Being born is tough work, there are a lot of pressures and forces being exerted onto your baby during their journey into the world. Newborns may suffer birth trauma and associated strain through the neck and cranial areas following birth.
Left uncorrected, this trauma continues to impact your baby’s spinal growth and development, reducing the healthy function of their nervous system. This can cause many health challenges later in life that could easily have been prevented.
A baby’s spine lengthens by 50% by the time they reach one year old! At no other time does this growth happen so rapidly, so you want to make sure your baby is in proper alignment ensuring proper symmetrical growth.
The first year of life is also the time of spinal curvature development. There are curves called “lordosis” present in your neck and lower back, and curves called a “kyphosis” in your mid-back and sacrum. These spinal curves are necessary for movement, balance, upright posture, protection, and shock absorption. Without being in alignment during this crucial time, your baby’s spinal curves may not develop properly, giving them a poor foundation for later in life.
It’s never too soon to see a chiropractor. Treatment involves very gentle spinal/manipulative techniques tailored to the age of baby to help relax stiff joints and stimulate the nervous and immune systems. No treatment will be prescribed without evidence of spinal subluxation or lack of mobility at a particular joint of the spine.
Helping premature babies recover from a rough start. A birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy is considered premature. Often times this comes with a whole set of challenges and unique “premmie” milestones.
Like the osteopathic profession, chiropractic was founded on the knowledge that if we make adjustments to the spine and soft tissues, we can improve body functioning at any stage of life. A study by Cerritelli et al., BMC Pediatrics 2013, provides evidence for the use of manipulative care that shows early intervention assists by reducing the length of stay in the neonatal ICU and improves general wellbeing and development.
As your child is being born, the neck and back vertebrae can go out of alignment due to the stretching and compressing of the body as it emerges into the world. If your delivery included a prolonged pushing stage, forceps or vacuum extraction, or other form of assisted delivery, the chances of a misalignment are great. The birth process itself can cause slight tension in the baby’s spine.
Colic is defined as three hours of crying three days a week for three weeks. There are varying degrees of fussiness that can begin shortly following birth, or more commonly, three to six weeks of age.
The Cochrane Review concluded that chiropractic showed a clinically significant reduction in daily hours of crying, there was also a significant improvement in sleeping times.
Modern birthing procedures, even those with seemingly minimal intervention, are known to cause trauma and stress to the infant’s cranium and spine. The significance of birth trauma is often underestimated, and the resulting symptoms frequently misinterpreted.
Some of the most common indicators of difficulty with breastfeeding are:
In the case of breastfeeding difficulty, the cause of the problem often traces back to undetected biomechanical injuries to the spine and cranium at birth. The failure to recognize these biomechanical injuries and their relationship to difficulty in breastfeeding leads to incorrect conclusions and therefore, inadequate recommendations and treatments.
Without real solutions, mothers become discouraged, successful breastfeeding is not achieved, and women stop trying out of frustration. Breastfeeding is by far the best choice for infant feeding for numerous reasons. Significant research shows that, from a nutritional, immunological, digestive, neurological, developmental, mental, psychological, and emotional standpoint, there is no replacement. Today, more and more mothers are choosing the healthy, natural benefits of breastfeeding.
Exclusive breastfeeding is the optimal feeding mode for an infant’s first 6 months of life. Many mothers initially plan to breastfeed for that length of time, yet fall short because of difficulties that seem to have no solution. Unless the biomechanical causes of these difficulties are addressed, mothers may become frustrated and abandon their original intent to breastfeed their babies. In these instances, it is imperative that parents seek family chiropractors who offer mothers and infants the care appropriate to their needs.
Gastroesophageal reflux, referred to simply as reflux, occurs when stomach contents pass into the oesophagus. It is arguable that 100% of young infants have multiple episodes of reflux daily, some are purely clinically silent and some are not.
Young infants consume their entire caloric intake in the form of liquid, often taking in as much as 180 millilitres per kilogram each day. For a 75kg adult that would equal just under 14 litres of fluid. Young infants feed much more frequently than older children and adults, their stomachs remaining full throughout most of the day (much the same as you attempting to drink a couple of litres of milk every 3-4 hours). Add to this the fact that infants lie horizontally for the majority of the time for the first few weeks following birth, gravity certainly plays a role in causing reflux. Parents often report that their otherwise “happy spitter” with physiologic reflux is having difficulty sleeping or persistent nasal congestion, however some parents battle with extreme irritability, weight gain and bonding, with little or no response to standard medications.
Chiropractic assists not only with parent reassurance and education, correct positioning, feeding advice and early referral to specialists but also with musculoskeletal issues associated with posturing, petulance and sleep patterns.
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