Being a parent to a young baby is not usually easy at the best of times. Working with sleep times, feeding times, bathing times, nappy changes etc can be a real handful, and this is when everything is working normally!
If you then add to this the stress of having a baby that seems to be really unsettled all of the time or has ongoing health problems, it can make the journey of parenthood so much more difficult.
Ordinarily, parents will see their family doctor, their paediatrician or go to the hospital for help, but unfortunately conventional medical treatment is not always successful in getting a satisfactory outcome.
Then, you might come across someone who suggests perhaps taking the child to the chiropractor…
If you yourself are not a chiropractic patient, this might catch you a bit off guard. Some people might balk at the thought, or even have visions their child being twisted and pulled in every direction.
Well it might surprise you to learn that this is not likely to happen at all. Chiropractic techniques have evolved over decades to produce a positive experience for babies, parents and the chiropractor too.
First of all, you need to make some enquiries to find the right Adelaide chiropractor to visit. Ask yourself “Is there a chiropractor near me that works with babies and children?”. Research some websites and then call a number of clinics to ask if they provide chiropractic care for babies. You might even ask the chiropractor to return your call if you want to discuss the process before booking an appointment.
Once you find a chiropractic clinic you are comfortable with and have mad an appointment, then there are a number of steps before any treatment will take place.
(1) When you get to the clinic, it will be easy to tell if it is family friendly. There will often be kids toys to play with in the waiting room, and there may also be photos of other kids and babies up on the walls. Baby changing facilities may also be readily available, and the clinic staff will usually be more than happy to find you a private space to breast feed if you need to during your visit.
(2) You will be asked to complete a questionnaire which covers a lot of information about your baby, including current health concerns, how the pregnancy progressed, how the birth took place etc to establish as much information as possible regarding possible factors that are contributing to the problem you are seeking help with
(3) The chiropractor will explain the process of the initial examination. At Walkerville Chiropractic, babies are examined on the mums or dads lap. This gives them a feeling of safety and comfort in an otherwise unfamiliar environment. Prior to the examination starting, the chiropractor will tell you that none of the procedures performed today will injure the child, however as we may be touching areas that may be painful or uncomfortable, the baby might react or cry. You are certainly not required to keep the child silent and “well behaved” during the assessment and treatment. We totally understand that they might be upset or in pain (that’s why they’re here!) and will work around that.
(4) During the examination, the chiropractor will gently move the baby’s spine through a range of normal movements while it sits or lies down on the parent’s lap. If they work normally, then the baby will usually not react. If however, the movement is uncomfortable or painful, then the baby may resist, flinch or cry. These are valuable indicators that tell the chiropractor where the problem might be located, as the baby obviously can’t communicate any of this information verbally.
(5) Once any abnormal findings have been identified, these will be summarised and communicated to the parents.
(6) If adjustments are required, these may be performed in a number of ways. Some chiropractors use very light finger pressure to make the necessary adjustments, while others may use a small metal instrument (often called an “Activator”). Gentle massage techniques may also be applied to tight muscles that need to be released as well.
(7) The chiropractor will then recommend when they would like to check your baby next to follow up on their response to their first adjustment. They will usually give you a few suggestions regarding things to look for. This may include changes in sleep patterns, feeding patterns, crying patterns or bowel and bladder function. We don’t expect that the first visit will completely fix the problem, however it is not unusual to see changes very quickly with babies and young children, as their problems have not necessarily been deeply ingrained for months or years.
An important point to mention is that if during the examination and case history it becomes apparent that your child has a serious medical condition, then you will be referred for the appropriate medical care immediately. However, most parents who have seriously ill children will intuitively seek this care through a hospital or medical clinic anyway, so the likelihood that your child will be missing out on urgently required medical care is virtually zero.
At Walkerville Chiropractic, we welcome babies and children of all ages, we have a play corner for children to feel relaxed in the clinic as well as baby changing facilities for your comfort and convenience. If you have any questions about chiropractic care for babies, please call us and we will be happy to discuss the process with you.