At Schwenn Family Chiropractic, we see babies every day! There are dozens of reasons why we may adjust a baby, but one common reason in our office is due to difficulty with breastfeeding. As a doctor who specializes in pediatric chiropractic care in Marion, IA, Dr. Michelle Schwenn closely examines each little one to determine any spinal or cranium restrictions or asymmetries they may have. This helps the doctor to determine why a baby may not be able to latch properly or be efficient at the breast.
Craniosacral works in conjunction with chiropractic care. Craniosacral therapy is centered around the mobility of the central nervous system. This includes the brain, spinal cord, the dural membranes surrounding it, cranial bones and sutures, and the fluctuation of cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF). Making sure the cranium and spinal system are balanced, helps to optimize your little one's body. If your baby has tightness or restriction in certain muscle groups, they may struggle with breastfeeding. For example, if the jaw is tight, then baby cannot open wide enough to latch properly. If a baby has restriction motion in the neck, they can struggle to position themselves correctly with breastfeeding. These concerns can occur due to constraints before birth or from the birth process. These restrictions of spinal and cranial movement can affect the nerves that are essential for controlling the suck-swallow-breathe pattern that infants need in order to breastfeed.
Some of the indications that your breast-fed infant may need a chiropractic adjustment and craniosacral therapy:
Baby can’t sustain sucking or latch with a good seal
Baby can't coordinate breating, sucking, and swallowing
Baby can only feed in one position
Baby seems dissatisfied when nursing and seems distressed throughout the day
Baby chews and chomps the nipple, causing damage
Baby has constant suckling needs
How can we help? Your baby will be given a thorough examination and we will go over and medical history before the treatment begins. Adjusting a baby is VERY different from adjusting an adult. A baby's vertebrae are not fused together yet. Babies are much more flexible than adults and the ligaments are very lax. For newborns, the doctor uses about the same amount of pressure for an adjustment as you would use to test the ripeness of a tomato. Typically, if a newborn is sleeping when they arrive for treatment, they might not even wake up! After the spinal adjustment, the doctor will perform craniosacral therapy by gently holding the sacrum and occiput, feeling for an increase or decrease in the pulse of cerebro-spinal fluid. The doctor pays special attention to each bone of the skull and inside the mouth. During new patient examinations, the doctor also checks for any indication of a lip or tongue tie and refers the infant to a local pediatric dentist for evaluation if needed.
After the baby's adjustment and craniosacral work, the doctor with discuss further treatment and possible exercises to continue at home. Often times, it takes a team of professionals that may include your chiropractor, a pediatric dentist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, and/or a lactation consultant. Schwenn Family Chiropractic is honored to be part of the team helping your little one to grow and flourish at their optimum level!
Infant Chiropractic Adjustment