We have been practising in Palmerston North since 2005, initially at Amesbury Health Centre with Dr Murray Shaw before it amalgamated as Kauri Health and also at home in the early days in Riverdale. I now treat babies and Mums within a team of Osteopaths at 7 Lombard St.
Kathryn has been with the team since 2013. She joined the practice as a new graduate and new Mum. She now has 2 daughters and understands the juggle many Mums now face with multiple children at home and the stress an unsettled baby brings into the family.
We have been able to take on Caitlin who graduated early 2018, who will be learning to work with children over the next few months and start treating babies later this year. She is currently completing a compulsory competency in osteopathic paediatrics and working her way through a theory-based online osteopathic paediatrics course. We as a practice will be supporting her with hands on experience and more formal postgraduate development over the next 12 months.
We hired Maadi in early 2019, She is a master’s graduate in Osteopathy from UNITEC in Auckland. She has a particular interest in Women’s health and has been attending post-graduate development seminars in this area since her 3rd year at UNITEC. We have been working closely with Maadi to upskill her in the practices particular area of experience with babies and pregnant Mothers. She is also currently in rehabilitation and chronic pain which is an area the UNITEC teaches extensively to their undergraduates.
I have been a practising Osteopath for 25 years and have registration under the Ministry of Health, through the Osteopathic Council. As a registered Osteopath we have to complete a compulsory competency in Paediatric care, which was initiated as a safety measure for the public in 2017. The Osteopaths here at the practice are all currently completing the latter stages of this upskilling, completed by July 2018. As a result of the extra training have reassessed some of the procedures and approaches we use with babies, to improve standards.
We see a very high proportion of unsettled, reflux and latch issue babies in the practice. Some of these present with suspected lip or tongue tie. This is a difficult area as there is poor consensus over whether they should be cut or not. We double-check our findings with another Osteopath in the practice and if it is confirmed we will send them to Dr Martin Minnee for a consult and they will also be checked over by a lactation consultant Jackie Wheeler.
Having any procedure done shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, based on the UK NHS NICE guidelines and Brazilian primary care model we advocate tongue tie cut. We will support the parent’s decision not to and also follow up with consults to improve and aid the changes that need to take place post-procedure i.e. muscle tension/ movement pattern retraining.
I have formal Paediatric training which I completed at an undergraduate level and have continued to develop each year since 1994 post-graduately. I also teach Paediatric Osteopathic theory and practical to Osteopaths in NZ and Australia. The small team at the practice will be undergoing a review of clinical practice around; advice, parenting strategies and Osteopathic technical ability over the next 6 months.
To standardise how we work with our community of patients but also to assure we are working based on best practice and providing the best support we can to Palmerston North.
Osteopathy is a manual therapy that largely uses non-adjustive, non-mechanised technique to relax babies post-birth and specifically helps with; reflux, feeding, latching and winding issues. As a practice we do not advocate adjusting the spine, (HVT, Clicking, thumper devices etc), in any way as the current research shows it can have a negative effect on infant’s development and carries a degree of risk.
We advocate breastfeeding and advise Mums on improving diet, winding strategies, settling techniques, sleeping strategies and also use gentle Osteopathic non-manipulative technique to relax babies. We do have a management process in place which helps Mums troubleshoot with wind, settling issues, around supporting carrying on with breastfeeding. However, we do have a pragmatic approach to formula that it is available as an alternative.
We advocate staying on the same formula unless signs of unsettled behaviour are caused by formula. We encourage the use of Heinz nurture or Aptimil as an alternative to the formula they may currently be using. We also encourage the use of probiotics for Mums over the early months post-birth to optimise breastfeeding and benefit baby through Mums breast milk
Help for Children with Developmental Delays
Over the last 5 years, Lynsey and I have been working with child developmental delay which is an area that we have become very passionate about. Sadly, there isn’t much support for parents and children struggling with learning, movement and behavioural issues. The child that has been to all the medical professionals and has no formal diagnosis. But the parent sees the struggle their child has with coordination, movement and meeting the classroom demands.
Often these are the children that try really hard achieve in some areas but struggle when they get home. Often the parents see the child’s distress but many around just see it as bad behaviour. We see lots of children that fly just under what’s expected of them in school but are often told nothing is wrong. With a combination of Osteopathic manual therapy and simple movement activities/exercises, we see the child really begin to meet their potential.