Thursday, June 23, 2011
Babies, Birth and Upper Cervical Care
Was Your Baby Injured During the Birth
by Dr. Bill Davis
Many new Moms and Dads will ask if it is possible for an infant to be misaligned during the birth process. Good question!
Modern birthing methods of having the Mom push the baby out without gravity working to your advantage, laying flat on your back is a prescription for increased force into the head and neck of the baby in and of itself. But then you introduce all the drugs used during the birth process, which includes an epidural which numbs the area that a woman typically would feel when pushing. And the introduction of drugs like pitocin to induce delivery often before the baby is ready for delivery, can lead to prolonged labors and an increase likelihood of birth trauma. Also practice of a doctor pulling during delivery with 50-70 pounds of force into the infant’s head from the birth canal and instruments like forceps and vacuum extraction can lead to a variety of different birth injuries. C-sections can also be very traumatic as the baby is pulled out of a small incision. (Check out this blog for helpful info and resources on nonintervention birthing)
So much so that women are told things like “yes your baby fractured their clavicle during the birth process, but that is normal.”
What?! What is normal about a fracture during birth? It may be common…but that doesn’t make it normal.
Now an important consideration is that not all infants are misaligned. In fact, in my experience even with the severity of forces that are used in the majority of American births, most babies are not misaligned. On average, of the babies that I have checked over the years only about 10-20% are misaligned at birth.
But if a child is misaligned at birth it is critical to get that misalignment corrected as soon as possible.
A misalignment of the Atlas, the top bone in the neck (the most likely bone to misalign during the birth process) has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, colic, ear infections, acid reflux and many other neurological conditions related to brain stem dysfunction and accompanying symptoms.
So what are some ways that a parent may assess their own child to determine if their baby should be evaluated for an upper neck misalignment?
The easiest situation would be if your child begins to develop symptoms of any kind. Such as ear infections. If a child is having ear infections a frequent cause is a misalignment in the upper neck that leads to poor drainage of the ears because the nerves that control the ears begin in the upper neck.
Or if your baby has colic. Colic is frequently related to a vagus nerve irritation from an upper neck misalignment during birth. Once the misalignment is corrected. The colic often will go away immediately.
Or a variety of other symptoms that most pediatricians and parents will think that the child needs medications to cover up rather than seeking an underlying cause.
But if you have a seemingly healthy child who has not developed any symptoms yet then you can look at a few different things. Such as when the baby lays flat on their back do they have a tendency to always have their head turned in one direction? Or can you feel if the musculature in the lower back area near the pelvis is symmetrical from side to side? Or can you feel that one side is much tighter than the other?
If you are unsure about any of these things find a local upper cervical doctor in your area to check your baby as soon as possible. It can make all the difference in the world for the growth, development and the health of your son or daughter.
The other wonderful aspect of finding problems early in the life of your child is that the frequency needed of an correction. A infant corrected at birth of within the first year of life may be able to hold that one correction for months if not years. So get your kids checked…there really is no downside to having a properly aligned spinal column and properly functioning brain and nerve system.
And a skilled upper cervical doctor will be able to correct this misalignment without any popping, cracking or twisting of the spine. A gentle and precise force to realign the atlas is the key.
(Editor's note: Remember the objective of upper cervical care is to correct head neck misalignment that is interfering with proper brain to body communication. When this is corrected the body functions at a higher level and can often correct other problems more efficiently on its own. Please do not confuse upper cervical care as a treatment for any condition, disease or symptom.)