When you hear a baby is born the first thing that may come to mind is… HAPPY BIRTHDAY! After that you may wonder what name was chosen, how much they weigh or even how many inches long they are. What many people bypass is the length of the birth, if there were any complications, how the baby was pulled out of the vagina or abdomen, and how they are thriving in their first moments of life. In utero baby develops, then after 40 weeks it is time for he/she to make their grand appearance. Now, I want you to actually consider what happens. It all begins with contractions, strong uterine muscles push the comfy baby from the uterus, head first, through the pelvis and straight onto the top of the cervix, eventually through the vagina and in many cases their head is then forcefully grabbed to remove baby from the vagina in a vaginal birth or pulled out of the abdomen in a cesarean birth. Although this is a magical ability of human nature, there is a lot of stress and opportunity for the vertebra, pelvis and even the cranium to become misaligned.
The misalignments can overtime turn into adaptations. For example, if a baby was stuck in the vaginal canal with his/her head rotated to the right, the baby may have a preference to that side, therefore the baby may have trouble turning their head left and feeding on the moms right side as well. Misalignments in the mid back or thoracic spine can lead to issues with digestion, it is NOT normal or healthy for a baby to go days without a bowel movement. Misalignments in the pelvis can delay development as baby is not able to use proper biomechanics to induce crawling or even walking. The cranium is another structure to consider, the baby’s skull endures the most trauma during birth. It is very common to see babies and even adults with flat heads, coneheads, and just overall asymmetry. Many of these resolve on their own, however, many do not. These deformities of the skull work hand in hand with facial deformities and are often referred to as craniofacial deformities.
A trained pediatric chiropractor will want to learn the birth story and check for all of these misalignments and asymmetries, identify any occurring issues and correct them. The technique used to correct these abnormalities is low-force and extremely gentle. As gentle as the pressure used when choosing a ripe tomato at the grocery store. Because of their age, infants are exceptionally malleable, meaning they change rather quickly. Many of their bones are not yet fused and for that reason they are easier to manipulate than a three year old toddler who has had a misshapen head since birth. Same with the other issues mentioned above, take digestion for example, frequent adjustments for a baby who only goes once every three days are more effective that an adult who has struggled with constipation their whole life.
Chiropractic Care is not often thought of as a necessity after birth, nonetheless, we believe that it is. Ensuring proper spinal, pelvic and cranial alignment ensures proper nervous system function, which leads to appropriate development. A well adjusted and well developing baby leads to a flourishing toddler and accelerating child. Imagine the changes you feel through chiropractic adjustments as an adult, with years and years of stress, bad posture and misalignments. Now imagine the monumental change an adjustment can make on a baby as they grow and develop.