|Informing Parents: The Need for Chiropractic Care in Infancy
Jeanne Ohm, DC
Many Doctors of Chiropractic find it difficult to explain to parents the necessity of care for infants. “After all,” most parents say, “my child doesn’t have any back pain.”
In these cases, it is necessary for us as practitioners to relate to parents the causes and effects of spinal trauma be they macro or micro.
Beginning with pregnancy the position the fetus in-utero may have significant implications on his or her developing spine. If the mother’s pelvis was out of alignment throughout pregnancy and there was intra-uterine constraint, the developing fetus may have experienced an abnormally constricted space which could complicate normal postural development of the fetus. These structural abnormalities will have significant effects on the infant’s nerve system.
Modern birthing procedures create numerous opportunities for injury to the baby. Standard birth procedures today include awkward positions for the mother which lead to more difficult deliveries. This adds to an increased potential of trauma and injury to the birthing baby. Lying on her back, the mother is not free to move into positions that allow her pelvis to open to its fullest capacity and the delivery process may become slowed or require unnecessary force to birth the baby. The rising use of pain medication during delivery also effects the natural birthing process and the mother’s ability to participate in this process. It is well documented that the use of pain medication leads to further operative intervention in labor, which then increases the risk of injury to the infant’s spine and nerve system.
Helping the parents in our practices to understand today’s standard birth procedures, gives them important knowledge about trauma and the causes of spinal stress in their infants. It allows them to realize that birth may have caused injury to their baby and validates the necessity of chiropractic spinal check ups right from birth. Even more importantly it alerts them to the effect these routine obstetric procedures have on the future health and well-being of their children. Parents can therefore make better informed choices in subsequent births to avoid future complications.