Hospital Presentation Advice for Gillespie Approach Infant Providers
Our work can be game-changing, but it ideally must be done during the first day of life. That needs to happen in hospitals, where 99% of all Americans are born.
One day you may have the opportunity to lecture or give a demonstration before a hospital staff. The following is a primer from my hospital experiences:
The focus of your discussion is purely about the health benefits of babies. We do not force anyone to accept this approach or try to “sell” anyone anything. We just want to spread the word about something great for newborns. It is all about the babies.
You want to present to small groups of six to eight people. To reach more than one hospital shift, make arrangements to return that evening and the next day.
You want to talk about anatomy and histology, language they understand. Since everyone has studied fascia in school, they are familiar with the terms. The curve ball is that their medical educators never mentioned the importance of fascia in relation to their newborn work.
Remember their current universe revolves around technology, lab work, meds, and surgery. Please be aware that you are presenting a whole new world of tight and loose to them.
Describe in general how birth traumas can create unseen fascial strain in the soft tissues, causing a fussy baby. There is no medical test for fascial strain; you have to feel it.
Avoid the craniosacral, brain cycle, neurological, and preventative aspects of our work. Those concepts can put medical providers into brain overload and “too good to be true” world, where you can easily lose them. Just stick with a 10- to 15-minute Q&A talk about fascia.
The acid test is the visual demonstration. Even as a skeptic, you cannot deny what you are seeing before your eyes. When you make the speaking arrangements, you want your hospital sponsor to have a newborn/mom dyad with a lactation issue available for therapy.
The difficulty latching on, sucking, and swallowing babies always have oral strain and most often pelvic strain pulling into their head and neck. The baby will be in mom’s lap with all eyes glued on you during therapy.
You want three thing to happen: the staff needs to see what it is, see that it is safe, and, most importantly, see that it works.
You need to explain in tight and loose terms during baby breaks that you are doing a specific massage therapy technique. As you demo, do not be alarmed when you look around the room and see incredulous faces. As their first exposure to bodywork, you are taking them to a new galaxy of neonatal care.
This baby session may last 15 to 30 minutes as long as the baby is “talking” to you. You want to do enough therapy to make a visual difference, where everyone notices that the baby is calmer and more relaxed. Mom may feel that baby is looser.
You want to explain why you believe birth trauma caused a breastfeeding issue and how this therapy is correcting it. The goal is for mom to notice a positive difference in breastfeeding and then tell the hospital group. An even better response is, “Can you come back later to treat my baby?”
Return that evening and the next day for more hospital personnel shifts, and continue to work on that specific baby. In 24 hours, you want that baby nursing like a champ and have everyone in the hospital realize that your therapy made the difference.
It may take them time to process our approach because it can turn their medical world upside down. Conditions like colic and reflux, which have been incurable since the beginning of time, may now have an answer. Wow, can this be true? They may realize some of what they learned in school is now dated, and some hospital procedures may have to change.
My ideal philosophy is to make them feel like they discovered the work themselves. We want them to fully own the work. They are doing it primarily for the babies but also for themselves, showing the world their hospital is first and on the cutting edge.
As a practical financial advantage, we want the hospital work fully covered in the “insurance birth package.” CFT done later in infancy is generally not covered by insurance.
We must take baby steps in the medical system by remembering that everyone sees the world differently. As much as we see the benefits of the work, others have to slowly trust it. As much as we may want to change the system, the system has to be ready to change. We trust that God is in control.