Nursing Problems
December 4, 2020
Tongue Ties & Nursing Problems
September 7, 2021


All babies can be fussy from time to time. All babies spit up. But, extreme cases of fussiness or excessive reflux or “spitting-up” are not normal. Reflux or Colic in a newborn can be very distressing for the baby and their parents. Vague advice about feeding your baby smaller amounts, changing your diet or, if, bottle feeding, using a different type of “slow” nipple, or using anti-acid medication can often have little impact.

In the practice of osteopathic medicine, we focus on the whole patient. From this perspective, the solution to colic or reflux can be found by thinking about the infant's entire body and how well it is functioning. The first potential cause of the problem can be neural [related to the nerves]. The Vagus Nerve is the main nerve to most of the digestive system [and also to the heart and lungs]. It exits off of the brain between two bones in the skull: the Occiput [bone in the back of the head] and the Temporal Bone, [the bone around the ear].

There are twenty-three bones around the brain that move in a predetermined pattern in all of us, because the brain moves constantly as does the spinal cord. Birth pressure and/or pulling on the head at delivery or during a C-Section, can cause these bones to come together too closely, putting too much pressure on the Vagus Nerve. Open, moving bones in the skull allow for the best functioning of the Vagus Nerve.

The second potential cause of reflux and/or colic is related to soft tissue called fascia, a tissue that wraps literally everything in the body. When the fascia that wraps around the arteries that go to the lungs and liver from the umbilical cord gets too tight, it causes a pulling on the respiratory diaphragm. This is caused by the umbilical cord having been around the neck of the newborn and being pulled on too much during delivery. It means simply that the cord was pulled on too much in delivery, or there was a short umbilical cord. This tightness in the fascia does not allow for the free movement of the respiratory diaphragm and therefore, lack of free movement of the esophagus [the main tube to the stomach] or the free movement of stomach itself. A very gentle fascia release of these areas in the hands of an experienced Osteopath can provide tremendous relief.

If your baby is experiencing reflux and/or colic, please telephone my office at [415] 459-2522 to make an appointment. You'll get 35 percent off my regular initial fee for your baby's first osteopathic evaluation and treatment. I welcome the opportunity to help your baby have better health and give you more peace of mind.

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