The first years of life are filled with wonder – both for baby and parents. Babies change significantly during their first year. In fact, a baby’s spine will grow 50% during that time. Both the baby’s spine and cranium go through a lot during birth. Trauma can occur from various factors, including:
- A long or very short labor
- Poor head position as the child travels the
- Mother’s cervix does not dilate
- Drugs used to increase contraction intensity
- Forceps or vacuum extraction
- C-section due to lack of progress
- Umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck
That is just for the baby to get here! There are other factors such as falls or improper carrying and lifting that also cause trauma. An excellent way to ensure that your baby gets a solid start is to engage with a chiropractor who works regularly with infants and children.
Why Chiropractic for Infants?
In a child’s first year, 65% of development of the brain and nervous system occur. Therefore, it is important to ensure that infants are free of nerve interference and have appropriate cranial development.
A study of over 1500 babies conducted over eight years by Viola Frymann, an American osteopath, revealed the following:
- 10% of newborn babies had perfect, freely mobile skulls or cranial mechanisms.
- 10% had severe trauma to the head, evident to even untrained observers.
- 80% had some strain patterns in the cranial mechanism.
If left uncorrected, your baby’s spinal growth and development are negatively impacted, and can lead to reduced function of the nervous system. This can lead to nervous and immune system issues and can place stress on the communication systems of the body.
Are the procedures safe?
Everyone is concerned about any procedure for an infant. They rely on parents for everything, particularly their safety and security. Chiropractic adjustments performed on infants are different than those performed on adults. They are gentle and most babies respond positively to the process.
Cranial adjustments are credited with making significant differences for adults, and can also do the same for infants by ensuring that the cranium is aligned properly to handle the exponential growth the infant will undergo in his first year. The human skull is comprised of 13 bones that are joined together with sutures (puzzle like structures). Although the sutures cannot be pulled apart, the bones in the skull can be knocked out of their proper alignment, causing indentations or elevations that can be felt on the surface of the head. Just the act of being born most likely causes your baby’s skull to be out of alignment. Through cranial adjustment, your baby will have the best chance at proper development of the skull, spine and nervous system, preventing a whole host of other challenges, such as immune disorders, learning disabilities and allergies.