of
Melbourne’s best paediatric GPs here with us – Dr Alan Underwood), as well as
access to local Maternal Health Nurses, Lactation Consultants and other health professionals
to try and remedy issues affecting the babies feeding and health."
Dr Maddi Traeger - Osteopath
Did you know?
96% of mothers initiate breastfeeding
39% of babies were exclusively breastfed less than 4 months
Only 15% of babies were still exclusively breastfed up to 6 months
*Source: 2010 Australian National Feeding Survey
*Research and Evidence
Natalie M. Hayes, DO; Todd A. Bezilla, DO
Published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2006, Vol. 106, 605-608.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment appears to be a safe treatment modality in the pediatric population when administered by physicians with expertise in osteopathic manipulative treatment. Future studies should be prospective and include larger numbers of patients to document the safety of osteopathic manipulative treatment in this clinical application.
Steele KM, Carreiro JE, Viola JH, Conte JA, Ridpath LC.
Published in the Journal of American Osteopathic Association
A standardized osteopathic manipulative treatment protocol administered adjunctively with standard care for patients with acute otitis media may result in faster resolution of middle ear effusion following acute otitis media than standard treatment alone.
Mills MV, Henley CE, Barnes LL, Carreiro JE, Degenhardt BF.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003 Sep;157(9):861-6
The results of this study suggest a potential benefit of osteopathic manipulative treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent AOM; it may prevent or decrease surgical intervention or antibiotic overuse.
F.Cerritelli, G.Pizzolorusso, C.Renzetti, V.Cozzolino, M.D’Orazio, M.Lupacchini, B.Marinelli, Alessandro A.C.Lucci, J.Lancellotti, S.Ballabio, C.Castelli, D.Molteni, R.Besana, L.Tubaldi, F.Paolo Perri, P.Fusilli, C.D’Incecco, G.Barlafante
Published in PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0127370
Osteopathic treatment reduced significantly the number of days of hospitalization and is cost-effective on a large cohort of preterm infants.
Please read this excellent article (link above) from mumcentral.com.au by reknowned pediatric Osteopath Julia Redfern
We bet you’ve never thought about taking your child
to see an osteopath. “Kids are so flexible – why would they need to see an osteopath?”
It’s a common belief and,
largely, true but there are a range of problems that may interfere with the
normal musculoskeletal development of a child.
Trauma during the birth process, childhood accidents and
falls can create or contribute to problems associated with bones, muscles,
ligaments, tendons and nerves. Other issues faced by children include posture
problems, inflammatory conditions and sporting injuries. In all these cases an
osteopath can help.
A general check-up soon after delivery would be
beneficial, especially after a long labour, caesarean, forceps or ventouse
delivery as the process can effect the infant’s head, spine, shoulders and
nervous system. Another reason for mums to bring their babies and toddlers in
to see an osteopath is to check if their musculoskeletal system is restricted
in any way that may affect them achieving their next milestone symmetrically
(particularly gross motor), for example hip and spinal mobility for preparation
to roll, crawl and so on.
“As an osteopath with a special interest in helping
improving the health of babies and children, I see a wide range of conditions
that can benefit from osteopathic care”, says osteopath Julia Redfern.
“Sometimes I see developmental abnormalities and help
provide treatment and advice for specific areas of the body affected, and
assist the rest of their body to compensate”, says Julia.
“The conditions we see that present at birth or early
infancy can often still be worked on and improved in older children as they
often have longer lasting effects on the biomechanics of several other areas”
Your osteopath can also assist in the management of feeding and digestion
issues including reflux, constipation, difficulty feeding, unsettled or poor
sleeping. Clinical research that included the osteopathic module found that the
treatment might reduce the hours of crying per day and improve sleeping time in
babies who have been described as having ‘colic’.
“We suggest osteopathic care for certain conditions in
conjunction with general medical treatment and advice as an adjunctive therapy
to help reduce severity of symptoms.” – adds Julia. “We don’t see osteopathy to
be a magical “cure”.
Osteopathic sessions can also include prescribing gentle
massage for areas parents can safely work on to help prolong the treatment
effects, along with postural or positioning advice and exercises for
Other conditions osteopaths help manage in babies include
developmental dysplasia of the hip, ‘clicky hips’; plagiocephaly which is
abnormal head shape or flattening of part of the skull.
“Generally our approach for plagiocephaly includes lots
of education for parents, advice on positioning and carrying, and a lot of
tummy time to strengthen the neck muscles.” – says Julia.
Osteopathic care is a safe, gentle and effective hands on
healthcare approach. It can assist the young body to adapt to growth-related
changes which can prevent other health problems. It can help your baby grow
into a healthy child and, ultimately, a healthy young adult.
About Julia Redfern
a strong interest in pregnancy and fertility, Julia provides osteopathic care
for all aspects of women’s health, including treatment and advice for pregnant
women and new mums. She is also a Clinical Pilates Instructor and Certified
Infant Massage Instructor with additional postgraduate study in Obstetrics,
Paediatrics, and Pre & Post Natal Pilates, to further her interest in the
treatment of women, babies and children.