Chiropractic for Babies
Has your little one been irritable, crying or upset and you are not sure why? Chiropractic may be able to help. Better Backs chatted to Dr Sarah Somerville to find out more.
BY: Better Backs: Your Bedfordview Chiropractor Date 07th May 2018
You have a little one and they are your pride and joy. Staring down at them as they sleep so peacefully in your arms, you see pure innocence and love. Everyone can describe what it is like to become a parent, but nothing can fully prepare you for when it actually happens. You see life very differently and your children fill your world with such promise for a better future. As young ones, they rely on you for protection, boundless love and care. The world makes sense as your life is given new meaning and the joy and happiness that you feel, fills your heart with a love that you have never known before. This is by far the best day of your life and nothing else can compare to this perfect moment.
And then there are those other days... when your perfect world is shattered as your beautiful angel is screaming and you can’t tell if it is out of agony, horror or fear. You can’t figure out what the problem is... your anxiety levels sky rocket and your tears have not stopped flowing because you feel helpless, lost and distraught. You don’t know what is wrong with your little bundle of joy and you can’t really figure it out, because if you asked them what is wrong, they can’t really tell you. All you know is that their relentless cries, constant irritability and fussiness are impossible to control. Nothing seems to be working and you find yourself at a wits end. You can’t do anything to take their pain, fear or discomfort away and you both are exhausted from endless nights without quality sleep.
Little babies can only express emotion through crying, fussing and moaning. It is very challenging to figure out why your little one is so upset and if you have ruled out that they are not hungry, their nappy does not need changing or they are not tired, the problem might be coming from elsewhere. It is not uncommon that sometimes, your little one may just be suffering with a little bit of indigestion, colic or is suffering with a bit of back or neck pain. The best way to figure out more about what the problem could be is to consult with a Chiropractor.
As a parent (especially if you are a first time mom) you may have some concerns about bringing your little one to see a Chiropractor. Not many patients know that Chiropractic can help children suffering with different aliments. Dr Somerville is a Chiropractor and enjoys interacting with babies and children. She has found that they are so responsive to treatment and she loves to see them flourish as they grow. Parents with irritable babies are often exhausted and overwhelmed and she loves to be a part of the journey to helping parents and their babies settle into a new (and more peaceful) rhythm. Better Backs asked Dr Somerville to explain how Chiropractic can help your little ones more:
Chiropractic is sometimes recommended for babies and children. Why should they come to see a Chiropractor?
Chiropractic has such a wide range of benefits for babies and children and it is a wonderful, non-invasive treatment option for parents with little ones. Some of the common things babies and children come to chiropractors for include the following:
Post-birth wellness check up: regardless of whether a baby was delivered naturally or via caesarean, being born is quite an ordeal. Chiropractic treatment can ensure that all your baby’s joints are moving correctly and their muscles are relaxed. After all, they have been curled up in your belly for 9 months!
Colic and irritability: The cause of colic is relatively unknown, although studies show that there is a link between the nervous system and symptoms of colic. Chiropractic care may help to settle babies whose suffer from colic or irritability by helping their body and nervous system to function optimally.
Breastfeeding and latching: Babies may favour one side or have more difficulty latching on one side when compared to the other. This is often due to pain/discomfort in their neck. Chiropractic treatment may help to decrease this discomfort by getting their neck joints to move more freely and helping to relax their muscles, allowing them to feed more comfortably.
Constipation and digestion: Some babies have difficulty digesting their milk. Chiropractic may help to ease muscle spasms and correct posture to ease with this new process.
Milestones: As your baby reaches new milestones like rolling, sitting, crawling and walking they might be favouring one side or adopt an unusual style of crawling or walking. Chiropractic care may help to make sure that, as they reach these milestones, they are doing it with correct posture and movement patterns.
Tumbles: Babies and children are very active and often have little falls and bumps during play time and while having fun. Chiropractic care may help treat these minor injuries as well as sports injuries as they grow older.
I have seen Chiropractic being performed on people before. Are you sure it is safe for a baby or child? Does it not hurt them?
The approach to a baby or young child is very different to that of an adult. A very slight pressure is used with babies and the treatment sessions are about 10 minutes to avoid overstimulating them. The adjustments are very gentle, quick movements. The adjustments are not like those of adults that use a greater force and do not produce the “crack” sound.
When treating older children, their sessions become longer as they grow and approach adulthood.
How can Chiropractic help them?
Chiropractic care can help by treating the joints and muscles to make sure they are all moving correctly and that there is no muscle spam or tension. When the nervous and muscular systems function optimally and communicate well with each other, children are happy, healthy and can develop properly.
If I had to bring my baby to you, what can I expect on my visit?
We start off by asking specific questions regarding your pregnancy and birth, any complications and day to day matters like sleep, eating patterns and digestion. We then want know if it is just a check-up or if there is a more specific reason for your visit. An examination helps us to find the cause of the discomfort and the area of pain and use this information to make a diagnosis. After explaining everything to you, we can proceed with treating your little one. We also provide some helpful advice regarding burping techniques, sleeping and breastfeeding positions, if needed.
My baby is so small and fragile. Is Chiropractic treatment safe for them?
Yes, after the history and examination the chiropractor will assess if this is a case for chiropractic treatment. If there are any red flags or risks the chiropractor will refer the baby to the appropriate practitioner. Treatment involves very gentle pressure on the joints and muscles. The adjustments are not like the adjustments given to adults. Babies respond to very gentle pressure and it is not necessary to exert a great force. The chiropractor will explain everything before treating your baby to ensure that you understand the process and are comfortable with going forward.
Being a mom is a big job, well done! There is so much available to help your baby and it can be overwhelming at times. Chiropractic care is very gentle and non-invasive, and we hope to help you and your little one so that you can enjoy watching them grow. As a Chiropractor, I am passionate about helping patients... young, old and everyone in between.
If you have any concerns about Chiropractic and you are not sure if Chiropractic treatment can even help you, I invite you to come for a spinal screening. There is no obligation to pay for the 30 minute session but it will provide the opportunity for you to ask any questions and allow me to address any concerns you may have. I will then assess to see if Chiropractic can help your baby or child and will explain what approach I may take, should you decide to move forward with Chiropractic care.
Should you wish to book an appointment for a spinal screening, just click on the link below, fill in your details and someone will contact you shortly for an appointment. We look forward to helping you and your little one.