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Why would I bring my baby to a pediatric chiropractor?

Maximized2019-215When I’m not in the office, we often get puzzled looks when people hear we are pediatric chiropractors. It’s a very common question and rightfully so! “Why would a baby need to be adjusted? They’re not in pain! I only go to my chiropractor when my back hurts!” Then images of a baby having their neck twisted and popped like a kung-fu movie spring in their head. I completely understand the fear about the unknown. It is normal for us to fill in the gaps of our understanding of chiropractic care for kids with assumptions that it’s the same as it is for adults. So why would a baby see someone that is dedicated to families like us? Let’s talk about it!

Why after birth?

What could be wrong with a brand-new baby?”

We get that question all the time.

If you have been pregnant or watched someone closely being pregnant, you know it is HARD! Stress on mom = stress on baby. Stress can show itself as extra pressure and less room for the baby (called intrauterine constraint). This leads to a less than ideal experience for mom and baby during pregnancy. Picture trying to sleep in a sleeping bag that’s meant for a 3-year-old. Then comes the birth. Even the “easiest” and “uncomplicated” births are hard. Any time you take a small human and bring it outside of a larger human, there is stress involved. Babies are really fragile at this stage. They haven’t fully developed the protective structures around their spinal cords. This means they are not capable of fully protecting themselves from this stress. When you’re holding a brand-new baby, it is instinct to protect and support their head. Why? Because we innately understand the neck is vital to protect and keep neutral. Medical research has shown that over 95% of babies have some sort of stress and dysfunction in their upper neck at birth. This means that over 95% of babies should be examined and adjusted by skilled pediatric chiropractors!

It’s easier to see how a baby goes through even more stress once interventions start piling up. Things like induction, forceps, vacuum, c-section deliveries – all of these can exponentially add force and stress to their delicate spine and nervous system.

I am not commenting on the appropriateness of these interventions as I know (hope) all providers and parents outweighed the risks and benefits of each and did what they determined to be best in that moment. What I have been seeing at an alarmingly increasing amount is more and more emotional, chemical, and physical stress is being placed on you during pregnancy and then onto your baby. The more of each of these stressors, the more likely we are to find major issues in their neck, cranium, palate, jaw, and their entire nervous system. Unfortunately, too many parents are not educated appropriately on these stressors and what to do about them. That’s why you are reading this!

So what does a chiropractor do for a newborn and is it safe?

A skilled and specially trained pediatric chiropractor is looking for many things. The most important is called subluxation. Subluxation is the way our body expresses the amount of emotional, chemical, and physical stress that we have had. Our job is to find it, quantify it with objective tests like our neurological scans, and then remove it. Sounds simple right?

We are looking for ways subluxation is affecting your child. Things like sleep, how calm they are, bowel and bladder habits, nursing and latching, reflux, gas, etc.

We look even deeper with things like heart rate variability (HRV) that helps us understand their ability to adapt to new stress in their environment. We look at spinal thermography where we can see neurological stress relating to temperature signals coming off their spine. Both of these tests are non-invasive and show you how well your child is functioning on the inside.

These tests and our exam are one of the things that set offices like ours apart. We always dig deeper to find out exactly what’s going on, because your child’s health is about so much more than the symptoms on the outside.

After we find the subluxation, we make a specific plan that is tailored to your child. If you don’t have or follow a plan, no matter how good your chiropractor is you likely won’t see much change. Just like exercise, brushing your teeth, eating healthy, etc – you won’t see lasting change without making a commitment. By consistently correcting the stress that is in your child we can help balance and restore the normal function of their nervous system. As we do this, we see healthier growth, development, rest, digestion, and overall health! This is especially important during the first 2 years of the child’s life as most of their neurological development happens at this stage.

What does and adjustment look like?

Adjusting a baby is much different than an adult. Most parents are fearful of the unknown the first visit, but are quickly put at ease when they see how gentle and easy it is! Many babies sleep through their adjustments. We always make sure to demonstrate what an adjustment looks like for your child before we do anything.

Why see a specially trained pediatric chiropractor?

A general chiropractic license allows us to care for babies and kids alike, even if we haven’t been trained to see them. Many chiropractic offices will accept pediatric patients even though they have little to no experience with them. Guess how many kids I adjusted while I was in school? As many as you have… Zero… Isn’t that crazy? Traditional chiropractic school includes very little training on pregnancy or kids. This is why we have devoted an insane (I mean, really insane) amount of time and money to further our skills outside of traditional schooling. My accountant gives me funny looks every time she sees the amount of money I spend on traveling and extra training. But it’s worth it because of the changes we can make in families like yours!

Your family has very specific needs. I wouldn’t go to a cardiologist to have my eyes looked at. We have devoted every aspect of our practice to your family and your specific needs. You will very quickly be put at ease when you see the amount of time and energy we put into making your experience a great one. So when is the best time for your family to get checked? Now would be great! We have been serving Bismarck families since 2013 and we are excited to meet yours!

Schedule your appointment and get your family checked today!