Chiropractic for Babies Written by Ina Timms
I have always been fascinated by chiropractic and saw the difference in receiving chiropractic care with my second child and not my first. I had two very different experiences. Both natural and drug-free my first labour resulted in intervention where my second (whilst receiving regular chiropractic care every week throughout pregnancy) was a text book labour according to my obstetrician. I strongly believe that chiropractic care assists the position of the baby and also relieves the stress and strain carrying a big bump has on our bodies especially our back.
So when I saw a local midwife group had a lady talking about chiropractic through pregnancy and for babies…I was there! Thank you for your incredible talk Ina I had a few light bulb moments and it just reiterated for me the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy and the importance of getting you newborns checked as well.
Chiropractic for babies and kids is so gentle yet so helpful I am very happy to have embraced it. Thanks for enlightening us all with your knowledge Ina, you know so much and it is all so incredibly interesting and complimentary to health and wellness and the innate intelligence of our bodies. Tahlia xo
Chiropractic for Babies
I’m going to start this off with one of my favourite quotes:
“You only get one spine so you better look after it!”
With so many things in our world today; we can use it, wear it down and break it and then just go out and buy a replacement. Well it doesn’t work that way with our body or our spines, which is why I’m always amazed when I see what some people put into their bodies or how they neglect it. So I’m here to talk about Chiropractic and more so specifically how we can help during pregnancy, for our cute little bubbas and then as they grow.
What does a Chiropractor do?
- Chiropractic is a health care profession based on the scientific notion that the body is a self-regulating, self healing organism. I think of myself as being the little helping hand that helps guide your body and remove any blockages or interference’s to the nervous system due to misalignment’s in the spine.
- The primary focus is on the spinal cord and nerves which leave the spinal column, to control all of our bodily functions and actions. If this system becomes dysfunctional many health issues, not just musculoskeletal, become apparent.
Benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy:
Lets move onto the fun stuff!!
This is one of my real passions, pregnant women and babies. Helping a woman feel comfortable and feel as healthy as possible whilst literally ‘creating life’ is quite humbling. Now, some facts for you:
- The placenta has 8 ligament attachments in the abdomen, so one can imagine that any torque in the mothers pelvis will cause restrictions in the movement of the baby. This in turn can cause the baby to ‘get stuck’ in a certain posture during majority of the pregnancy and already from birth can be experiencing discomforts from muscle and spine imbalances. (Think of it this way, if you had to lay on your bed in the same position for an extended amount of time your body would feel sore and imbalanced and would need a good stretch when you get up!)
- Research has shown that maintaining correct alignment of the pelvis and spine contributes to a more straightforward labor with less pain and trauma for mother and child, as well as significantly reducing labor time for women who had care throughout their pregnancy.
- Another hospital study which incorporated chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy found there was a 50% decrease in the need for painkillers during delivery, attributable to pre-delivery adjustments.
Getting checked regularly by your chiropractor during pregnancy ensures your pelvis is sitting correctly to allow optimum room for your baby to grow and move. Chiropractic adjustments can help to alleviate some of the common discomforts experienced in pregnancy including sciatica, lower back pain, symphysis pubis pain and pelvic pain. And lets face it, you are already busy creating a little human so we’ve got no time for all those aches and pains!
Chiropractic benefits for babies:
Naturally, we move on to talk about those gorgeous little bubs!
I have many people ask me things like ‘why would a baby need to see a chiropractor, what in the world could they have done to hurt themselves or that would warrant seeing one’?
Well let me tell you a few reasons:
- Depending on the babies position in utero as well as any trauma experienced during birth (i.e. excessive force used to ‘pull baby out’, forceps, suction), certain strains can be put on their spines which can later be apparent when issues such as difficulties feeding (e.g. side preference, difficulty latching), colic, sleep issues, or baby gets upset when put either on their tummy or their backs.
- Another issue quite a few mums encounter is; their baby HATES the car! Of course there could be several different reasons for this but one possibility is actually because their neck is sore! How I hear you ask? If there is a misalignment present at the top of babies neck they naturally will prefer to have their neck extended upwards as that does not put pressure on the area. In a car seat a babies head is in what we call a more ‘flexed’ position which is the opposite to the position they have been holding it in to relieve pain and so they cry out in pain!
- A common issue we also see in practice is babies with a ‘flat spot’ on the back of their head. This is important to address due to the large amount of brain development happening at this early age you want to allow maximum space for growth. Some reasons behind this include a baby being reluctant to turn their head in one direction due to pain in for example their neck, which means they are constantly laying their head on the same spot. We often find that if these babies are also breastfed they may have difficulties feeding from one side due to pain turning to one side.
- Did you know à 65% of neurological development (brain and nervous system) occurs in your child’s first year. This is another reason to get checked early to give these little ones a great start with all the growing and learning they will be doing!
So, as a chiropractor, through gentle adjustments using light fingertip pressure we can help alleviate pressures in certain areas of the baby’s spine to ensure optimum spinal health! We encourage all mums to get their babies checked as soon as possible after birth to help alleviate spinal problems caused by constraint and abnormal positioning in the uterus or from the birthing process as we believe prevention is a much better approach to care.