The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic

Unhappy Baby has Birth Strain

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baby_3143423bEver wonder why your baby will cry at a certain time and you exhausted all your efforts? You go to the Pediatrician and they don’t have much of an answer but more medication. The following list is a variety of issues that babies will cry and parents have a difficult time.

• General discomfort
• Positional discomfort
• Lactation issues
• Sleeping issues (difficult to go to or stay asleep)
• Spitting up
• Reflux
• Colic
• Earache or infections
• Not meeting milestones
• Failure to Thrive

Stress-During-Pregnancy-Affects-The-Baby-Too

The birth strain develops when the mother was giving birth and the physical stress strained the infant’s body. Towbin stated, “The birth process…is potentially a traumatic, crippling event…mechanical stress imposed by obstetrical manipulation-even the application of standard orthodox procedures may prove intolerable to the fetus. The view has been expressed clinically that most signs of neonatal injury observed in the delivery room are neurological….(Towbin, A. Laten spinal cord and brain stem injury in newborn infants. Develop. Med. Child Neurology., 1969, 11, pp. 54-68).  Birth Strain or Trauma is most commonly occurs when the babies neck is placed in traction, with extension, rotation, flexion and lateral flexion. The following list is the type of delivery and trauma was noted from medical intervention.

Type of Delivery and Trauma per 1000

  • Spontaneous 14
    • Assisted Vacuum 71 Failed Vacuum 105
    • Assisted Forceps 58 Failed Forceps 56
    • C-Section Labor 12 Non-Labor 1.2
    Source: Williams Obstetrics Ed. 23, page 634, table 29-10

Medical Process

For some parents that have a medical way of thinking, they tend to have difficulty in understanding this strain and stress issue after birth on the infant because most are non-life threatening medical conditions.

The initial inclination is to go to the Emergency room at the hospital when their infant is experiencing abnormal behavior or the parents are not able to help their infants. The medical profession is very capable of finding life-threatening medical conditions that parents should consult with. When all vital signs are addressed and life-threatening conditions are crossed off, the medical intervention always involved medication to temporarily sedate the symptoms. If that is what the parents want, which is to take care of the crying baby, they should work with the medical profession and follow their instructions.

Another Approach

Parents are in a dire need to figure out what is the cause of their most cherished baby is in distress. Rather than giving medications to babies, there is another natural and holistic way of looking at health. Most parents are trying to identify the disease as an entity, yet not all babies have terrible life-threatening infections. In a more holistic view of the baby’s health is to look for why the baby is lacking health or vitality. These strain and stress on the baby are experiencing an inability to adapt to their environment or inability to perform the normal function for healthy living. The infant is in distress yet there seems to be no problem that is notable. So what could the parents have missed at the hospital?

Most often missed is how the baby’s upper neck has been under stress and strain due to the stress of birth. Most parents would say that the medical doctor said their baby is a healthy child. This is true, in medical observation, if the baby is scoring APGAR score of 7 to 9 out of 9, the baby is clear from any post-delivery routine care and the baby is good to go home with the parents. Medically they are healthy and no life-threatening disease for this baby.  Despite the medical evaluation, we know that the baby is not well when they are still in distress. The only way the baby can describe their problem is by crying on the top of their lungs. Strain in babies neck can be found in research studies.

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“Profound birth injury, repudiating asphyxia, occurs in 0.2 per 1000 live births and is encountered more frequently in premature infants, and in breech presentations and deliveries. Comprehensive birth trauma is the eighth most common cause of neonatal mortality; in low birth weight infants, it is the fourth most common cause of death.”

“The risk factors for injury sustained during the birth process are deliberate under the rubric of fetal and maternal factors, fetal malpresentation and malposition, cephalopelvic disproportion, prolonged and precipitate labor, and obstetrician inexperience and incompetence.”

Pediatric Chiropractic 2nd Edition 2013, Chapter 6, page 361-362 Claudia Angrig and Gregory Plaugher.

The next research study is a very specific case of mild irritation on the upper neck for infants. The following research found out that:

  1. In first world countries, sudden infant death (SID) is the most common cause of death during the first 12 months of postnatal life.
  2. Children with a disturbed symmetry of the atlanto-occipital region could be at higher risk for SID. (Atlanto-occipital region is the upper neck area.)
  3. In older children disturbances of this kind are known as retardation of development in motor patterns as well as in sensory abilities.
  4. Minor mechanical irritation of the cervical region may trigger the first step in the events that lead to SID.

Heart rate changes in response to mild mechanical irritation of the high cervical spinal cord region in infants Forensic Science International Volume 128, Issue 3, August 28, 2002, Pages 168-176 L. E. Koch, H. Koch, S. Graumann-Brunt, D. Stolle, J. M. Ramirez and K. S. Saternus

Chiropractic for Babies

The same research also indicates that the best strategies for preventing baby strain with Chiropractic adjustments.

  1. Infants between 1 and 12 months of age were given upper neck chiropractic adjustments if they were thought to be at risk of sudden infant syndrome.
  2. Great care was taken that the infant was comfortable before a chiropractic adjustment.
  3. According to the study, chiropractic has shown to be a successful technique which can help disorders, especially cerebral disturbances of motor patterns of various etiology, sensomotoric disturbances of integration ability (retardation of sensation and coordination), as well as pain related entities such as cry-babies with ‘3-month colic’ or hyperactivity with sleeplessness.

Finding Chiropractors for Babies

Chiropractic adjustment skills will vary from practitioner to practitioner. Please be sure to check their website for credentials or find out by reputation on how the Chiropractor’s skill is on adjusting babies. Most often institutions like holistic birth centers, professionals like doulas and midwives, and pediatric-focused holistic clinics will have resources to find reputable chiropractors.

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Babies have a very soft structure and can be easily damaged if an inexperienced and unprofessional individual attempts to do chiropractic adjustment without a proper training, proper licensure, and good amount of experience. Please consult a chiropractor that has experience with babies. Babies have a lot of potential in life, full of expressions, and they are the future. The first year with the baby is stressful enough. Let’s enjoy our babies first year without strain and stress after a stressful labor.

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Author: zenchiropractic

Zen Matsuda was born in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. He earned his four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Science from Northwestern College in St. Paul. After graduation, he continued his study in Doctorate of Chiropractic in Northwestern Health Science University in Bloomington, Minnesota. During his course of study, he came across Gonstead Chiropractors that changed his idea about Chiropractic. Spending many hours of seminars, internships, and practice, he learned how to analyze the spine biomechanically and specific/precise correction of the spine. In 2010, he opened Zen Chiropractic in Minnesota. Dr. Zen, using the unique name given by his father, fused Eastern and Western concepts of healing. Dr. Zen took the idea of Chi from the East and Chiropractic from the West to inspire healing from within. Zen Chiropractic establishes 100% function and communication of the Brain/Spinal Cord to the body so the individual can have full capacity for self-control, mental discipline, and help combat many mental/physical diseases. Dr. Zen’s patients appreciate the dedication of his work in inspiring their healing mentally/physically from within.

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