Category Archives: Pediatric

Chiropractic and Breastfeeding

 

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Special congratulations to all mothers and babies that have been working hard to continue to breastfeed! In honor of the week, we’d like to share an article from Pathways to Family Wellness, written by Jeanne Ohm. It touches on how chiropractic care can be that missing link between breastfeeding difficulties and successful breastfeeding. One reason Dr. Dodge prefers to see newborns for an initial wellness exam in the first two weeks is because many babies, even after simple, natural births, have cervical subluxations, cranial misalignments, and fascial restrictions. Chiropractic care with a provider who performs cranial adjustments and myofascial release can significantly influence a baby’s ability to breastfeed successfully. We’ve seen many babies turn their heads better and nurse more comfortably on one side than they had minutes before, or moms that immediately noticing less discomfort when latching. Read the full article to learn more!

Pathways Article: Breastfeeding Difficulties and Chiropractic

“In the case of breastfeeding difficulty, as with many childhood disorders, the cause of the problem often traces back to undetected biomechanical injuries to the spine and cranium at birth. The failure to recognize these biomechanical injuries and their relationship to difficulty in breastfeeding leads to incorrect conclusions and therefore, inadequate recommendations and treatments. Without real solutions, mothers become discouraged, successful breastfeeding is not achieved, and women stop trying out of frustration.”

PART TWO: Wellness for the Family Series at the Coppell Aquatic and Recreation Center



Don’t miss Dr. Dodge’s next Wellness for the Family Series talk! Part 2: Natural Remedies for Childhood Illnesses will be taught at the Coppell Aquatic and Rec Center Tuesday, Feb 19th and Saturday, Feb 23rd, both at 10:30am. Children are welcome! The class is free and open to the public.

In this next class, Dr. Dodge will talk about natural options and remedies for common childhood illnesses. If your family is like ours, you’ve dealt with allergies, digestive issues, ezcema, ear infections, colic, sore throats and coughs, congestion, and more. This is the talk for you! Come learn how to approach many different issues with holistic, natural alternatives.

Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces

 

 

Have you ever seen a baby wearing a light yellow or multicolored yellow necklace? Chances are, that baby’s mama is not making a fashion statement. When our oldest child started teething, I looked into options to reduce drool, lessen his discomfort, and get better sleep (for both of us!).  One of my favorite parenting sites, mothering.com, had lots of suggestions for amber teething necklaces. I was confused – So, the baby chews on beads? I read on…no, the baby just wears this necklace all day. We ordered one and put it right on. It took a few days, but I saw a decrease in drool for sure. It also seemed like he was sleeping more peacefully – waking up still, but not crying when he woke. The amber necklace made teething a much less stressful experience! Enter drool-machine baby sister. By two months she had her very own amber necklace, and I got to stop changing her shirt three times a day! No teeth for baby girl yet, but I am happy to have this natural pain reliever for when those first teeth do come! So what exactly is Baltic amber, and how does it work?

Baltic amber is a fossil resin formed by pine trees that grew in Europe 40-45 million years ago. Baltic amber has been used for hundreds of years, especially in Europe, as a natural remedy and pain reliever. Baltic amber contains 3-8% succinic acid, the main constituent allowing for the common effects of wearing amber.

Baltic amber is typically used in the form of jewelry. Adults, children, and babies wear necklaces with amber beads for an extended period of time.  Oils and heat from the body allow for trace amounts of the amber’s constituents, namely succinic acid, to be released and absorbed by the wearer.

Succinic acid acts an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cell membranes by eliminating free radicals, which cause inflammation on the cellular level. Succinic acid is considered to act as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

Baltic amber is commonly used for babies and toddlers for teething pain.  The properties of the amber promote reduced inflammation in the gums, as well as act as a natural pain reliever. Signs of this include less drooling, redness, irritability, and restless sleep.  Amber is also widely used for joint pain and arthritic complaints.  Because Baltic amber acts as an antioxidant at the cellular level, it is able to boost the body’s overall wellness.

Teething can be a tough time for babies and parents. Inflammation, pain, and disrupted sleep can make for irritable babies and tired parents! It is normal for parents to seek help for this tough period, but our culture is bombarded with solutions that are not very healthy for our families.  The negative affects of acetaminophen and common topical analgesics are widely known, but parents may feel that they have no alternatives. Amber necklaces are a holistic, inexpensive option for helping baby cope with teething.

When choosing an amber necklace for your child, select a style that fits close to the neck and cannot reach the mouth.  Necklaces should also have individually knotted beads and screw clasps for ideal safety.  Babies should not wear the jewelry without adult supervision.  Amber is also not recommended to be worn in the bath or shower, as residue from soaps can affect the absorption. Amber varies in its levels of succinic acid – the highest levels of succinic acid are found in lighter colors and less polished forms, though darker varieties of true Baltic amber have high levels of succinic acid.

Happy teething! For more natural living tips, articles, and support, “like” us Facebook!

 Chiropractic for Babies? Yes!

 

Did you know that 95% of newborns have misalignments in their cranial bones, atlas, and/or cervical vertebrae due to the stress of birth? Even the most gentle of births can result in subluxations. The alignment of the spine sets the foundation for building a healthy immune system and for normal childhood development. Chiropractic adjustments also help with many childhood conditions and concerns! Read more about why children get adjusted!

The primary techniques I’ve chosen to use in my practice are non-force and very low-force – they are safe for all ages, including newborns. The pressure applied to a newborn is approximately the pressure it would take to indent a soft pillow with a finger. If you are choosing a chiropractor in your area to treat your children, I recommend you call and confirm their training or certification with the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association.

Chiropractic Care for Newborns and Children

 

 

Children develop 65% of their nervous system within the first year of life and 80% by the time they are two years old.

A very common question I receive fairly often is “Can chiropractic help my child with this?” My response is typically yes – chiropractic care can likely help with a number of childhood concerns. More and more parents are asking about chiropractic care for their children, as they hear anecdotal stories and read research of how chiropractic care helps with the symptoms of colic, reflux, allergies, ear infections, etc.  As I talk with parents about how adjustments help common concerns, many parents are still surprised to hear the many benefits of chiropractic care for newborns and wellness care for children. I’ve found that a quick explanation of how chiropractic works helps families understand why regular adjustments are important for developing children and for taking a wellness approach to the family’s health.

Chiropractors are doctors that work to optimize the health and function of the nervous system.  They achieve this by performing an adjustment to restore motion and balance to the spine, which frees the nervous system from interference.  “Interference” is what we call it when nerves restricted or otherwise negatively affected by misalignment or subluxation – this disrupts the signal the body receives and sends via those nerves. When the nervous system is free of interference then many of the symptoms of disease dissipate because the body is able to heal itself and function properly.  The adjustment delivered by the chiropractor can come in many forms. There are many techniques that can be utilized to restore optimal health to the nervous system.  Many chiropractors will cater to each patient in order to give them the type of adjustment that will best suit them and help achieve optimal function. This is true in the case of adjusting children, infants and newborns.  The same force that a chiropractor may utilize to adjust an adult patient is not the same force they will use to adjust your newborn baby.  Chiropractors trained through the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) have been trained on how to properly and safely adjust a newborn, infant and older child. Chiropractors normally will use just the tip of their finger to place light pressure on the vertebrae of a newborn (typically as little pressure as you can place on your eye comfortably). These 6-8 ounces of pressure is enough to realign an infant’s spine and restore optimal nervous system health. There is never any rotating or twisting of the baby’s neck or back. It is a very gentle and safe process.  There have been studies performed that have proven the safety of chiropractic care for children. The most recent published study stated the following in the discussion:

“Of 1161 clinical cases presenting the gamut of both non-musculoskeletal and musculoskeletal complaints, less than one percent reported minor adverse events spanning 10, 249 office visits. Sixty-six percent reported improvements in their presenting complaints while another 8% reported improvements unrelated to their presenting complaints.”1

But why would a newborn need chiropractic care? Well, just like any other person, newborns and children experience a variety of stress on their bodies and nervous system. Initially, babies can experience physical stress in utero from obtaining a less than optimal position (transverse, breech, asynclitic, ect.).  They also experience the pressure and force of contractions and the trauma of the birth process. Many babies have their head pulled during a Cesarean section or a vacuum or forceps extraction. But even a completely natural birth with no interventions is a very stressful event for an infant with an immature nervous system. One study by G. Gutmann stated that 80 % of newborns, out of one thousand examined, had nervous system dysfunction. Another by V. Fryman, which examined 1,250 five-day-old babies, showed that 95% had misalignments in their neck. Children develop 65% of their nervous system within the first year of life and 80% by the time they are two years old. It is important to have a newborn checked by a chiropractor to ensure that their nervous system is free of interference and can develop and grow in an optimal state. When the nervous system is functioning optimally, children are able to focus and learn better, digest and absorb nutrients from food better, and they spend less time expressing illness because of a fully functioning immune system. The nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue and organ in the body. Therefore, if a child has interference that is not detected and corrected by a chiropractor, they may develop symptoms later in childhood such as colic, reflux, allergies, ear infections, fussiness during tummy time, breastfeeding difficulties, sleeping difficulties, and many others.

As children grow and get older it is a good idea to have them checked at milestones or after any experienced trauma or accident.  When a baby learns to sit up, crawl and walk, there are different stresses place on the spine, which could lead interference to develop in the nervous system.  Many children have falls on the playground or are in the car during a motor vehicle accident and should be checked to make sure that they are functioning properly and their nervous system is working optimally. Children today are eating a lot more processed foods that lack nutrition. This exposure to the different chemicals in their food can lead to imbalance in the body and interference in the nervous system. Chiropractors can help remove the imbalance in the body and also guide parents to help them make healthier decisions for their children.  Many Chiropractors who work with children and families are more holistically inclined and can help improve the overall health of the family children. Families that are visiting the chiropractor regularly benefit from his or her expertise in wellness – chiropractors take numerous courses in nutrition and healthy living.

The immediate result of chiropractic is to remove interference to the nervous system through use of the chiropractic adjustment and allow the body to function better, but the long-term effects and goal is to help adults, children and families live healthier, happier lives.

 

 

1)    Alcantara, Joel BSc, DC, Kunz, Derek  BS Ohm, Jeanne, DC. (2009, September). The Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic: A Survey of Chiropractors and Parents in a Practice-Based Research Network Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing.http://www.explorejournal.com/article/S1550-8307(09)00207-9/fulltext

2)    Siddle, Belinda D.C. (2008, June). Chiropractic Care for Children. Pathways to Family Wellnesshttp://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/component/option,com_crossjoomlaarticlemanager/Itemid,271/aid,1461/view,crossjoomlaarticlemanager/

3)    (2009, Winter). Adjusting to a New Life. Pathways to Family Wellness.http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/component/option,com_crossjoomlaarticlemanager/Itemid,164/aid,1824/view,crossjoomlaarticlemanager/

 

*While most chiropractors are taught how to adjust children in the standard doctorate program, the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association offers an extensive diplomate training and certification program. To ensure that your choice of chiropractor is optimally prepared to adjust each member of your family, ask if they are ICPA trained or certified, or check out icpa4kids.org’s directory.