There are many reasons why parents seek chiropractic care for babies and children:
- Maximise brain and nerve development
- Enhance child’s overall wellbeing
- Strengthen immunity and reduce incidence of colds, ear aches and general illness
- To help with colic/irritable baby syndrome
- To help with asthma, breathing difficulties and allergies
- Traumatic birth or use of forceps/suction
- To improve child’s ability to concentrate
- To assist with behavioural disorders and offer greater emotional wellbeing
- To help with bedwetting and digestive problems
- To assist with sleep issues
- To ensure growth and development
- Help with constipation
- To help with motor development, crawling and walking
- Sleep and sleep-related issues
- ADHD and Autism
- Posture and scoliosis
- Feet turning in/out
- Pigeon toe
- Attachment difficulty and breastfeeding issues
- Plagiocephaly (flat head)
Do My Kids Need to See a Paediatric Chiropractor?
A child has many physical stresses to deal with during their growing years, and problems in children’s spines can occur at almost any point in their development and growth. Probably the earliest challenge a growing spine faces is the position it is forced to adopt in utero. Many women will have heard of foetal positions, which can cause problems with the labour (brow, breech, transverse, posterior etc), but what is less well known is that these can also cause problems in the baby’s spine as well.
Spinal segments can be pushed out of place or jammed by the position of the baby in the womb, and if this position is less than optimal, it can result in a longer and more difficult trip through the birth canal, which can compound these problems.
In this way, even natural birthing methods can stress an infant’s spine and nervous system – not to mention interventions such as induction, forceps, ventouse suction or caesarean section. The latter (which account for an alarmingly large percentage of births in Australia), while seeming to offer a less traumatic birth for the child, can actually create a whole new set of problems.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼The cause of many newborn health complaints such as colic, reflux, breastfeeding difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions and chronic infections can often be traced to irritation of the nervous system caused by these spinal and cranial misalignments.
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at, or prior to birth, many parents choose to have their newborn’s spine checked right away. Many developmental milestones such as learning to hold up the head, sitting upright, crawling and walking are all activities that affect spinal alignment and are important times to have a child checked by a chiropractor, not to mention the falls, sports injuries, playground bumps and heavy school bags to which they are subjected in later years.
Is it Safe for Babies?
The risks of a child suffering notable injury from a spinal adjustment are extremely minimal. Chiropractors have been adjusting children’s spines for more than 100 years and have an excellent safety record.
A recent study done by the International Chiropractic Paediatric Association (ICPA) in Australia showed that only a few children (out of more than 5,000 visits) experienced minor discomfort and fussiness. The remaining children in the study had no adverse reactions to their adjustment. This preliminary data tells us that chiropractic care for children may be one of the safest forms of health care available.
Not only is chiropractic very safe it is also very gentle, the pressure used for an adjustment is no more pressure than you would press on an eyelid. Paediatric Chiropractors are trained in special techniques, which use the most gentle pressure and touch.
Most women are fertile two weeks before their period starts. However, breastfeeding can delay the return of periods, making it hard for women to know with any confidence when their ‘fertile window’ may be. This is why some women conceive again before their periods have come back.
An epidural is an anaesthetic procedure, where a local anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space near the spinal cord. An epidural anaesthetic numbs the nerves so pain cannot be felt in certain areas of the body.
An epidural during labour helps to block pain signals from contractions. If birth intervention is needed, e.g., caesarean or forceps, an epidural is a common form of anaesthetic.