The happy baby concept is new for pediatric professionals. In their world healthy babies may not necessarily be happy babies. In our world the birth experience can be physically and emotionally traumatic to the fetal craniosacral fascial system. Simply stated, babies get tight, their physiology is impaired, and they are not happy. Gillespie Approach CFT allows this system to loosen, which can result in both a healthy and happy baby.
Our guiding principle is that the body knows best how to heal itself. Since the newborn’s craniosacral fascial system remembers all of its in utero, labor, and delivery emotional and physical traumas, we trust that s(he) knows best how to heal her/himself, with a little help. As therapists, we listen as their “knowing” bodies drive the movement and just facilitate the healing. We have found this philosophy to be true for thousands of babies worldwide.
Since most newborns do not yet have a diagnosed condition(s), we do not know what potential issues are lurking in life. Since the craniosacral fascial system touches every structural cell of the body, we want the entire system to open naturally and function freely. We are not just trying to fix, adjust, or manipulate a tight body part.
In a perfect world every baby would be checked at birth with the Baby Brain Score (BBS). Professionals would do Gillespie Approach CFT as needed for the next 24-48 hours. Whether birth is in a hospital, center, or at home, every baby would have the opportunity for optimal neurophysiology to prevent a needless condition(s).
The first session would continue as long as the baby was still initiating infant driven movement (IDM). When the IDM stopped, s(he) would rest and process. Professionals would check the infant periodically and facilitate her/his healing when he was ready to resume IDM. The second session would continue until the baby needed to rest and process. Professionals would carry on with this approach over the first two days until the infant was completely relaxed and not initiating further IDM.
Professionals would check her/him again a few months later for any lingering strain. It still puzzles us from our Lancaster research that some babies do not fully release all of their craniosacral fascial strain at birth. Also we were not effective in helping all newborns sleep though the night, much to the chagrin of many mothers. We reasoned that they were just hungry; but they eventually matured to sleep through the night.
The Lancaster mothers picked up their tight infants after the first session and surprisingly commented on how they were now melting in their arms. Quite honestly, that dramatic change showed us that the Gillespie Approach was doing something great and also sold them on our work to make our six years of research possible.
We most importantly learned that a happy baby makes a happy mom. When mom is happy, the entire family is happy. Our goal is for all hospitals and birth centers to be happy baby facilities. Our mission is for every family to have a happy baby.