Lydia’s parents were frantic with worry and completely exhausted from lack of sleep. Baby Lydia cried all the time and only slept for 30 minutes at a time. Even though she was hungry, her sucking was so ineffective her mom had trouble nursing her. Her pediatrician dismissed the parents’ concerns, telling them colic was normal and it should go away in a couple of months. Lydia’s parents didn’t know if they could make it until then!
Though Lydia was six weeks old she was tiny and she looked like a week old baby. But weak and feeble as she was, her body arched backward as though she’d been plugged into an electric socket.
Colic may be common in newborns, but I don’t agree that it is a condition parents have to accept as normal. Most cases of colic are due to bone or nerve compression that occurs during the birth process. I find it can almost always be treated succesfully with one to four cranial osteopathic treatments.
Nature has made the baby’s skull out of flexible bone and forgiving membrane so that she can get through the birth canal. This design allows the baby’s head to compress as it passes through the mother’s pelvis. But often the tremendous forces of the birth contractions can distort the head and constrict critical nerves. The nerves near the base of the skull that go to the tongue and the gut are particularly vulnerable. Compression of these nerves can lead to gas and colic and affect the baby’s ability to suck.
As I gently examined Lydia, I found that the vagus and hypoglossal nerves at the back of the head were being compressed. The compressed vagus nerve to her gut contributed to her digestive spasm and her difficulty in absorbing the nutrients she did take in. The hypoglossal nerve to the tongue also was compromised. Like many miserable little babies, Lydia was frantic to suck even though she wasn’t very good at it, because sucking temporarily expanded her compressed head.
I treated Lydia for twelve minutes with very gentle and precise touch. I started at her feet and worked my way up her body, until I at last I coaxed her head to move minisculely away from her compressed neck, and ever so gently separated the four pieces of the occipital bone in back.
After her first visit, Lydia slept a little longer and was less frantic, and her hiccups went away. After the third treatment, she had gained weight and started to smile and coo. She slept for two hours at a time. After four treatments, she was fine.
Note: you can read more about Lydia’s story in my book, Healing Pain and Injury.