If we are being honest, we have always been a little nervous when we hear people talk about chiropractic care for babies. The whole thought seemed a bit scary to us. We took a moment to learn more about it and asked Dr. Kayla Ambert what it's all about.
Dr. Kayla Ambert, D.C., R.D. is a San Diego Family Chiropractor & Registered Dietitian at Ocean Beach Family Chiropractic where she practices with her husband. Their main focus & specialty is Pediatric and Perinatal Care. In their practice, they see children with a range of issues, from severe autism to eczema and from epilepsy to general constipation. Their goal is to ensure all children have access to natural & sustainable healthcare giving each child the opportunity to grow & develop to their optimal potential.
Here's what Dr. Kayla had to say:
So often the question of "Why would a Baby need to see a Chiropractor?" comes up. Often times there's a dash of skepticism and confusion attached. It may be difficult to imagine that a baby would need Chiropractic Care. They are so new and haven't had the stressors and chronic pain that many adults do and their bodies appear to be made of rubber! The truth is, an infant's body can be under a lot of stress while they are in utero and the process of childbirth can cause even more stress and distortions to the body.
First, it is important to understand the main purpose of Chiropractic Care, which is to restore the function of the Nervous System. A child's Nervous System is the controller and regulator of all the other systems in their growing body. From blood flow to brain function and bone growth, the Nervous System plays a central role in keeping things working and keeping us healthy. Physical, emotional and chemical stressors can lead to misalignments of the spine, which can have a serious impact on your child's overall health, behavior, and development. Pediatric Chiropractors provide care that is gentle and non-invasive that works to correct underlying issues before they become hard-wired during development, ultimately helping to avoid chronic illnesses for a healthy & successful childhood.
Stress and trauma to the body and spine can begin before an infant has even arrived. Have you ever had a friend or maybe even yourself suggest that you felt the baby has been on one side of your belly more than the other? Maybe your belly is "pointing" to the left or right? When we find this is the case, it suggests that the baby has limited space to move. With limited space, the baby has limited ability to turn and move there head, arms, legs, torso. This lack of motion is just the same as if you or I were stuck in one position for 9-10 months. We would be tight, stiff & rigid throughout our body.
After our little ones are in a confined space for three quarters of a year they are ready to join us, and whether you have a Vaginal or Cesarean Delivery, the intense pressure on your baby's head, neck & spine can lead to Spinal Misalignments.
If you've had a vaginal delivery your little one will have had to make their way down through the birth canal. This can be a tight canal and often times as the baby crowns, we may see a hand or arm over their face or by their head. This can also create stress and misalignments within their neck or spine. Depending on your birth your practitioner, they may be pulling baby by their head or shoulders. Sometimes we have vacuum or forceps delivery, which can, in turn, create distortion within the skull.
Maybe you have had a C-section delivery where the baby can be pulled, sometimes even "yanked" out of the uterus.
No matter the method we know the birth process can be stressful and difficult, and unfortunately, our little ones have no way of telling us there is something wrong, other than through crying and dysfunction. Three areas we look for dysfunction is through their ability (or lack thereof) to eat, sleep or pass bowel movements.
When it comes to eating, we may see latching difficulties, Colic or Reflux. If you are breastfeeding you may find that they prefer one breast over another. When it comes to sleep, we may see our little ones having difficulty going to sleep, being extremely "archy" or not be able to sleep for long periods. Once they have fallen asleep whether, in their co-sleeper, crib or car seat you may notice that their head is turned to one side more frequently (Torticollis or Pseudo-torticollis). When it comes to bowel movements you may find when they try to pass they strain tremendously or are extremely gassy or bloated or they are constipated for days on end.
These are all signs of dysfunction and they suggest are little ones may be struggling with a Spinal Misalignment that is affecting the function of their growing body.
What is great about Pediatric Chiropractic Care, is that an Infant Adjustment is extremely gentle, it's non-invasive and poses no side effects. It only takes the pressure you use to check the ripeness of a tomato to adjust a baby. Often times after an adjustment little ones will have a nice long nap and a larger than a normal bowel movement.
What do you all think? Have you all considered chiropractic care for your newborn?
To find a Pediatric Chiropractor in your area go to www.icpa4kids.com