One of my most popular posts, and one that I get the most comments on is Why Infants Need Chiropractic Care. Seeing that so many people are searching for this information, I thought I’d do a “Part 2” and go into some more depth. If you missed Part 1, you can catch up here.
For starters, let’s again establish the Why. Why should I take my newborn, even if they are symptom free, to get checked by a chiropractor?
The trauma from the birth process remains an under-publicized and therefore significantly under-treated problem – Gutmann¹
Birth in it’s many different forms can be quite traumatic. While each birth is unique, there is always a chance that the baby suffers some sort of strain due to a variety of reasons. Even the most natural births can result in trauma that goes undetected.
What can cause birth trauma?
- Very short labor
- Very long labor
- Failure of the cervix to dilate
- Use of pitocin to strengthen / induce uterine contractions
- Use of forceps or vacuum extraction
- Cord around baby’s neck
- Cesarean delivery (due to lack of progress)
- Pulling or twisting on the head to deliver the infants body.
An American doctor of osteopathy, Viola Frymann, studied 1500 babies during the first five days of birth and found that 90% of the babies involved had suffered birth trauma and strain through the neck and cranial areas, with 10% suffering severe trauma.²
Harvard University pathologist, Dr. Abraham Towbin, found evidence of spinal injury common as a result of the birthing process. He also found evidence of spinal injury in many cases of SIDS and infant respiratory conditions.³
Birth trauma often causes neurological dysfunction. In fact, a study by Gutmann examining more than 1000 infants concluded that approximately 80% had some form of nerve dysfunction.¹ This is of utmost importance since 65% of neurological development (brain and nervous system) occurs in your child’s first year. During this crucial time it is vital that the nerve system be healthy so the child can grow and develop to their potential.
What can nerve dysfunction from birth trauma look like?
- trouble breathing
- reflux / frequent spitting up
- irritability / colic
- difficulty nursing (impaired sucking / swallowing or head positioning)
- balance issues
- sleeping difficulty
- delayed developmental milestones
Chiropractic care is focused solely on removing nerve dysfunction (which improves brain-body communication) so a new baby can grow, develop and function at it’s highest potential. We as humans were born with an innate ability to heal, all a chiropractor does is minimize the obstructions to that ability.
Chiropractic adjustments in the early stages of neurologic imprinting appear to safely and effectively address the craniocervical dysfunction and help restore natural, efficient suckling patterns for infants who are unable to successfully latch.” – Dr. S Vallone4
Two major studies on chiropractic and infantile colic have shown that over a period of two weeks (usually three visits) 94% of babies adjusted by chiropractors showed a successful rating, with 25% showing improvement after the first adjustment.5
Better immunity through a healthy spine and nervous system
A leader in psychoneuroimmunology, Dr. Candice Pert, credits chiropractic as having a significant effect on maximizing immunity via maintenance of a healthy nervous system.6
A pilot study examined the relationship between intensity of chiropractic care and incidence of childhood diseases. The results showed that children who went to the chiropractor more than seven times per year had an increased resistance (immunity) to common childhood diseases.7
Many parents, myself included, have their children checked regularly by chiropractors as part of a healthy lifestyle to help them develop to their potential. Chiropractic is a safe, gentle and effective way to address nerve dysfunction and promote overall wellness in the newborn and growing child.
Once again, I’ll point you to Dr. Jen’s 10 Reasons Parents Take Healthy Children to Chiropractors.
1) Gutmann G. Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Babies and Infants. Manuelle Medizin. 1987;25:5-10.
2) Frymann VM. Springall P. Effect of Osteopathic Medical Management on Neurologic Development in Children. JAOA. 1992;92:729.
3) Towbin A. Latent Spinal Cord and Brain Stem Injury in Newborn Infants. Dev Med Child Neurol. 1969;11:54-68
4) Vallone SA. The Role of Subluxation and Chiropractic Care in Hypolactation. JCCP. 2007;8(1&2)
5) Jesper. et al. The Short Term Effect of Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Randomized Controlled Trial with a Blinded Observer. JMPT. 1999;22;517-522
6) Pert C PhD. Molecules of Emotion. New York: Schribner; 1997.
7) Aymon M. Moss R. Rebne R. Neilsen K. The Relationship between Intensity of Chiropractic Care and the Incidence of Childhood Diseases. J Chiro Research. 1989;70-77