Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby Chiropractor

I mentioned taking Connor to the chiropractor in my MRI post and have been meaning to write a post about it...

During my Bradley Childbirth Class, we had a chiropractor, Dr. A, come in and give a little presentation about the benefits of seeing a chiropractor while pregnant and bringing your baby to one after birth. Her practice specializes in treating pregnant women, babies, and children. She explained the gentle way they evaluated and treated babies. I was already seeing a chiropractor and this one was an hour away so I continued to see my chiropractor up until Connor was born (and then a couple times since). 

When Connor started getting really gassy around 3 weeks, I wondered if maybe I should take him to get him checked by the chiropractor to see if he had any spinal issues causing his digestive issues. I kept putting it off because of how far away the office is. Then after his 2 month well-check and the doctor telling me she thought he had reflux, I knew it was time to take him in. I know several other moms who took their babies to a chiropractor for reflux and it helped. Plus I had been noticing that no matter how I laid him down, Connor tended to favor turning his head to the left and I knew that wasn't right.

So I finally called and set up an evaluation with the chiropractor. I felt comfortable taking him to see her since she specializes in treating babies and has been doing so for many years. Plus I had already seen her presentation and knew that she would be doing gentle adjustments, not the kind of manipulations adults get. They use their finger tips for the babies and there's no popping or cracking sounds or even any quick movements. At the initial evaluation, the Dr. A explained to me that she would do a brief look at him first to see if he would even need the full evaluation. I told her his issues and explained the things I had noticed and she did end up needing to do the full evaluation after seeing those things for herself. He definitely had subluxations and would benefit from adjustments.

We went the following week to his first appointment where his treatment plan was explained and he got his first adjustment. Turns out, Connor has the same problem areas as momma... top of his neck (which is the worst for us both), between his shoulder blades, and his hips (and Dr. A is not my chiropractor so she was unaware what my problem areas were). She told us that a lot of the kids they see with subluxations high up in the neck get a lot of ear infections.... hmmm.... I had a lot of ear infections as a kid so maybe my neck issue started way back then which is why it's so bad now. Back to Connor....The plan would be for him to come three times a week the first two weeks, then twice a week for two weeks, then once a week for a month and then he should be good. They also require new patients to attend two of their free workshops on taking care of your spine within the first 6 weeks so that you aren't undoing at home what they are fixing in the office. I really liked that they are looking to make sure you don't have to keep coming back and that they're patients are better for the long haul after seeing them. The two I signed up for were the basic spinal hygiene 101 class and the one dealing with babies. Connor's first adjustment went well and I started seeing results within the first 24 hours. That night, he slept part of the night with his head turned to the right, was spitting up a little less already, and tummy time the next day amazed me. Connor had hated tummy time and would tolerate it a little better on the boppy but still seemed to always struggle with it.  

Here is a tummy time picture pre-chiropractor. He would pretty much keep his face down like this the whole time, lifting it away from the pillow slightly, but still facing the floor.

Here is a picture of tummy time after his first adjustment, huge improvement! He lifted his head up the whole time and was much happier! I have video of this session too and his head is up off the boppy for most of the time :). 

Dr. A even called the next night to check and see how he was doing :). Now after two full weeks, Connor does better with tummy time, sleeps sometimes with his head to the right, has much better movement of his head and will voluntarily turn it to the right more often, he rarely spits up and now it's usually just if he eats to much too fast and some of it comes back up, and he's less gassy too! He loves the chiropractor and seems so much happier since we started going. I just wish they were closer since Connor has to be stuck in the car seat a lot on appointment days, but at least we'll be down to twice a week next week and then only once a week for May and that should be it. With the improvement I'm seeing, it's definitely worth it!

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