Today I checked a beautiful 12-day-old baby whose mother I had seen throughout the majority of her pregnancy. Her beautiful little girl was born after just five hours of active labour without the need for any medication or medical intervention.
Typically, I check babies at around two weeks old unless they are experiencing serious issues with sleeping, feeding or pooping before then.
Most people would think, “Why would a Chiropractor check a newborn baby who had a good birth? Surely they don’t have neck pain!”
Chiropractors are very well known for helping people with back and neck pain, but that’s not where our capabilities to help people actually end.
If you asked that Mom why she brought in her newborn child, she would tell you it was to make sure her baby was healthy post birth and to avoid any future nerve system and spinal issues later on in life. I’ll share with you more about why she would want to do this later. But first let me share with you what a Chiropractor actually does.
Understanding Spinal Issues: Subluxation and Trauma
A Chiropractor checks anyone with a spine and nervous system for subluxation. Subluxation is nerve interference or blockage. It disrupts the way the brain is telling the body how to function and it most commonly happens in the spine.
Subluxation shuts down the communication of vital information between the brain and the body. Without 100% of that information, you can’t function to your very best ability and won’t be able to adapt to the daily stresses of life.
Subluxations can happen at any point in your life, but the most common and obvious time it will happen is through trauma.
There are three very common traumas a child experiences early on in life. The first is caused by constraint or abnormal positioning in the uterus during pregnancy; the second is through the birth process itself; and the third is by learning to crawl, stand and walk.
Link Between Birth and Subluxation
A researcher named Gutman found that the birth process results in approximately 80% of all newborns having some form of nerve dysfunction.
He also states that many health problems may arise from the subluxation of the first vertebrae in the neck, including lowered resistance to infections to do with the ear, nose and throat (1). A few years later another study found that 95% of 1250 five day old babies had not just Subluxation but cervical (neck) strain (2).
Not surprisingly, if you YouTube C- section births, you can find multiple videos that show the Doctors literally pulling on the child’s head repeatedly in order to get the child out.
The top of the spine, where it connects with the skull is a crucial area when we look at how a child’s nerve system grows and develops. Because of the way these C-section babies have to be pulled out, we often find they can struggle with feeding, pooping and sleeping.
Just from watching these videos, you can easily understand why these C-section babies are the most at risk of subluxation and neck strain and why Chiropractors are advocates of natural, unassisted births in normal and healthy pregnancies.
Long-term Effects of Subluxation
Of course, it’s not just C-section babies we check. Chiropractors check naturally born babies too, regardless of the labour duration and circumstance.
At the end of the day if a child (or adult) has any nerve interference, it’s slowly shutting down the normal ability of the body to repair itself and to regulate all your daily functions like breathing, digesting food and moving. If you child has subluxation, this means that they cannot meet their optimal health potential.
This could mean they are more susceptible to issues like a low immune system, digestive troubles, poor sleeping patterns and irritability.
There have also been many parents who report that when their child is free from subluxation it hugely improves their child’s ability to concentrate in school and absorb information. Perhaps, the biggest link issue with subluxation is that it has been associated with developing chronic health conditions like asthma, IBS and even anxiety and depression.
That is why getting a child’s spine checked for subluxation post birth and at regular intervals during development, truly is vital to the long term supportive health of a child.
You’ll find that many Chiropractors don’t just recommend adjustments as part of a typical care plan. We are able to show you many ways to support your child’s health, through a variety of workshops, developmental exercises and nutritional and supplemental support. This really gives you the tools to raise a truly healthy family.