Birth through the 1st year of life
Right from birth, your child’s spine is subjected to daily stresses. The birth process is one of the most traumatic experiences many of us will ever go through. An infant’s neck must be bent one way and then the other in order to pass through the birth canal. Cesarean section is also considered a traumatic birth when considering the effects on the spine. Obstetricians often need to traction the head during a normal birth using between 40 and 70 pounds of pressure, in order to birth the shoulder; studies reveal this may inadvertently cause damage to the cervical spine (neck) and also to the nerves that exit from the spine. This can leave a baby’s neck with subluxations or misalignment which can be corrected with Chiropractic care. Even a one day old infant can be adjusted! (The baby pictured was adjusted the first time when she was just 4 hours old) As babies grow and develop it is amazing how many things put stress on their spine. Sleeping on their stomach with the head turned to one side all night long – which is common for all infants – is a good example. Surprisingly, changing diapers may also place undue stress on the thoracic spine. Raising the infant’s legs with one hand to place the diaper underneath can cause repetitive stress to the spinal joints.
Even minor spinal problems in infants can contribute to colic, stomach reflux and ear infections. Babies can’t talk when something is wrong, so they tend to cry more often that usual to let you know they do not feel well. A simple trip to the chiropractor might make the difference from a cranky baby to a happy one.