Why a chiropractic examination is essential for all infants
As a chiropractor who treats infants and children, I find myself often being asked why anyone would take a baby to see a chiropractor and what sort of benefit to baby is there from such a visit.
This is where we need to talk a little bit about the experience of being born. Birth is hard. Whether the birth is 100% natural and intervention free, or whether the birth occurs via induction or C-section, or with the assistance of instruments and forceps, the journey from the womb into the world is difficult, for both baby and mom. To help your little bundle of joy make his / her way into the world through the tiny birth canal, the uterus contracts rhythmically, with an ever-increasing force. Take a moment and imagine yourself in a small room that is rhythmically contracting around you, pushing you forward through a small tube, towards some destination on the other end. It is fair to say you may well experience muscle spasms and bony mis-alignments as part of this process. The same holds true for your baby.
I’d like to take a moment to pause and elaborate on what I just wrote in the paragraph above. Birth has the potential to be an inherently traumatic process, regardless of how baby is born. BUT, the likelihood of more severe trauma is significantly diminished if the birth is un-medicated and occurs without the use of surgical interventions or instruments (e.g. forceps, vacuum). Birth trauma can be severe or mild, but regardless of severity, it is still birth trauma. So regarding birth there are three things I advocate for:
1 – Each and every pregnant mother is informed maximally and makes decisions for her child and her birth experience that are right for her.
2 – Every pregnant woman has her pelvic alignment checked to help ensure that bones and joints are well aligned and moving optimally. This gives her and baby the best shot at an ‘easy’ birth.
3 – That all babies are checked for bony alignment of the spine and skull as soon as possible after birth, so that any issues can be caught and remedied early on.
What are the perks to baby (and the parents) for having a baby with a well aligned spine and skull? Well for starters, it gives you a better shot at establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship, as babies need to have full head rotation and jaw mobility to successful latch and suckle. Mis-alignments of the neck and skull will detract from this ability. Colic may also be able to be prevented before it starts. Your baby only has one way to communicate with you prior to learning to speak and that is by crying. Colic is often resolved quickly with chiropractic intervention, a testament to the theory that colic, at least sometimes, is actually ‘baby back pain’. Other conditions infants experience that respond well to chiropractic care include issues of reflux, constipation and infections (including chronic ear infections). Why? Because chiropractic care helps your brain and body communicate more efficiently and effectively, and when this happens, all the systems of your body function more optimally.
The take home message: regardless of how smooth your birth process seems, it could have been traumatic for your baby resulting in mis-alignments of bones. These mis-alignments can have ramifications such as pain for your little one, or inhibit their ability to perform crucial activities such as breastfeed. The best way to make sure your child has the best start possible is to have him or her checked by a chiropractor early on.
Dr. Alysaa Shepherd is a chiropractor in Guelph with experience and training treating women during pregnancy, infants and kids. To book an appointment, call the clinic at 519-265-8035 or click Book Online.
For a complimentary 15 minute consultation, or for more information, contact us here or call 519-265-8035.