The Effects of Childbirth on a Baby’s Spine

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If you’ve ever seen a movie where a woman gives birth, the whole experience was likely painted to be a peaceful, calm moment where both mother and baby ooh and ahh at each other in perfect contentment. But if you’ve ever given birth yourself or heard real life stories of women giving birth, you know that the movie version is not exactly like real life.

For many women, childbirth is quite a traumatic experience. Sure, they get to bring home their baby afterward, but the physical exhaustion and pain of the entire experience is incomparable. Most people assume that the mom gets the brunt of the trauma and discomfort of childbirth, but did you know that childbirth is actually quite physically traumatic for babies as well?

Both the birthing process itself and the common birthing interventions present in modern-day medicine have contributed to brain stem injury, spinal cord damage, and vertebral subluxations leading to future problems in countless newborns. Due to the position that many women are in during labor, which is flat on their backs with their feet in stirrups, the mom’s and baby’s bodies have to work harder for birth to take place. Without the assistance of gravity or the ability of mom to move around freely during labor, babies often experience injuries related to extreme traction or pulling of the head, rotational stresses of the head and neck, or hyperextension of the baby’s head or spinal cord. These are all done in an effort to move labor along and deliver the baby quickly, but with less room to move because of a sitting, compressed pelvis and without gravity helping the baby make its way through the birth canal, doctors are often rougher than they need to be, particularly in comparison to if mom was in a position more conducive to birthing.

While many medical doctors still don’t look to the spine or brain stem for a root cause of problems after birth, research is finding that with the more interventions utilized during the birthing process, the more significant the spinal subluxations are in a newborn. For example, if a baby was delivered with forceps or vacuum extraction while the mother was lying on her back with her feet in stirrups, the baby is more likely to have vertebral subluxations immediately following birth than a baby who was delivered with no instruments to a mom who was squatting.

Why Chiropractic Care Is Important for Babies

Misalignments in the spine at birth can lead to a number of issues, including spinal cord injury, skull compression, colic, sleep problems, unwillingness to feed from a particular breast (due to lack of ability to turn head one way), general discomfort from possible head and neck pain, digestion issues (due to compression of nerve associated with digestion), and other possible long-term effects associated with vertebral subluxations.

The absolute best thing you can do for your newborn is to take him or her to a pediatric chiropractor. A chiropractor who works with children and babies will know what to look for in newborns and will be able to help resolve multiple short-term and long-term issues that stemmed from subluxations from the birthing process. Many children and parents have seen relief from so-called “common” newborn problems after undergoing pediatric chiropractic adjustments, and many of them never even knew chiropractic could help their seemingly fussy baby. A study in 2009 followed 114 babies that had “sub-optimal infant breastfeeding” at 12 weeks old or younger. Most of these individuals had seen multiple medical professionals, including lactation consultants, with little to no improvement. After just four chiropractic adjustments, 78% of the babies were exclusively breastfed with success. This is simply one example of the countless benefits that pediatric chiropractic can have for your newborn and your life as a new mom.

Come see Dr. Grant at Greater Life Chiropractic, where nearly 30% of our practice members are kids, and give the gift of health and spinal alignment to your newborn today.




Miller et al. Efficacy Of Chiropractic Manual Therapy On Infant Colic: A Pragmatic Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 35, Number 8.


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