I remember the day in October of 2019 when two new moms came in to our office the same day. They had both been receiving chiropractic care throughout their pregnancies. They wanted their new babies to get wellness checks to make sure they had a healthy start to life. I asked them both how their labors had gone. Both told me that labor was less than three hours, actual pushing was less than a half an hour, and both of their OB-GYNs had expressed surprise at that. And the best news is that the babies were both quite healthy — the natural response to quick deliveries.
I have been working with moms and babies for as long as I have been in practice — over 30 years. At first it was a whole new ball game working on infants, but after working on a few hundred babies, it is now like second nature. They respond so well to so many issues including colic, ear infections, fussiness, spitting up, latching, and nursing issues, just to name a few. Babies are perhaps my favorite patients as they respond so well and they are such little miracles to begin with.
Some people hesitate to bring babies to a chiropractor as they are concerned about the adjusting process, namely the snapping and popping that typically occurs with adjustments. Fortunately, adjusting techniques used with infants are very gentle; a good analogy is to compare it to the pressure you would use to apply eye makeup. Many babies actually sleep through the adjusting procedure and quite often moms will hold the baby while we adjust to optimize comfort and ease for both mom and baby. There is nothing better than seeing a mom return at a follow-up appointment looking happier and well-slept thanks to their baby’s colic improving after being adjusted!
Numerous scientific studies have confirmed the benefit of chiropractic care for colic. Interestingly, there is no other treatment that has been proven to work. If your medical healthcare provider has not recommended chiropractic care to address colic and other pediatric issues, ask them why. We do receive quite a few referrals from medical providers, but many parents tell me they were never even told to try chiropractic.
Working with pregnant mothers has been a great joy as well. Research on chiropractic going back as early as 1985 has consistently shown the benefits of chiropractic for pregnancy. The results of the studies typically note that labor time is cut in half, there are half as many complications, and half the need for medications — everything you would want out of a safe and mostly natural delivery.
I will say this about chiropractic care, though: mastering the care of infants and pregnant moms takes time and practice, but with a chiropractor experienced in working with these groups of people, the rewards are great. A more balanced nervous system means less cortisol in your system, and that means less in baby’s as well. Babies born to mothers who have low levels of cortisol throughout pregnancy have healthier brains and are happier as a consequence.
There are a number of nutritional and functional medicine approaches to pediatric and pregnancy care to consider that mesh well with chiropractic care. Infant probiotics and various liquid supplements can be incorporated into your baby’s health regimen. And along with your basic prenatal vitamins, things like vitamin D in proper amounts are important as well. Babies born to mothers with adequate vitamin D levels have actually been shown to have higher IQs!
The most important thing I will tell you about prenatal nutrition, though, is that the way you feed yourself while pregnant can affect the next three generations of children. You are not just eating and supplementing for you and baby, you are doing that for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.
Always find an experienced practitioner who can incorporate all these approaches. Make sure they have experience working with babies and pregnancy and that they are well-versed in the latest research in nutrition and proper supplementation. And make sure they love working with babies — as I do!
Dr. Burtis, MS, DC, CFMP, has been providing natural healthcare to the Fairmont area at Burtis Chiropractic Center for over 30 years. He uses a combination of chiropractic, nutrition, and functional medicine to help individuals restore and maintain health and healing through individualized care plans. The mission of Burtis Chiropractic Center is to provide transformational healthcare that takes an individual’s life to the next level. We strive to be a solution for families to experience transformational healthcare and help create vibrant and resilient lifestyles that can be passed to future generations.