Vicki Danis DC practices in Avon and sees a number of our clients. We have heard tremendous praise about her care from clients and certainly see the benefits of her work ourselves in the ease of which our clients birth and breastfeed. We are very thankful for her practice and passion for chiropractics.
When I was asked to write this blog, so many thoughts went through my head, like what should I write about or how long should it be. But let me start with something a bit simpler. My name is Vicki Danis. I am a wife of nearly 8 years, have two sweet girls, and am a chiropractor who specializes in maternity and pediatric chiropractic care.
Both of my children were exclusively breastfed for 7 months. Both continued to breastfeed past their first birthday as well. We did not have any issues with latch, suckling, or reflux. While this isn’t uncommon, I see plenty of babies who have issues with suckling, latch, no appetite, reflux, colic, sleep disturbances, spitting up and more. How do I help with any of these issues and what causes them in the first place?
Let’s start at the beginning…..at birth. The baby’s head takes a lot of pressure during the delivery process. The baby presents head down during delivery. The combination of gravity and contractions help to bring the baby down further into the pelvis. The skull of the baby takes on a ton of pressure from pushing and contractions. Finally upon expulsion, the baby’s soft bones quickly overlap and move to make the baby’s head smaller.
If induction or Pitocin is used any time during labor, the contraction strength is increased beyond the body’s control and more pressure can be put on the baby’s head for longer periods of time. If a c-section is performed, the baby could be pulled out of the mom’s belly by lifting their head. (Think an upside-down choke hold) This puts extreme pressure on the precious vertebrae of the upper neck.
With all of these “micro-injuries” occurring during birth, the baby can do one of two things. #1. Bounce back: The body is quite amazing and does a wonderful job of healing itself. So the bones of the cranium can go back to their normal position and any stress done to the nervous system will go away. #2. Dysfunction: Any pressure on the nervous system will cause systems of the body to not function properly. Cranial torsion can result in a misshapen head, torticollis, suckling and latch issues, digestive changes, and more. Pressure on nerves (that come from the neck) can cause torticollis, ear infections, colic, constipation, suckling issues, loss of appetite, inability of weight gain, etc.
How does chiropractic help with nursing and latch issues specifically?
When a baby nurses, a few things happen. When suction is occurring, the cranial bones move a little closer together to increase the strength of the suction. If any cranial bones are out of place, this will affect the power of suction. Also the hard and soft palate play a role in section as well. The hard palate is divided into two sides. The hard palate allows the nipple to move more posterior towards the soft palate. If either side of the hard palate is uneven, suction cannot be performed as efficiently or with the maximum power. By simply evening out the palate, suction power increases and makes nursing easier on the baby. Cranial motion is very important when latch issues are involved.
How does chiropractic help with colic, reflux, spitting up, torticollis, and more?
Chiropractic aims at balancing the structural system of the body. Because of how the body is made, the nerves that control everything in the body come out of the spine. Any pressure on those nerves causes dysfunction to the end point of that nerve. (Think about a kinked water hose. Water still may come out, but not at the same pressure as when it isn’t kinked.) By simply re-aligning the bones and joints, pressure on the nerve is released and the body is able to function at 100% again. A pediatric chiropractor should be able to easily and quickly assess the alignment of the cranial bones and spinal bones. Very gentle pressure is placed to encourage these bones back into their proper placement. Generally, no more pressure than you would be using to touch your eyeball is necessary. Most babies sleep through their first adjustment!
I can understand how scary this can seem, especially if you have not seen a chiropractor. I have had the privilege of adjusting my patient’s babies as young as 24 hours, in addition to my family’s children. I am continually amazed at how quickly chiropractic works. The body is both simple and complex. What chiropractors do is fix the simple part!
To find a pediatric chiropractor in your area, go to www.icpa4kids.org.