Friday, 28 May 2010


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Thursday, 27 May 2010


During the birth procedure (whether naturally or by C-section), often babies have neck problems which are not always evident.
Mostly, they show up with digestive problems, as the Atlas bone (which can affect the flight and fright and digestive system) may have been moved out of position as they cork screw out, sometimes causing colic.

Baby may also have a propensity to turn the head in one direction when lying down, which may cause that side of the head to become flattened. Or if they lay flat on their back, they may get a flat-spot at the back of the head.
I have had babies with hardly any neck at all showing and in extreme cases, they may show signs of pain when moving the arms or shoulders and sometimes get sores in the folds of skin in the neck.

When I think there may be a problem, I suggest to mum that they might like to visit a baby cranial Osteopath or Chiropractor; but please note that they must be trained in this area.
To be safe, I recommend they go to an excellent centre: the Osteopathic Centre for Children in Bloomsbury, London.
This is a Charitable organisation run by the Foundation for Osteopathy and you are asked for a donation for the visit, which a present is approx £30 and well worth the money.

The Centre has highly train professions and also Osteopaths who are learning cranial work, so you see more than one person.
The excellent treatment looks as though they are doing nothing and it is gentle and does not pain the baby at all.

Even if you think there are no problems, it is always nice to have your baby checked out by someone who is looking for things that the normal midwife or doctor do not seem to notice.

Since the "Back to Sleep" campaign (which makes us sleep babies on their backs), there has been an increase of flattened heads and at the Centre they recommend the Lilla Kuddis pillow to prevent Flat Head Syndrome.
Babies heads do not harden until 12-18 months.

Normally I would never recommend a pillow for any babies; but this is safe and baby lies with both his head and shoulders on it.
The pillow has been developed in Sweden by Midwives and Physiotherapists and had has good results.

The only thing I am not happy with, is that the filling is not made of natural fibre (which in my opinion may make the baby sweat), although the cover is 100% cotton.


Things change so quickly with these little people.
Last night "my little boy" drank almost double what he's been drinking since his operation; taking nearly 7oz or 200mls. Then went straight back to sleep for nearly 5 hours.

The next feed he seemed uncomfortable again, so I gave him 2½ mls of paracetamol, which settled him. It seems to work within 15 minutes.

He scar has healed beautifully, but you can still see the dissolvable ones inside his mouth.
His recovery his astounded me, but his cells are regenerating so fast at 3 months, I suppose it's not so surprising.

He went back to his Paediatrician today and has gained weight again (past his preoperative weight) showing he is definitely on the mend, bless him!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


The hospital thought that "my baby" would only need pain killers for one week.
Mum has seen an European website for Cleft babies in which some parents write about their baby crying for 3 weeks or more.

The last 48 hours (over the post operative week), he has shown signs of being in pain and quite unsettled, crying and waving his arms about in distress.

Although he is feeding more, my view is that he is in distress and needs help through the pain.
After all, he has a huge amount of work done to his hard palate, let alone his lip.

Last week I had excruciating tooth ache and root canal work and still have a residue of pain; so it is not surprising that my poor little boy must be feeling it so much worse. He really is a Brave Little Soldier and loved so much.

So, he is back on Ibuprofen at 8 hour intervals (3x per day) and Paracetamol at 6 hour intervals (4x per day).

Now, if you Google Phenergan (which I used to give to my children when necessary) you get loads of advice now as why not to use it. But as it was provided specifically for the baby by Great Ormond Street Hospital, I feel no reason why he should not have it.
However never use Phenergan without it being prescribed, as it has had some adverse reactions.

Lets hope that being back on pain killers helps his discomfort. I see no reason why he should suffer, and that isn't in silence!

Saturday, 22 May 2010


A week on from his cleft operation and I now understand that the doctors not only fixed his lip, but also his hard palate and implanted a bone piece to use as a fixation point for later on.

Given that so much was done, my admiration for this 3 month old little boy just grows daily.

He has healed so fast and given the amount of work done and the pain he went through, he is as bubbly as usual. His mum is also doing a wonderful job looking after him.

So anyone with a baby with a cleft palate take heart, as these things are fixable and in the right hands your baby will thrive.

I also understand that "my baby" had a severe cleft and the parents were only informed by the doctor after his surgery, as the doctor did not want to alarm them as to the task ahead of him.

But all is going well and he looks wonderful and is feeding normally again. He has dropped a pain killer and is only on antibiotics and paracetamol now.
What a little star!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Oh my little boy looks wonderful. And when I say "my little boy" of course I mean my clients little boy, but I love my charges no less than any baby I have looked after.

The doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital have done a fantastic job on his lip, he looks so good and it is healing very well.

Of course, he is on antibiotics and pain killers still, but it won't be long till he won't need them.
Tomorrow (5 days after his operation) he goes back to have his minute and almost unnoticeable stitches out.

I thought he would find it hard to smile; but no, he gave me the sweetest little grins as usual, bless him.
I can't say what admiration I have for the surgeons who do this micro surgery and bring together everything to look so normal.

Last night I gave him his bottles, although understandably his appetite is down, but he seemed to have no trouble taking what he wanted.
In a short time he will be taking his usual amount of milk again and gaining good weight.

Before his operation, he was 'nil by mouth', which I think must have been the hardest part for his parents. Anyone who has looked after a baby knows that when they are hungry, they want to be fed .. and NOW!

So back again tonight to see my dear little chap, who has been so brave. It has all been worth it, I'm so proud of him.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


I have been looking after a baby with a cleft palate and hair lip for the last 3 months and he had his 1st operation (on his lip) last Saturday and I go back to look after him again tonight.

Baby's mum has said she would like me to include information in this Blog, without giving away confidentiality's of course.
Hopefully, this might give support to parents who have a cleft baby too.

The first thing to say is, it needn't be that hard. Yes it is a shock and as a parent, you will wonder why this has happened to your baby. But truth is, they are not really sure; but there will be teams of people to get you through and a genealogist who will look into the 'why' for you.

I never saw my little boy as any different than any other baby I have looked after, apart from the fact that I needed to use a special bottle which I squeezed as he drank.
He would intake more air than usual (as he couldn't make a vacuum in his mouth as he drank), so he needed to be well burped several times during a feed; but then, as I always wind well anyway, so there was really no difference apart from squeezing the bottle.

I can't wait to see him again this evening, he is a joyous little chap with a huge smile (although that might be a little hard at the moment) and a pleasure to look after.

More about this when I have seen him tonight and the aftercare involved.