Pediatric and Prenatal

May 3, 2016

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Ensure that your child reaches their full potential and lives a life of optimal health.

 

Pediatric Chiropractic

Our practice is dedicated, not only to keeping adults healthy, but also providing wellness care for children. Like dentistry, chiropractic care provided early in childhood can help prevent future problems.

Some of the top reasons why parents bring their children in for regular chiropractic care: Colic, nursing difficulties, constipation, ear infections, breathing problems, reflux, headaches, sleep disturbances, digestive dysfunction and stomach pain, allergic reactions, attention and focus issues, and physical/emotional developmental delays.

 

How can chiropractic help with nursing difficulties?
The birth process is one of the most physically demanding things we go through in our entire lives; the physical trauma babies sustain during birth can interfere with normal breastfeeding. Chiropractic adjustments often help these babies (and their moms) nurse more comfortably and effectively; allowing the physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding to be prolonged.

Signs and Symptoms of Breastfeeding Dysfunction:

  • Poor/painful latch
  • Fussiness/Colic
  • Side preference
  • Jaw clicking/TMJ issues
  • Inadequate sucking
  • Excessive spit up/reflux
  • Inadequate milk supply
  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Mastitis

How does a baby or child get spinal nerve stress (subluxation)?
From stress.  It may occur in infancy from a difficult birth or from childhood falls.  Later in childhood, emotional tension, sports injuries, falls, or dietary stress can gradually damage your spine. The resulting irritation can be the cause of many newborn/childhood health complaints.

 

When should a child be checked by a chiropractor?
Significant spinal trauma can occur during the birthing process.  It is beneficial and completely safe to have a newborn checked to remove stresses caused during birth.  As the infant grows and reaches new developmental milestones, it will be important to have a child regularly checked by a Doctor of Chiropractic.

Parents take children to regular appointments to check their eyes and teeth.  Spinal check-ups are of the same importance.  We only get one spine.  It is vital to take care of the one we have!

 

What happens to the child who is not checked and adjusted?
Birth to adolescence is a period of rapid growth and development.  If neglected, spinal stress may lead to more serious problems in life.  Subtle trauma during childhood will affect the future development of the spine which leads to impaired nervous system function.  This will adversely affect the body’s ability to optimally function.

 

Are adjustments safe if the child is under medical care?
Absolutely! Having spinal nerve stress corrected is important no matter the type of care the child is receiving.  MD’s and other healers are not trained in detecting and correcting spinal nerve stress (Vertebral Subluxation).  Chiropractic should be a part of your family’s healthcare regimen – to obtain optimal wellness and prevent disease.

 

Assuming I am going to take my child to a chiropractor, how are exams and treatments performed?
Chiropractors spend years of highly specialized training in order to locate where misplaced spinal vertebrae are impinging nerves which travel down the spinal cord and out through the spinal column to the muscles, organs, and glands of the body.  After taking a thorough case history, the chiropractic exam involves locating the vertebrae impinging nerves,  depending on age and necessity, the chiropractor may take X-Rays. After all of the information has been gathered, the chiropractor – using various highly specialized techniques, is able to replace the misplaced vertebrae and thus release pressure on the nerves.  This is called a Spinal Adjustment.  Adjustments for children are gentle, low-force, and safe.

 

Prenatal Chiropractic

Chiropractic care offers non-invasive and drug-fee benefits for expecting mothers before, during, and after the many changes of pregnancy.

Just ask any mother or mother-to-be.  They will probably tell you that pregnancy can be a real pain! Studies have found that about half of all expectant mothers will develop low-back pain at some point during their pregnancies. This is especially true during late pregnancy, when the baby’s head presses down on a woman’s back, legs, and buttocks, irritating her sciatic nerve. And for those who already suffer from low-back pain, the problem can become even worse.
Dr. Whitney understands the unique changes and physical stresses that come with pregnancy, labor and delivery.   She is committed to helping mothers find comfort during a special, exciting time.  She has taken time to earn her post-doctorate degree in pediatric and prenatal chiropractic care.  She received her Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics through the International Chiropractic Association’s Pediatric Council.

During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity almost immediately begins to shift forward to the front of her pelvis.  As the baby grows in size, the woman’s weight is projected even farther forward, and the curvature of her lower back is increased, placing extra stress on the spinal discs. In compensation, the head moves forward often times leading to neck and shoulder pain, as well as headaches and carpal tunnel. While these changes sound dramatic, pregnancy hormones help loosen the ligaments attached to the pelvic bones. But even these natural changes designed to accommodate the growing baby can result in postural imbalances, making pregnant women prone to having awkward trips and falls.

What about chiropractic care and breech deliveries?

Dr. Whitney is trained in a specific chiropractic analysis and adjusting technique which enables chiropractors to establish balance in the pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments.

This balanced state in the pelvis has been clinically shown to allow for optimal fetal positioning. The technique is known as the Webster Technique.

It is considered normal by some for a baby to present breech until the third trimester. Most birth practitioners are not concerned with breech presentations until a patient is 37 weeks along. Approximately 4% of all pregnancies result in a breech presentation.

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.

Further, the results from the study suggest it may be beneficial to perform the Webster Technique, as soon as the 8th month of pregnancy, when a woman has a breech presentation.

Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy.

With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis and worry associated with breech and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether.

Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and, therefore, results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.

Is chiropractic during pregnancy safe?

ABSOLUTELY!

Benefits of chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy

  • Improve posture
  • Relieve pressure on the spine and nerves
  • Reduce tension and pain
  • A properly functioning nervous system leads to less stress and more energy
  • Relieving pressure on the spine and nerves promotes healthy immune and digestive function

Additional ‘Side Effects’ may include:

  • Shorter labor times with less intervention
  • Improved recovery from labor and delivery
  • Healthy pregnancies and deliveries lead to healthy babies!

Chiropractors and pregnancy: Talk to Your Health Care Provider

As more women are seeking the benefits of chiropractic care throughout pregnancy, more health care providers are seeking trained doctors of chiropractic in their communities to refer their pregnant patients to.

Discuss these options with your health care provider. If they are not yet familiar with chiropractic care in pregnancy, ask them to find out more about its many benefits.

Most importantly, seek options that support your body’s natural abilities to function and find a team of providers who are respectful of your choices.

Helpful hints from the American Chiropractic Association:

Exercise

  • Safe exercise during pregnancy can help strengthen your muscles and prevent discomfort. Try exercising at least three times a week, gently stretching before and after exercise. If you weren’t active before your pregnancy, check with your doctor before starting or continuing any exercise.
  • Walking, swimming, and stationary cycling are relatively safe cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women because they do not require jerking or bouncing movements. Jogging can be safe for women who were avid runners before becoming pregnant-if done carefully and under a doctor’s supervision.
  • Be sure to exercise in an area with secure footing to minimize the likelihood of falls. Your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute during exercise. Strenuous activity should last no more than 15 minutes at a time.
  • Stop your exercise routine immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding, dizziness, nausea, weakness, blurred vision, increased swelling, or heart palpitations.

Health and Safety

  • Wear flat, sensible shoes. High or chunky heels can exacerbate postural imbalances and make you less steady on your feet, especially as your pregnancy progresses.
  • When picking up children, bend from the knees, not the waist. And never turn your head when you lift. Avoid picking up heavy objects, if possible.
  • Get plenty of rest. Pamper yourself and ask for help if you need it. Take a nap if you’re tired, or lie down and elevate your feet for a few moments when you need a break.

Pregnancy Ergonomics: Your Bed and Desk

  • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees to take pressure off your lower back. Full-length “body pillows” or “pregnancy wedges” may be helpful. Lying on your left side allows unobstructed blood flow and helps your kidneys flush waste from your body.
  • If you have to sit at a computer for long hours, make your workstation ergonomically correct. Position the computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below your eye level, and place your feet on a small footrest to take pressure off your legs and feet. Take periodic breaks every 30 minutes with a quick walk around the office.

Nutrition

  • Eat small meals or snacks every four to five hours-rather than the usual three large meals-to help keep nausea or extreme hunger at bay. Snack on crackers or yogurt-bland foods high in carbohydrates and protein. Keep saltines in your desk drawer or purse to help stave off waves of “morning sickness.”
  • Supplementing with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day before and during pregnancy has been shown to decrease the risk of neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida. Check with your doctor before taking any vitamin or herbal supplement to make sure it’s safety for you and the baby.

 

Interested in making your

pregnancy, labor, and delivery

safer and more enjoyable?