“I have heard that even babies should see a family chiropractor to ensure they are aligned, especially after birth. My son is seven weeks old and was born via cesarean. I don’t know what you advocate in regards to infant chiropractic care or if you recommend it at all.”
This style of question (although asked differently from person to person) is one of the most common questions we receive from parents seeking a consultation in our office. It is so common that it inspires us to write in an effort to answer this common question.
We have been seeing infants in our practice since 2008 and our child (even though she had a natural birth center birth) was checked immediately after birth.
This is because as doctors of chiropractic who read the literature on birth and have also witnessed numerous births, we can say that the birth process even under normal, natural circumstances can be traumatic to the infant’s spine and cranium. This trauma may adversely affect the infant’s nerve system function and therefore affect the infant’s future health potential.
Most hospital births include unnecessary trauma. The routine procedures of technological birth (anesthesia, maternal positions, a fearful environment) all contribute to increases in complications and often result in invasive, traumatic births. As we are seeing in the US, the startling rise in C-section deliveries is a good indication that these routine procedures are not leading to safer, more natural births but rather to the practice of more invasive, unnatural procedures. Infant and maternal mortality rates are rising, not declining. Technology is not necessarily providing safer care. A C-section delivery has as much, if not more, trauma than a vaginal birth. The pull force on the baby’s head and neck during the C-section may be considerably greater than a regular vaginal birth because the uterine muscles of the mother are not assisting the delivery process. Most moms who have had a C-section describe a pulling and tugging sensation as the baby was being taken out of the belly. This pulling (which sometimes even lifts the mother from the table) is the amount of force that is pulling on the baby’s fragile spine. Pulling, stretching, twisting the baby’s spine during delivery is known to cause nerve system stress. Mechanical devices such as forceps and vacuum contribute excessive stresses to the baby’s cranium, spine and nerve system.
Additionally in a C-section, the baby’s cranium does not experience the passage through the birth canal where the cranial bones naturally overlap each other in the vaginal birth process. This overlapping, passage through the canal and birthing through the perineum allows the cranial bones to experience a natural cranial bone reset. For infants born c-section, we have found that cranial care right after birth is essential as they have not had the opportunity to experience the natural cranial molding.
We believe all babies should be checked by a qualified, pediatric trained chiropractor right after birth, especially C-section babies who may need additional cranial care. In addition, for future pregnancies, patients may want to consider getting under regular structural chiropractic care as well - it has been shown to help restore normal biomechanical function to the pelvis throughout pregnancy and aids in facilitating a safer, easier birth in the future.
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