Have you ever found yourself comparing the health of your child to their classmates, cousins, or neighborhood kids? Or have you ever wondered why one of your kids is the picture of health while the other isn’t? Why is your child not hitting their developmental milestones while all the other kids on Instagram are hitting theirs?
Do you catch yourself silently asking, “Why isn’t my child thriving?”
As a chiropractor, I want you, mom, to understand how stress from pregnancy and the birth process may be playing a role in why you are asking these types of questions. I can’t claim to have all of the answers about your kiddo, but my goal is to share my extensive knowledge with you and hopefully have Landmark Chiropractic support healing in your family!
No one doubts that the birth process is HARD for mom. But what about for baby? Absolutely, yes! So, let’s dive into exactly how difficult it is for a baby to be born and how your child’s birth can play a MAJOR role in their health and development.
The birth process can exert significant stress on a newborn’s delicate spine and nervous system. The pressures, forces, and positioning involved during labor and delivery can be high enough to create visible trauma when a baby is born. Viola Fryman, DO conducted a recent study of 1,250 births. She found that 10% of infants experienced visible, severe trauma inflicted to their heads before or during labor. Another 79% of newborns experienced diagnosed strain patterns to their skulls from the birth process. This means that while 10% of births were considered healthy and trauma free, 9/10 births were deemed traumatic!
Pulling from my friend Dr. Courtney Kahla’s website, factors that can increase the risk of trauma and stress during the birth process include:
- Very short or very long labor
- Use of Pitocin/contraction-strengthening agents
- Pain medications
- Restricted movements/positioning for mom
- Pulling or twisting on baby’s head/neck area
- The use of forceps or vacuum extraction device
- Baby’s positioning in-utero
- Cesarean-section delivery
The more interventions present during birth, the more stress your child experiences. These stresses can result in any of the small, mostly cartilaginous, bones in your child’s neck to shift out of proper position, putting pressure on nerves and causing dysfunction in their body. We chiropractors call that a subluxation, and to us this is a BIG deal – it should be addressed immediately. Our job is to locate and correct that stress with chiropractic care. Left uncorrected, this trauma continues to impact a baby’s spinal growth and development, reducing the healthy function of the nervous system.
So how do you know if your child experienced a traumatic or stressful birth? The easiest answer is to look for symptoms. Is your baby colicky? Having trouble latching? Showing symptoms of torticollis? Maybe your mom gut feels off. Or maybe you think your child is healthy with no issues whatsoever. This is why it is VITAL to have your child assessed for birth stress and trauma as early as possible by a pediatric chiropractor.
A child cannot be in survival-mode and thriving-mode at the same time. Those are two competing theories, and survival mode will always win out. So, if from day 1 your child has unnecessary added stress to their nervous system, it makes sense that at some point their sleep, digestion, immune system, developmental capabilities, etc. might be impacted. Your child’s body is storing stress and doesn’t have a way to adapt to it. This is when it shows up as a series of compensations. Maybe your child has never really known what a healthy nervous system looks like. If we never address the root trauma, we can’t move towards optimal health and wellness.
The best part is, it’s never too late to have your child assessed for subluxation. Children heal MUCH better than adults. So why wait until we’re grown, with neurological patterns concreted into our brains, when we can create healthier outcomes as a child? We believe our job at Landmark Chiropractic is to help set your child up for success. We believe in order for this to happen a lot of dominos need to fall in line … you need to have the best pregnancy possible, to set you up for the best birth possible, with as little intervention as possible, which will allow you to have the healthiest family possible.
Chiropractic care is for everyone. At Landmark Chiropractic we pride ourselves on a welcoming, helpful, loving environment. We are experts in adjusting crying babies, kiddos with big feelings that won’t lay down for adjustments, and even children with special needs that may need to secure first/last appointments of the day. We want to meet you and your kiddos wherever you are. Because the more comfortable you all are in our office, the better your bodies can heal.
Dr. Andrew Oestreich
5201 Bosque Blvd #240
Waco, TX 76711