I first met Frank Kelleher after he was recommended to me by a G.P who was on maternity leave at a mothers group in Cork. I brought my one-month-old son Oisín to him because he had a very traumatic birth including vacuum & forceps delivery, a very stubborn stuck shoulder and hypoxia. He was battered and bruised after the delivery and I felt that my son was tense and uncomfortable all the time.
When I brought him for a session with Frank I could not believe the almost immediate difference in my sons disposition and I sensed he was much more comfortable and his sleep improved too. Since then he has become known as the baby whisperer in our house and his reputation spreads much further than our front door in Cork! He is known widely in Cork for his work with babies and children and many parents travel from further afield to attend his clinic.
I wanted to have a chat with Frank to get to know more about how he turned my very cranky and unsettled little man into a very Zen little Buddha- well about as Zen as a new baby gets! Frank also treats new mothers and I found my own session with him an incredibly healing experience both physically and mentally after a traumatic birth.
Frank and his wife Rose moved their practice to a new location in January 2017 and established Cork Children’s Clinic. They have worked together for the last 20 years and during that time, have gradually found themselves working more and more with babies and children. They say working with babies and children was a very natural progression for them. Their medical backgrounds were largely based in child services and they have 4 children themselves, now grown up ranging from 26 years old down to 16 years.
Rose is also a General Nurse and a Midwife and worked in the UK as a Midwife and later a Practice Nurse, while Frank was doing his Osteopathy degree. Between both of them, they have a great understanding of what parents go thru when their little one is experiencing difficulty. Their aim has always been, to give parents information about what’s going on and what they can do on a practical level to help their baby. Sometimes the smallest change can have a significant result for baby and parents.
Opening Cork Children’s Clinic had been a dream for the couple quite a while. The clinic was designed with babies, children and their parents in mind and they have made the environment as child and parent-friendly as possible. There is a lovely relaxed feeling there that has happened naturally. The Baby Changing and Feeding Room is a little calm oasis and parents love it! In addition to Paediatric Osteopathy, Cork Children’s Clinic also offers other services including Occupational Therapy, a Paediatric Dietitian and a Breastfeeding Consultant. By offering these additional services Frank and Rose hope to make Cork Children’s Clinic a centre for baby and child-based services.
Frank, please tell us about your background and yourself
I have nearly 30 years’ experience in the Health Sector, 21 of those as an Osteopath. Over the past 20 years I have undertaken extensive post-graduate studies in Cranial Osteopathy. This Cranial approach is very suitable for treating babies and children, an area I now specialise in. Before moving to London to study Osteopathy in 1992, I trained as a nurse for people with intellectual disabilities with Cope Foundation in Cork. I continued this career path in the U.K. and became a Director of Nursing for PLD Services for the Richmond, Twickenham & Roehampton Healthcare Trust. I am a member of the Osteopathic Council of Ireland and a member of the General Osteopathic Council in the U.K.
What is Cranial Osteopathy and why does it benefit small babies and kids so much?
Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle and subtle treatment, which encourages the release of stresses and tensions in the tissues of the body. It is very effective in the treatment of babies and children as it helps to restore balance to the body. The osteopath develops the skills to palpate tissue motion following extensive training and practice in this area which takes many years to develop.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Making significant changes to the health of the babies and children I treat. Also, providing a practical plan for parents which they can use and review daily. Providing advice and support to parents is very important.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The concentration levels required for the work I do are very high. Your intention when treating must be at 100%. This demands total focus.
What inspires you personally and professionally?
I am inspired when I can contribute and make a positive difference to a person’s situation daily. Working in the health sector for 30 years has allowed me to do that each day. I believe that you create your own path in life and for me, having the opportunity to work with babies and children has been a blessing.
You have seen a lot of babies! What is the best piece of advice you have for first-time parents to a newborn?
Best advice is to believe in yourself as a parent, trust your intuition, seek help when you need it, and remember you are doing your best and that is good enough.
If you want to book a session with Frank or any of the other therapists there you can get in touch with Cork Children’s Clinic on the details below.