CranioSacral Therapy is a light touch, gentle, hands-on treatment technique that looks holistically at the body and works to decrease restriction and tension patterns, improves mobility, and function. In a baby with tethered oral tissues – lip and/or tongue ties – there are often restrictions elsewhere throughout the body. The baby may be restricted at the occipital cranial base (where the head meets the neck), may be tight throughout the neck and look like he/she has no neck, may have a recessed chin, difficulty with breathing, may be stiff and tense throughout the body, may have torticollis (tightness greater on one side of the neck), an asymmetrical face, plagiocephaly or flat spots on the head, cranial bone overriding, etc. is helpful for everyone with ties.

Just to be clear, I am not an IBCLC. I am an Occupational Therapist certified in Sensory Integration therapy and pediatric development. In addition, I am certified in Craniosacral Therapy with infants, young children, and adults. My education is in the body, in evaluating and treating with gentle, hands-on techniques, and, of course, with respect and love. Listening to the body and each family’s situation, demonstrating empathy, support, and encouragement are the key elements in helping each baby and family succeed. No parent wants to feel guilty about what they did not end up doing or what they didn’t do correctly. We are humans. Our paths are all a bit different. Enjoying the path we walk with our little ones is one of the most important aspects of parenting. Don’t look back…gaze forward and enjoy every moment!

I love babies and I love development! (check out my article…When development goes astray in infants and toddlers. Chances are they won’t “grow out of it.” Help your child progress!) What I do not love is the opinionated information that parents receive after the birth of their little one. Parents trust pediatricians and healthcare providers to help them negotiate through the journey. They are anxious about making the right choices. Take a deep breath here if this is you and your baby. It is OK and you will be both be OK! Your baby may just need some CranioSacral Therapy and, truthfully, so might you! And, you know what, that is better than OK! It is great! There is something that you can do to help you and your little one!

First line of business…Seek out the appropriate breastfeeding/lactation support in your area. Second line of business…Seek out a bodyworker/development specialist to support feeding and acquisition of developmental milestones. Craniosacral therapy cannot make oral ties disappear, but what it can do is help to improve mobility of the tissues by decreasing the restriction and tension patterns throughout the body and alleviate the concerns mentioned above. Through the use of CST, fascial restrictions are released, muscles are lengthened, bony realignment occurs, the baby becomes calmer, less tense, has improved jaw and tongue mobility, and latch and milk transference typically improves. Many times, a tongue, lip, or cheek revision may be needed. As a therapist, I do not stand alone. It is a team effort to help achieve success with breast feeding and ties. The Dentists that I refer to for oral revisions are skilled and have good judgement. The decision to revise or not revise is yours, mama (or dada!) I will provide my opinion on what I feel in my hands and what I see happening and guide you to other professionals when it is appropriate and for additional support.

CranioSacral Therapy plays an important role pre- and post-revision of lip and tongue ties. CST helps to decrease restrictions and prepare the body for the releasing of the tethered oral tissues. I go over what to expect with the mamas I work with, pain management ideas, and how to perform the stretches. I support the families through the process. Without preparation and proper performance of the after-care by the family, many babies have reattachment of the frenulums and need to be re-revised. Who wants to go through the trauma twice? Post-revision, CST continues to help release restriction and tension patterns, improve structural alignment, improve mobility, improve the baby’s latch and milk transference, assists in increasing mobility of the revised frenulums, to release trauma from the procedure, and to calm the central nervous system. CST can restore a bond between a mother and her baby by helping (along with the mamas that are so strong and the other amazing professionals) to facilitate a healthy, enjoyable breast feeding relationship.

Bottle feeding is also negatively impacted by lip and tongue ties! CST can improve the baby’s latch on the bottle, decrease the amount of air that is ingested, decrease gas, reflux, and colic.

Whether breast fed, bottle fed, breast milk, or formula, babies oral structures are important. Having lip and tongue ties can impact not just infancy, but can cause lifelong issues, such as open mouth posture with sleeping, retracted jaw, breathing difficulties, sleep apnea, difficulty with food manipulation, speech difficulties, ADD/ADHD, correlation of ties to allergies, neck pain, migraines, etc.

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