We hear it all the time, “I didn’t know babies could get adjusted,” or “babies need chiropractic care, too?” Yes, absolutely they need care. Babies go through their first stressful moment when they are born. The birth process is stressful for mom, but also stressful for baby. Let’s take a minute to think about the amount of pressure that is placed on a baby’s head and neck as they are getting pushed head first out of the uterus and cervix. While they are already squished and confined to a very small area, the uterus adds more pressure with each contraction to move baby further down within the birth canal. The head and neck take in all that pressure and stress, which can cause issues with alignment in the spine.
Can you imagine what that might do to the baby and how they would feel after being born?
It is not well known that chiropractic care is great for babies and kids. I am here to tell you that infants and kids have wonderful results with chiropractic care. As a pediatric chiropractor, I see many babies in my office for many different reasons. Due to the pressure and stress the baby withstands while being born, certain symptoms can arise. Some common symptoms that babies can express are nursing difficulties, favoring one breast over the other, limited cervical range of motion (prefer to look one way verses the other), colic, reflux, ear infections, overly fussy/crying and many more.
Chiropractic adjustments for infants and children are incredibly gentle. In fact, most of my babies sleep right through the entire adjustment because it is so gentle. I use the same amount of pressure you would use to check the ripeness of a tomato, or the amount of pressure you would place on your eyelid. Babies are very intuitive, as well. When working on them they usually move their bodies along with me because they intuitively know what I’m doing and how to help. I start adjusting babies while they are laying comfortably in a pregnancy pillow that I use for my pregnant moms. It is so perfect to have them laying in the pillow by themselves when they were just laying in the same pillow inside mom. I also hold baby to adjust the majority of their spine and then return them to laying in the pillow to finish adjusting.
Because babies are so little and new to this world, they respond really well to adjustments. Changes can be seen as early as the night after their adjustment, but some babies take a little longer with a few adjustments before any changes are seen. It is also typical for babies to sleep well or take a long nap after being adjusted. This is because their nervous system is taking in all the new information and, in a sense, rebooting.
Many moms of babies in my practice report better sleep, less fussiness and crying, improved nursing, decreased frequency of ear infections or colds, and not needing reflux medication for their babies. So, yes babies absolutely need to be checked and adjusted as soon as they are born to help them have the best start in life as possible. Adjustments don’t just help the baby function better, but will in turn help mom feel less stressed and worried about their baby.
Having a baby who is constantly crying and upset can be extremely taxing on the parents. Parenting is hard in and of itself, but to have a baby that can’t be soothed and everything the parents do does not help, takes parenting exhaustion to another level. After birth, mom needs to focus on healing, but the added stress from an unhappy baby doesn’t give mom the down time that she needs to heal. Chiropractic is typically the last resort, but can give the entire family a completely knew life, a calm, loving, and joyful life. The best time to get adjusted is at birth, the next best time is now. If you relate to any part of this blog and are looking for help with a “cranky” baby, find a chiropractor in your area to help you. You can find a pediatric chiropractor on the ICPA website (ICPA4kids.com) that is trained in working with kids. If you are located in the Bay Area I would be so honored to help restore proper function to your family. You can email me, call me or schedule a visit online.