Chiropractic for Pregnancy and Newborn Babies
We believe that expecting mothers should feel as little discomfort as possible. During pregnancy, the mother releases a series of hormones enabling their body to adapt to their situation. Many of these hormones act on soft connective tissues, including muscles, ligaments and skin, allowing these structures to become more lax and, in doing so, allowing the baby to grow.
However, due to this problems can arise for many pregnant ladies. This is because the main stabilising structures of the spine are the muscles and ligaments, and when these become more lax, there is less stability in the spine and therefore more chance of spinal injury occuring.
It is also important to remember that the expecting mother will notice a large increase in the curve of her lumbar spine (lower back). This occurs in order to compensate for the increased weight at the front of the body. In order to maintain the body’s centre of gravity, the mother will naturally arche her lower back more. In doing so, increased pressure is placed on the discs, nerves and muscles in the lower back, which can create lower back pain.
Due to these reasons, receiving chiropractic care cansupport mother’s during pregnancy, and we can adjust expecting mothers up to week a before their baby is born.
Structural changes during pregnancy: the birth canal
The birth canal is made up of two identical pelvic bones. These two pelvic bones make three distinctive joints that join together to form the pelvis. As in any joint in the human body, these joints are designed to move when the body needs them to.
As the growing baby gets bigger, it puts an increased amount of stress on these three joints, with the end result most commonly being misalignment of the sacroiliac joints (seen either side of the spine in the diagram on the right).
This misalignment results in two possible outcomes. Firstly, the joints affected have large amounts of pain receptors situated in and around them, so any misalignment of these joints can cause a large amount of lower back, buttock and groin pain. Secondly, misalignment of these joints will also change the shape of the normally smooth circular birth canal and, in doing so, decreases the overall size of it. The end result is that the newborn baby, who has already got a very small opening to move through during birth, has an even smaller birth canal. This can potentially cause more stress to the mother and baby during the birth process, as more force may be need to be used by the obstetrician to deliver the baby.
How can chiropractic help?
Firstly, your chiropractor will carefully analyse your spine and pelvis to find out exactly which joint is responsible for any misalignments. Your chiropractor will then gently correct them, reducing your pain as well as allowing the pelvis to be in its optimum position so your baby can comfortably maneuver into the vertex position.
Chiropractic and Newborn Babies
“The birth process…is potentially a traumatic, crippling event….mechanical stress imposed by obstetrical manipulation …even the application of standard orthodox procedures may prove intolerable to the foetus. The view has been expressed clinically that most signs of neonatal injury observed in the delivery room are neurological….”
Towbin A., Latent Spinal Cord and Brain Stem Injury in Newborn Infants. Develop. Med. Child Neurol (1969).
When you start to take this into consideration, it becomes clear how important it is to have your baby’s spine checked by a chiropractor. The birth process can be very traumatic to a newborn baby, and in particular to their necks and upper parts of their spine due to the use of forceps, suction devices and simple human force used when delivering babies. Spinal misalignments occur very easily and they can have a profound negative affect on your baby’s nervous system and therefore overall health. Receiving chiropractic care may help your baby to maintain a healthy, functioning nervous system as they grow up.
The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved.
Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association discovered this adjustment as a safe means to restore proper pelvic balance and function. This specific sacral analysis can be used on all weight bearing individuals to determine S/I joint dysfunction/ sacral subluxation and is therefore applicable for the entire population. The assessment includes heel flexion to buttocks, with restricted flexion indicating the affected SI joint. Correction is made with a diversified, sacral adjustment. It is used on all weight bearing individuals presenting with this biomechanical restriction. Common symptoms include (but are not limited to) low back pain, sciatic neuralgia, and symptoms associated with sacral subluxation and/ or S/I joint dysfunction.
The ICPA recognizes that in a theoretical and clinical framework of the Webster Technique in the care of pregnant women, sacral subluxation may contribute to difficult labor for the mother
In regards to pregnant mothers, Dr. Webster reported that when a mother sought care and her baby was in a breech position, the restoration of pelvic neuro-biomechanics with this adjustment also frequently facilitated optimal fetal positioning. There are cases published in the chiropractic literature that support this theory.
It is therefore considered prudent that this specific sacral analysis and adjustment be used throughout pregnancy to detect and alleviate sacral imbalance and optimize pelvic neuro-biomechanics in the mother. Because of the particular female adaptations from the increase of hormones, weight gain and postural adaptations, pregnant mothers have a greater chance of sacral subluxation and neuro-biomechanical imbalance than the general population. Additionally, because of the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions by reducing nerve system stress, pregnant mothers may have significant benefit by having their spines checked regularly throughout pregnancy, optimizing health benefits for both the mother and baby.
Anti-inflammatory painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen can cause life-threatening kidney damage in children, researchers have warned this week.
The NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) cause acute kidney damage—sometimes requiring treatment in intensive care—in around 3 per cent of children, say researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Small children up to the age of five years can suffer the worst reactions, and may need dialysis.
The researchers made the discovery when they looked over the records of 1,015 children admitted to one hospital in Indiana with acute kidney injury (AKI). Of these, 27—or 2.7 per cent—were caused by an NSAID, and the vast majority had been taken the painkiller for less than seven days.
Although none of the children died, 30 per cent had long-lasting kidney damage after the AKI episode, which could worsen as they get older.
(Source: Journal of Pediatrics, 2013; published online, January 28, 2013).
If you would like to know some interesting facts about the safety of Chiropractic care for children, please take a look at the video below.
Did you know your baby can be adjusted by a chiropractor three days after being born?
Did you know an adjustment uses no more pressure than that used to test the ripeness of a tomato?
To book a consultation or any advice for your child please call us on 0208 252 1010
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