Baby’s First Adjustment
by Dr. Melissa Sonners
One of the greatest honors of my career is when a mom hands me her baby and asks me to check them. You may be surprised to hear that a baby would be checked and seen by a chiropractor, but after a bit of information it makes much more sense. Whether it’s caused by a malposition in the womb, a long labor, or birth interventions such as forceps, vacuum or cesarean sections, babies often experience misalignments just as adults do. All three of our children were checked within hours of their births. An adjustment on a baby is very soft and gentle. The amount of pressure used is the same amount you would use to check for ripeness in a tomato. Their bodies are very pure and don’t need much input to self correct. Most birth providers “assist” the baby out of the birth canal or abdomen (in case of cesarean section) by pulling on the head and neck to help get the shoulders out. This creates a lot of pull and pressure on the tendons and ligaments of the neck, jaw and shoulders. This can cause torsion of the baby’s neck leading to torticollis in some cases or avoidance of turning the head to one side which can cause flat spots on the head, difficulty latching on one or both sides in breastfed babies or a weak suck reflex. Prolonged labors can also cause disturbances in the cranial bones (the
bones of the skull) which can affect the shape of the baby’s head as well as the ability to latch properly, creating a comfortable breastfeeding relationship for mom and baby. Many lactation consultants now refer to pediatric-certified chiropractors recognizing how beneficial chiropractic care can be in any breastfeeding issues. Often babies need just a few sessions to clear out any interference caused in the womb or during the birthing process. Some parents choose to continue to have their babies checked throughout the first year as a way to be sure that all developmental milestones and neurological reflexes are occurring as they should. Many use chiropractic care for their kids as a natural way to support their immune systems and help with ear infections. For more information about this, click here. We are gratified to watch so many of the babies and young children in our office grow into healthy young adults. As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have about how we can help you and your family achieve optimal health.