It is a common belief that babies and children should have no structural stresses or strains in their bodies because they are so young. The reality is very different. The birth of a baby is one of the most stressful events of its life. The baby is subjected to enormous forces, as the uterus pushes to expel the baby, against the natural forces of the birth canal. The baby has to turn and twist as it squeezes through the bony pelvis on its short but highly stimulating and potentially stressful journey.
The babies head has the remarkable ability to absorb these stresses in a normal delivery. In order to reduce the size of the head, the soft bones overlap, bend and warp as the baby descends. The baby's chin is normally well tucked down towards its chest to reduce the presenting diameter of the head.
Many babies are born with odd shaped heads as a result. In the first few days, the head can usually be seen to gradually lose the extreme moulded shape, as the baby suckles, cries and yawns. However, this un-moulding process is often incomplete, especially if the birth has been difficult. As a result, the baby may have to live with some uncomfortable stresses within its head and body. However, the birth moulding is a normal process that most people endure. With a caesarean section delivery there are NO moulding processes which can cause the same problems for a baby.
What effect does retained moulding have on the baby?
Crying, irritable baby
Crying, fractious, irritable baby needs to be rocked to sleep, prefers being carried. The baby may be uncomfortable with a constant feeling of pressure in the head. This is made worse when lying down.
Baby takes a long time to feed and one feed merges into the next. He/She may be a "windy" feeder. Feeding is difficult and tiring due to the mechanical stresses through the head, face and throat. The nerves to the tongue may be irritated as they exit the skull, which makes sucking difficult.
Sickness, colic and wind
Regurgitation of milk between feeds, bouts of prolonged crying due to colic and wind. It is often worse in the evening. The nerve to the stomach is irritated as it exits from the base of the skull, which impairs digestion. The diaphragm may be stressed or distorted, which further compromises both digestion and the ability of the stomach to retain its contents.
Baby sleeps for only short periods, and may sleep little in the day (or night!). It wakes to the slightest noise. The tension on the bony and membranous casing of the skull keeps the baby's nervous system in a persistently alert state.