When my newest darling niece arrived, my sister-in-law, who consults with school systems for children with severe developmental delays, was excited for me to get my heart and hands on her little bundle. This was her third beautiful baby, and the pregnancy and birth were free of complications. I didn’t get to see her until day four due to travel time and work constraints. I knew the baby had had a loosely wrapped cord and her mandible was somewhat retracted, though nursing was going well.
Upon meeting baby, her BBS would have likely been five out of eight based on her cycles and cord history. That score would have required immediate CFT/IDM at birth. As soon as I began therapy, she arched and curled with a pronounced pull to her right side. With joy and gratitude, she worked to let go of tension with the support of our triad of loving hands. Inside her mouth, she was free of ties and buckles with good sublingual space and a nicely shaped palate.
Then, she presented with the tightest TMJs I have ever felt. Holding her right TMJ with gloved index finger inside and thumb outside her mouth with other hand on her sacrum, I felt her incredible right-sided strain pass through her sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezius, levator scapula, pectorals, and intercostals down into and across her pelvic bowl. That strain froze her hips with legs extended, right foot flexed hard, and baby toes curled tightly. There she let it go, tear-free, for a good ten seconds.
As I held each heel and her sacrum (with mom holding occiput), she loosened her quads and her hip sockets showed freer range of motion with typically loose baby kicks. Over three hours, mom and I did three short sessions. Her cycles jumped to over 200 seconds, her hiccups disappeared, and she nursed with a beautiful latch and deep draws. My sister-in-law and I both noticed a visible change in her jaw position.
Too often, what is considered a “normal” pregnancy and delivery has more than a few layers of craniosacral fascial strain added on. Even the good doctors at this top hospital dismissed a cord wrap with slight cyanosis and a visibly retracted jaw as unremarkable. The BBS and CFT/IDM at birth changes lives. I am so grateful to Christine Holefelder for training me in infant/toddler work with openness, patience, detail, and experience. Without her course on treating the wee ones, I would have missed much and mistakenly treated this new life like an older body even with my very best intentions. Even if you are an experienced adult CFT practitioner, learning the baby work is an absolute imperative if you intend to work on newborns.
For parents/caregivers looking for infant treatment, please ask your provider how they were trained for the newborn work. Adult CFT training doesn’t qualify a practitioner to treat newborns. Check for direct training with Christine Holefelder or Krissy Myers and Mike Myers to be certain your well-intended practitioner is qualified to treat your baby. As always with this work, Dr. Barry, thank you for everything.