A mother recently asked a great question, “How do you know that my baby’s strain is from fetal life?”
I used deductive reasoning with the following explanation from four time periods of an infant’s life.
- From the present moment back to the first breath: Other than working on a shaken baby at a Massachusetts seminar 20 years ago, I have never seen a physically traumatized baby. All of the parents have been diligent and careful with their newborns. In addition, we know that the fascia holds its memory back to the embryonic stage. When the infant goes into a particular stain pattern in therapy, the unusually distorted position could not possibly be due to any accident.
- The delivery: Forceps, vacuum extraction, and the cord wrapped do not usually present in therapy as unusual distortion.
- The labor: The same could be said for the hours in labor.
- In utero: By deduction, this is where the sustained fetal compression most likely occurs. Since the size of the fetus at week 14 is a lemon, one would not expect much strain then. But as the fetus grows to term, sustained fetal compression can readily occur.
Under the proper conditions a fetus can normally develop to full term in a non-compressed environment. But a tight abdominal cavity, a tight uterus, fibroids, a bicornuate uterus, a multiple birth, and other issues could be significant obstacles for a growing fetus.
I believe that at some point the fetus can get stuck in a twisted position for an unknown time period (days, weeks, months), and the fascial web develops accordingly. The web remembers this distortion at birth as torticollis, plagiocephaly, and other conditions and later in possible crawling, standing, and walking issues.
In therapy the infant will continue to return to that twisted position, even over a number of visits. I hypothesize that the longer the fetus is stuck in that position, the more sessions are need for the tissues to fully release and restore a healthy fascial web.