When offering parents the option to adjust their newborn, the doctor of chiropractic must first consider the parent’s perspective. Many good chiropractic patients will still hesitate to get their newborn adjusted because of the fear of hurting them.
Consider this: As a parent, if you went to a chiropractor who used high velocity osseous techniques on you, and you never got to witness first hand an adjustment on a child, wouldn’t you be frightened that the adjustment could hurt the child? The fear can be eliminated if the chiropractor takes the time to demonstrate the minimal amount of force used to adjust an infant. You can use pinkie pressure on the arm of the adult to show the amount of force used on an infant. Explain to them that the adjustment is so gentle that a sleeping child may not even wake up.
Perform the adjustment on the newborn with care, respect and love. Move your hands slowly and only take the baby from the parent with permission and ease. If the child is awake, look into the eyes of the child and make contact. Speak gently, call the child by name, and wait for them to respond and get used to you before you proceed. Sometimes, the first visit may be an opportunity for the baby and the parents to get accustomed to you. The parent’s response and trust in you will affect the baby’s ability to feel at ease with you as well.
If you lack confidence with your skills to care for infants and you are avoiding them in your practice, take classes where you can gain proficiency.
The International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association offers over 150 classes around the world. Take advantage of this resource and begin providing a very needed service in your community.
Jeanne Ohm, DC, has practiced Family Chiropractic since 1981. She is currently Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is the instructor on Perinatal Care in their 360-Hour Diplomate program. She can be contacted via their site at: www.icpa4kids.com.
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 it 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 is out of alignment throughout pregnancy and there is intra-uterine constraint, the developing fetus may occupy an abnormally constricted space, which could complicate normal postural development. 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 affects 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 intervantion 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 procesures, 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.
Pregnant women are in need of our care. Routine prenatal procedures are not providing women with the confidence and ability to have safe and natural births. The rate of dystocia (difficult labor) has increased significantly along with numerous interventions, including c-sections.
With 23 years of working with pregnant women, I have realized there are three primary causes of dystocia: Physiological, emotional and medical. Doctors of Chiropractic have the means to address all three aspects of dystocia, offering a unique service to pregnant women.
Physiologically, the chiropractic adjustment (specifically sacral adjustments) offers improved muscle function, restores a state of balance in the woman’s pelvis and allows for optimal baby positioning in preparation for birth. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy allows the woman’s body to experience birth with less intervention.
Emotionally, women have become fearful of birth and no longer trust that they can give birth naturally. An understanding of the chiropractic philosophy restores a sense of confidence in the mother—a vital yet often neglected aspect for a safer, easier birth.
As for the medical causes of dystocia, chiropractors are aware of the many unnecessary, yet routine, inter-ventions and can offer women educational resources and a network of supportive care providers in their communities.
Women are actively seeking providers whose services support the natural process of birth. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy offers pregnant women physiological and emotional support in leading to easier, safer more natural deliveries.
Many doctors of chiropractic are taking post graduate classes that offer specific techniques and skills to care for pregnant women more effectively. They understand the importance of restoring the sanctity of natural birthing. These chiropractors now recognize the vital role chiropractic provides in achieving this objective. Reaching out to pregnant women in our communities will restore natural, easier, safer births for mothers and their babies.
Jeanne Ohm, DC, has practiced Family Chiropractic since 1981. She is currently Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is the instructor on Perinatal Care in their 360 Hour Diplomate program. She can be contacted via their site at: www.icpa4kids.com.