I believe that chiropractic should be part of everybody’s life. I have my parents to thank for being able to do what I do, because they took me to a chiropractor who changed my life when I was a little girl. I love seeing patients of all ages and get so excited when I can adjust the whole family. However, I do have a soft spot for adjusting children and babies. It is definitely my comfort zone!
Birth, even in the most normal and natural situations, is still a stressful experience for a baby’s spine, cranium and nervous system. Even before birth, many babies settle into a position in the mothers uterus that can placed sustained pressures creating imbalances in the babies spine. With traumatic birth such as vacuum or forceps delivery, cesarean section or dystocia (difficult labour where the baby is “stuck” in the pelvis), the baby’s spine and nervous system undergoes extreme stress. Although babies can heal physically and emotionally from traumatic birth experiences, spinal injury can cause many issues during the newborn phase such as colic, irritability, frequent crying and digestive disorders. Other serious issues include breastfeeding difficulties, torticollis (the babies neck tilted to one side), hip displasia, and brachial plexus injuries (severe injury to the nerves in the neck and arm).
Chiropractic care is important to all babies after birth, especially those who went through difficult labours. Problems in adults such as headaches, back problems and even disease can be linked back to birth trauma. Therefore, care during infancy may prevent issues in childhood and as adults. If you look at what happens in a baby’s first year of life it is amazing what their spine has to go through. They almost double their body length and brain size, learn to sit up, crawl, stand and walk with many stumbles and falls along the way. This is also why chiropractic is so important early on.
According to an amazing chiropractic pediatric specialist Dr. Larry Webster (creator of the famous Webster Technique for breech babies), there are six times in a babies first year when chiropractic examinations are extremely important…
- After the birth process
- When the baby starts to hold his/her head up
- When the baby sits up
- When the baby starts to crawl
- When the baby starts to stand
- When the baby starts to walk
People are under the impression that chiropractic is dangerous for newborns, infants and children. This couldn’t be more wrong. Chiropractors tailor their adjustments specifically for these age groups. Adjustments for infants and children are completely different than adults because their spines are completely different. Children’s spines are not finished growing until their late teen years, so until then, chiropractic adjustments are extremely gentle. I still giggle when I can do an entire examination and adjustment on a baby and they are asleep the entire time. I adjusted my own children immediately after birth…and when I say immediately, I mean within the first hour!
Babies deserve to feel great and live up to their potential. My husband is an incredible teacher and told me that all children are born geniuses. It is life’s traumas, adversities and limitations we put on our children that cause this in-born genius to fade away. I think chiropractic can play a role in giving babies the best start to life and maybe even help them to hold on to those genius-like qualities. If you would like to know more about chiropractic for babies and children, contact Dr. Jenn or visit the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association website www.icpa4kids.com You can also click on the link I have provided on my home page.