2018

In Utero-Birth Trauma

By Dr. Barry Gillespie and Krystil McDowall

Krystil McDowall brought to my attention some confusion about our generalized term “birth trauma”. She noticed that some mothers assumed that “birth trauma” meant trauma relating to their baby’s labor and delivery only. They did not correlate any in utero compressive strain as part of their “birth trauma” equation.

In our Lancaster research we surprisingly found that most trauma occurred inside the uterus during pregnancy. We had expected the opposite, that most of the trauma happened at labor and delivery. We learned that in utero trauma was important because the craniosacral fascial system holds the memory of its trauma from conception.

We are dealing with soft tissue trauma of this system during these forty weeks, where developing tissues can be especially vulnerable to compressive strains. The good news is that the Gillespie Approach can help correct theses strains at birth. We have noticed that significant osseous changes where the legs of clubfoot babies have straightened during therapy. Skeletal ossification begins at thirteen weeks in utero and stretches to adolescence.

In an effort to be more inclusive and accurate, we would like to introduce the term “in utero-birth trauma”. This terminology would cover the forty-week journey of gestation-labor-delivery from conception to first breath.

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