Tag Archives: Pediatric

Tongue Tied

Knowledge of tongue and lip ties has become more and more mainstream these days. We are seeing the impact these have on breastfeeding, oral development, and speech. More practitioners are learning how to diagnose and treat these conditions. This article will be a very brief explanation of what tongue ties and lip ties are, how they can impact you or your child’s health, and how to treat these conditions.

What Is a Tongue or Lip Tie?

First, lets look at what tongue and lip ties are. A tongue tie is when the frenulum, or band of connective tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth, causes restriction in the motion of the tongue. A lip tie is when the frenulum that connects the upper lip to the gums causes a restriction in the motion of the lip or causes structural change to the gums. There are also buccal ties that can occur too. These are less common but they form along the upper gum more towards the back teeth on either side. These connect the upper gum to the inner cheek. These tend to not cause the same amount of issues as the tongue and lip ties.

There are different grades to identify the type of lip and tongue tie. So lets start with the tongue tie classifications. There are four types of tongue ties and they are distinguished by where the tongue tie attaches to the tongue. They are not indicative of severity of the tie (type 4 is not worse than type 1). These numbers are based on Dr. Kotlow’s classification system for tongue ties. Pictures of these can be found at here.

– A Type 4 tongue tie is when the frenulum under the tongue attaches all the way to the tip of the tongue.

– A Type 3 tongue tie is when the frenulum attaches at the midline of the tongue.

– A Type 2 tongue tie is when the frenulum attaches to the tongue at a point posterior (behind) to the midline of the tongue.

– A Type 1 tongue tie is when only the posterior tissue is restrictive. This may not be observable without palpation of the tissue and may be hidden under the mucosal tissue beneath the tongue.

Now for the lip tie classification. Again, there are four classes of lip ties and they are distinct for the anatomical variations not based on severity.

– A Class 1 lip tie has no significant attachment to the gum line.

– A Class 2 lip tie attaches exclusively to the gingival (gum) tissue.

– A Class 3 lip tie attaches just in front of the anterior papilla (the edge of the gum tissue).

– A Class 4 lip tie attaches posterior to the papilla onto the hard palate.

Why Do People Have Lip or Tongue Ties?

So now that we know what we are looking at, lets look at why this occurs. During development the body grows as cells multiply and create different tissues. As these tissues grow and shape themselves, cells are produced and some cells are degraded, a process called apoptosis. This process requires different enzymes to have methyl groups (a carbon atom with three hydrogen atoms attached) attached to them so that the enzyme can be functional and do its job of degrading unnecessary tissue. This process runs smoothly for those with no methylation problems. However, more and more people today are expressing genetic anomalies such as MTHFR that disrupt the methylation process and make it harder for a person to add methyl groups to molecules to make them functional. So as a result more babies are being born with midline defects such as a lip and tongue tie. If you have an issue with methylating the best thing to do is start taking a Vitamin B complex that has methylated B vitamins (It should say folate as 5-methylfolate and Vitamin B12 as 5-methylcobalamine). You also want to eliminate any other supplement that has unmethylated B vitamins (these would say folate or folic acid and Vitamin B12). You also want to cut out any processed foods that are fortified with Folic Acid. Many breads and grain products will be fortified with an unmethylated form of Folic Acid.

 

What are Common Symptoms of a Lip or Tongue Tie?

Lip and tongue ties can be difficult to diagnose, but there are some common symptoms that occur when a lip or tongue tie is present. Babies can have difficulty nursing. This can manifest as a painful latch or pain while suckling, clicking, choking or gaging while nursing especially upon milk letdown, inability to transfer milk affectively (this leads to more frequent nursing), shallow latch, or all together an inability to latch. Babies may also have digestive symptoms such as reflux, gassiness, spitting up, or colic. As the mother you may experience pain while nursing, creased or flat nipples after nursing, dryness or cracks on the nipple due to too much friction while nursing, clogged milk ducts, mastitis, or low milk supply. While these are not symptoms exclusive to lip and tongue ties, they are very common symptoms that should influence you toward getting evaluated by a professional.

 

What Can be Done?

Once it is determined that your baby has a lip or tongue tie there are a few options to help resolve the issue. Non invasive solutions include bodywork, myofascial therapy, chiropractic care, and craniosacral therapy. These focus on releasing the tight connective tissue, improving structural alignment, and increasing cranial and dural motion. This can be helpful in cases where the ties are not as severe and there are more mild symptoms. However, a more invasive treatment may be necessary. There are two different frenectomy procedures that are available that involve cutting the frenulum. One involves using scissors to cut the tissue. This procedure is typically done when there is an obvious anterior component to the tongue tie. Typically this procedure does not cut far enough back to eliminate any posterior components of the tongue tie. However, you may find a good pediatric dentist who will do a thourough procedure to release both anterior and posterior components. The other frenectomy procedure involves a cutting laser. A pediatric dentist trained in lip and tongue tie revision will use the laser to remove the excess tissue allowing for immediate increase in motion of the tongue and/or lip. After care requires stretches every few hours to prevent reattachment. Once the laser revision is performed it is ideal to have bodywork, craniosacral therapy or chiropractic care to help release and unwind any underlying restrictions that still remain. The ties are like the tip of the iceberg, there can be a lot of underlying restriction and tightness that is not obvious, but can continue to affect function. Results after the laser revision can vary quite a bit. Some mothers notice an immediate improvement and can feel like the revision completely corrected all the problems. However, there are times when there seems to be little to no immediate improvement. This is when bodywork and chiropractic care is especially necessary. The underlying tightness needs to be released in order to notice improvement and is necessary when attempting suck retraining exercises. If there are still restrictions within the cranium, jaw, neck, upper back and throat, then nursing and suck retraining exercises are going to be hindered. Suck retraining exercises can be given to you by your lactation consultant (the lactation consultants we used are referenced at the bottom of the article).

What Can Happen if Nothing is Done?

So what can happen if you decide to leave the tongue or lip tie alone and not pursue any revision or fascial therapy? There are many possibilities. One being that there may not be any obvious issues, adaptations, or symptoms later in life. However, with the abnormal structure present of a lip and/or tongue tie there will be adaptations necessary, obvious or not, and there is a likelihood that other symptoms would arise. Some common symptoms are speech difficulties, gapping in the teeth, early or worsened tooth decay, narrow maxillary and mandible (jaw) development causing sinus problems or TMJ issues, headaches, neck/upper back/shoulder pain and tightness, reflux, digestive issues, torticollis, plagiocephaly and possibly others. Speech issues can be an obvious sign if the child was not diagnosed with a tie earlier. Most children will have trouble with R, S, L, Z, D, N, T, Y, K, -NG, CH, TH, SH, and –dge although other sounds may be difficult as well. Having a tongue tie can lead to mouth breathing which can contribute to asthma, allergies, sleep apnea, snoring, and enlarged tonsils/adenoids. Ear infections may be more prominent in someone with a tongue tie because the back of the tongue can not elevate enough to equalize the pressure in the Eustachian tubes. This can lead to fluid build up that can not drain properly, allowing for an environment for the growth of a bacteria or virus. When children get older the swallow mechanics are altered due to the tongue tie and can affect drinking from a straw or how the child is able to swallow foods.

 

What Needs to Be Done After a Revision?

If you choose to have the lip and tongue ties revised with the cutting laser or scissors, there are several things to be aware of and to include in the care of your child. As mentioned earlier, there are varied degrees of improvement in symptoms with the frenectomy. Stretches for the tongue and lip should be shown to you at the time of the frenectomy and are typically done every few hours for the first 1-2 weeks and continued at a less frequent rate until the tissue is fully healed (about 1 month). Suck retraining exercises may be necessary to help strengthen the muscles necessary for a good latch and proper suckle. Bodywork, Craniosacral Therapy, and/or chiropractic care is very important regardless of the degree of tie and regardless of the type of symptoms you see. Very commonly, those with lip and tongue ties also have a tight dural tube. The dural tube is the connective tissue that surrounds the nervous system, the brain and spinal cord down to the sacrum. Unwinding the tightness in the dura and throughout the body will help your child feel more at ease and comfortable. Tummy time is another important addition to care after a frenectomy. Tongue and lip ties affect cranial nerve function, restrict normal range of motion and can diminish the baby’s ability to develop proper head control. Along with removing restrictions by utilizing chiropractic care and bodywork, having your baby build the muscles responsible for head control and movement helps to strengthen cranial nerve function and encourage a proper development. Children and adults over the age of 2 may benefit from orofacial myofunctional therapy. An orofacial myofunctional therapist works to help strengthen the tongue and other facial muscles to help correct breathing, chewing and swallowing issues that may still be present after a lip or tongue tie revision.

It is improtant to remember that not every child is the same and there are so many variables that can impact the decision of how to care for your child’s lip and/or tongue tie. Not every tongue tie will need a frenectomy. Some children can reestablish proper function just through chiropractic care and bodywork. Other children may need a frenectomy to be able to reestablish proper function. Tongue ties and lip ties can be a complex and sometimes overwhelming issue to navigate. However, with the right team of care providers on your side it can become a lot more manageable; and you can rest assured you are doing everything you can to help you and your baby thrive together. Below are a few trusted providers that we have used and referred others to.

Holistic Dentist (Lip & Tongue Tie Preferred Provider)

Dr. Preetha Thomas, DMD, Enclave Dental – www.enclavedental.com

Lactation Consultant

Mellanie Sheppard, IBCLC, RLC (and associates) – For Babies’ Sake – www.forbabiessake.com

The Importance of Cranial Rhythm and 7 Ways to Help Maintain Proper Motion

Many of us know that babies are born with soft spots where their skull is not fully bone yet. We also know that the skull becomes all bone, therefore the soft spots or fontanelles, close at a certain point in childhood (the last one closes usually around 2 years old). Most of us, however, do not realize that the bones in our head move in a rhythmic motion from before we are born throughout our entire lives, regardless of whether our cranial sutures and fontanelles close. This motion is vital to not only brain and nervous system function, but it is vital for whole body function.

Origins of Cranial Adjusting/Craniosacral Therapy

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Dr. William Sutherland, an osteopathic doctor, was the first to recognize that the movement of the cranial bones and eventually uncovered a rhythmic fluid motion that encompassed the entire body.  He called this rhythm the “primary respiratory mechanism”. This mechanism includes the rhythmic motion of the cranial bones, nervous system, and spine along with fluctuations in cerebral spinal fluid flow and shifting tension among dural membranes (connective tissue surrounding the brain and nervous system). These movements are all involuntary and completely separate from cardiac pulse and breathing. Dr. Sutherland believed that a skilled practitioner connecting with this primary respiratory mechanism could bring about a therapeutic effect and therefore enhance health.

Many other Doctors and Chiropractors came to understand the importance of cranial motion and developed their own techniques to ensure proper movement. Major Bertrand Dejarnette developed Sacro Occipital Technique. Dr George Goodheart developed Applied Kinesiology. One of the most well-known and heard of techniques is Craniosacral Technique developed by Dr. John Upledger. Over 50 years after Dr. Sutherland, Dr. Upledger discovered this same rhythmic motion in the dural connective tissue while he was preforming surgery. He notice there was movement of the nervous system and dura that was at a different rate than the respiration and cardiac pulse of the patient. He later performed many years of research that became the basis of Craniosacral Technique. This technique allows a practitioner to contact the sacrum as well as the cranial bones, and due to the dural attachement from the cranial bones through the spinal column to the sacrum, correct the primary respiratory mechanism. Both Dr. Sutherland and Dr. Upledger believed that this mechanism was a mechanism that could be used for self-healing, and that at the hands of a skilled practitioner one could see improvements in health.

More recent histological and anatomical examination of the cranial sutures have validated that they are not completely fused and in fact have intricate articulations that allow specific movements. The 106 articulations between the 22 cranial bones all are shaped and connected to allow for the rhythmic motion of the primary respiratory mechanism. This motion occurs 6-12 times per minute. Disruptions in this motion can affect the entire body and cause physical or emotional symptoms. Dural or fascial restrictions can affect cranial nerve function and stimulation. It can also affect cerebral spinal fluid flow and therefore impact the nutrient and water distribution to different areas of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. For example, dural tissue attached at the temporal bones is contiguous with fascia of the carotid sheath (this contains part of the vagus nerve), the fibrous pericardium (around the heart), and the respiratory diaphragm. Therefore, a restriction in the dural tissue at the temporal bone can affect vagal stimulation as well as cardiac and respiratory function.

A well-functioning primary respiratory mechanism allows for full cranial and dural movement, as well as proper cerebral spinal fluid fluctuation. With this mechanism working properly, there is no interference occurring in the nervous system and no areas of restriction that would hinder function in the body. However, many things can disrupt this primary respiratory mechanism and cause alterations in cranial motion and positioning. Adhesions and areas of restriction and congestion develop which can have a negative effect on the way the body functions. There are, however, things that you can do to allow for proper cranial motion in your own child.

7 Ways to Help Maintain Proper Motion

1)     Cranial Adjustments

Baby’s cranial bones are very moldable and easily shaped. Often times, babies will be born with cranial bones that have molded quite a bit. This could be from the way they were resting in the uterus or because of the pressures placed upon the cranium during labor and delivery. Nursing can play a huge role in helping initially increasing cranial motion to help return the cranium to a symmetrical and round shape. However, most of the time a trained therapist is needed to ensure that all of the cranial bones are moving properly and there are no overlaps in the sutures or dural tightness and adhesions preventing motion. Chiropractors who are certified by the ICPA are proficient in cranial adjusting as well as therapists trained in Craniosacral Technique. There are many other techniques that can be affective in cranial manipulation such as Sacro Occipital Technique and Applied Kinesiology. Making sure that you find someone who has been trained in cranial adjusting and someone who is comfortable and confident in adjusting cranial bones is important.

Cranial adjusting, as mentioned above not only can bring proper symmetry, shape, and motion to the bones of the skull, but can affect whole body function and can have a positive effect on issues such as colic, digestive issues, reflux, sinus issues, ear infections, sleep issues, etc. Cranial manipulation can impact vagal stimulation and increase parasympathetic activity. This can decrease inflammation in the gut and improve digestive, respiratory, and cardiac function.

2)     Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is extremely good for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it can help proper development of the cranial bones and mandible.  The sucking motion required for breastfeeding flattens the breast tissue up against the palate which helps shape and mold the roof of the mouth which is also the bottom of the sinus cavity. Breastfeeding allows for optimal shaping of the palate so it is smooth and rounded and not too high and narrow. High and narrow palates will cause the sinus cavity to become smaller and narrower.  This can lead to future sinus issues.  The sucking motion that presses the breast tissue into the palate helps to move the cranial bones and stimulate growth centers in the facial bones. Typically with breastfeeding the baby is held in different positions and he or she nurses on both breasts so the growth centers on each side of the cranial and facial bones are stimulated evenly. This sucking motion also aids in cerebral spinal fluid flow and helps to stimulate pituitary hormone release particularly growth factors.

3)     Lip and Tongue Tie Release

It is seemingly becoming more and more prevalent these days to see a baby with a lip and/or tongue tie. A lip tie is present when the frenulum or connective tissue between the upper lip and gum is overdeveloped and restrictive to the movement of the upper lip.  A tongue tie is present when the lingual frenulum or connective tissue between the bottom of the tongue and the lower jaw is overdeveloped and restrictive to the movement of the tongue.  Lip and tongue ties are thought to be genetic and are midline defects that are associated with genetic abnormalities that impact the body’s ability to methylate, such as MTHFR. Lip and tongue ties can vary greatly in degree and effect on function.  Lip and tongue ties restrict the function of the oral cavity. They affect the amount the jaw can open, the strength, movement and function of the tongue, and the movement, development and growth of the cranial bones. The restriction in the connective tissue extends deeper into the connective fascia that surrounds the cranium, jaw and can affect the tissue extending into the neck, shoulders, and even into the diaphragm, abdomen, hips and legs. Releasing the tongue and lip tie can have greatly relieving effect for a newborn. It is wise to have cranial adjustments, craniosacral therapy, or other fascial release technique performed after the tongue and lip tie release to ensure that all the connective tissue restrictions are released and full function is restored. The tongue tie and lip tie can be release through the use of scissors or through a cutting laser. It is recommended that each parent do their research in determining which method of treatment is available and most beneficial for their child. Release of these ties will help to encourage proper cranial and mandible development and growth. It will allow for proper growth center stimulation in the facial and cranial bones. It will also encourage full cranial rhythm and movement allowing for proper cranial and facial symmetry.

4)     Babywearing

Wearing your baby in a carrier, sling or wrap is beneficial in numerous ways including supporting cranial shape and motion. Babywearing allows the child to be upright off the floor or out of a seat so there is no risk of developing a “flat spot” from lying in one position for prolonged periods of time. The upright posture also encourages suboccipital muscle development to aid in proper occipital alignment upon the atlas (first vertebrae in the neck). Babywearing also has been connected to extended breastfeeding.  The suckling required for breastfeeding increases cranial movement and also stimulates growth centers among the facial bones allowing for full functional growth of the facial bones and mandible.

5)     No Contraptions

Coinciding with babywearing, keeping babies out of contraptions like car seats, bouncy seats and swings will benefit the cranial bones and the primary respiratory mechanism. Contraptions like car seats limit the baby’s range of motion and confine the baby to typically lay in the same position with the same consistent pressure on the same area of the skull. It only takes less than 5grams of pressure to move and influence cranial motion. So if a baby is laying in the same position with the same pressure for extended periods the cranial bones will mold to fit that pressure. This is typically how flat spots develop, and the skull should not have flat spots. Flat spots indicate that there is altered shape and motion to the different cranial bones. This affects the cerebral spinal fluid movement and can lead to adhesions in the dural tissue causing other symptoms. If flat spots do develop despite your best effort to not have them in a car seat or other contraption for long periods, then finding a practitioner who can perform craniosacral technique or other means of cranial adjusting is recommended.

6)     No Headbands or Bows

Having two little girls myself, I know that a headband with a big bow or flower on it can look very cute. However, like I mentioned above, it takes less than 5grams of pressure to influence the cranial bones shape and motion. So placing a tight headband that constricts the cranium will not only change the shape of the head but will decrease the movement of the cranial bones and negatively impact the primary respiratory mechanism. Many parents who have little girls who are bald for a long time will want to always have a headband on their baby since they can not clip on bows to her hair. This will always constrict motion of the cranial bones and work towards altering the shape of the cranium. Typically a headband will wrap around the occiput, temporal, sphenoid and frontal bones. Even slight alterations in the shape or motion of the occiput can cause misalignments in any other cranial bone. This again will cause adhesions in the dura and affect the nutrient saturation of the nervous system. One lesser evil that I encourage moms to do is to keep the headband or bow in your bag and only slip it on for pictures and then take it right back off. Look for red marks and signs of the bow on the head after you take it off. The more marks and redness you see left behind after the bow is off tells you there is more pressure being applied by the headband. Bows and headbands look cute, but have a huge impact on the shape and motion of the cranium.

7)     Vary Sleeping Positions

Many times parents will place their baby in a crib, basinet, or co-sleeper for naps and bedtime. These devices then stay in the same place and the baby is placed in the same position in them. This can cause the baby to develop a flat spot from continual pressure in one area. The baby will often develop a more comfortable sleeping position they prefer to obtain while in the crib or sleeper. Moving the crib around the room or placing the baby in the crib facing the opposite direction will help to vary the position the baby maintains during sleep. It will also give variability to what side the baby is approached from when he or she wakes up. Therefore the baby will not grow accustom to turning one way to wait for mom or dad when he or she wakes up. Altering sleeping positions for the baby will give him or her varied stimulation and change the way pressure is placed on the head due to the direction he or she will look depending on the position of the crib or sleeper. Back sleeping has been supported by the American Pediatric Association to help prevent SIDS but this campaign has also contributed to flat spots due to back sleeping. Ensuring that there are varied sleeping positions and plenty of tummy time is vital to maintaining cranial symmetry and function if the parent chooses to encourage back sleeping.

 

Many things can contribute to proper cranial motion and function. These suggestions can help parents to take actionable steps towards improving their child’s health through properly functioning cranial movement and rhythm.

Babywearing While Pregnant, Part Two (Guest Post for Onya Baby)

Be sure to check out Dr. Dodge’s guest post for Onya Baby – Babywearing While Pregnant, Part Two: Safe Carrying Options. It follows to Babywearing While Prengant, Part One over on the Onya Baby Blog. Dr. Dodge is often asked by his prenatal chiropractic clients if it is safe to continue babywearing an older child while pregnant. It is important that mothers chose methods of placing the older child on their back that do not involve twisting, so Dr. Dodge’s second post covers a few ways to put the baby on your back safely. Happy Babywearing!

DFC Wellness Club’s Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad




In November our DFC Wellness Club topic was “Green Veggies, Yum!” For this class, we talked about five important vitamins and minerals that are found in green vegetables. After our parent/toddler mini lesson on these vitamins and minerals, our toddlers became Veggie Explorers! With their checklists and a fork, they rotated through five stations to taste-test different green vegetables. Would you believe it that one of the front runners for ‘favorite dish’ was my Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad? These kids (and their parents) wanted seconds, and even thirds! So in response to the request for the recipe, here it is! It’s simple and easy to adjust to what you have in the house!

Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad

4 cups of (raw) shredded or chopped brussel sprouts

1 pound of bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup of chopped, roasted or sautéed walnuts

2 tbsp lemon juice

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Chop the uncooked bacon into one-inch pieces (I use kitchen shears). Cook the bacon in a sautee pan on the stove. While your bacon is cooking, chop brussel sprouts and add the four cups of sprouts to a large bowl. The goal is to have the sprouts “shredded” or finely chopped as if creating a cole slaw dish. When the bacon is finished cooking, drain the bacon fat* into a bowl and separate from the bacon pieces. Return 1/4 cup of bacon fat to your pan, and add chopped walnuts (pecans taste great too!). After you’ve satueed the walnuts for 5 minutes or so, add the bacon pieces, walnuts, and bacon fat from the pan to the bowl of chopped brussel sprouts. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice (we’ve used fresh lime juice and orange juice as subsitutes also), salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to your large bowl, mix well, cover, and refridgerate for a few hours.

This makes four entree-sized servings, or eight side dish-sized servings.

* Bacon Fat – In our home, we are not afraid of using high quality cooking fats. We purchase our bacon from a local co-op or the Coppell Farmer’s Market; we know that it is pasture-raised, free of preservatives, and free of added sugars. if you are not currently purchasing high quality bacon, subsittute the 1/4 cup cooking fat with coconut oil, grass-fed gheegrass-fed tallow, or pasutred lard. And the next time you buy bacon, be sure to check the ingredients for preservatives and added sugars, or buy it from your local farmer!

Babywearing While Pregnant: Part One


The first in a two-post series about babywearing while pregnant, written by Dr. Daniel Dodge, DC, CACCP

Photography copyright Dodge Family Chiropractic

The wonderful team at Onya Baby invited Dr. Dodge to guest blog for them! He wrote a two-part blog post about babywearing while pregnant! We hope you enjoy it!

“It is completely safe for most women to continue to babywear throughout pregnancy. There are many benefits to babywearing, for mother and baby, and these benefits do not have to end when expecting a new brother or sister. To ensure that babywearing continues to be safe and comfortable for both the mother and toddler, there are additional factors to consider during pregnancy. The health of the mother, her level of babywearing experience, the stage of pregnancy, and the weight of the ‘wearee’ should all be taken in to account, as well as any recommendations given by a healthcare provider.”

Be sure to read the full post here!

Be sure to read the follow-up post for this two-part series: Safe Carrying Options for Babywearing while Pregnant!

A Deeper Look at Disposable Diapers – Guest Blog and Giveaway

 

Today we have Tiffany Carra, owner of Fort Worth cloth diaper store Simple Baby, guest blogging for Dodge Family Chiropractic! As an expert on all things cloth diaper, we asked Tiffany to share wih us what some of her reasons were for chosing to use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers. Cloth diapers are very easy to use in today’s age, and many families are initially drawn to cloth because they are motivated to save money. Aside from the ease and money saving properties, there is another strong reason to give disposable diapers a more skeptical evaluation. Read Tiffany’s discovery about the chemical contents of the average disposable diaper!

For the most part there are two reasons why people chose to cloth diaper, Economy or Ecology. Both are very valid reasons, and most cloth diapering families will grow to embrace them both. When I began to research cloth diapers, my interests were piqued by the economy of them all. It was not until long after I began my research that I realized that there were other benefits.

Did you know that the major brand name disposable diapers often contain toxins like Tributyl-tin (TBT), Dioxin, and sodium polyacrylate? These chemical concoctions make disposable diapers a microcosm of carcinogins, hormonal disrupters, environmental pollutants, and heat generators.

According to a May 12, 2000 Green Peace article TBT can be absorbed by the body through the skin. This was further supported by an article released by the, Environmental Health News organization, in March of 2013. The article showed that when exposed to TBT that mice had higher instances of liver disease.

Dioxins are classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an environmental pollutant. Effects of dioxin exposure range from skin lesions to immune, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive system restrictions. The WHO also defines some “sensitive subgroups” of people who are more sensitive to dioxin exposure.  They are fetuses and newborns.

For those old enough to remember what Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) was, sodium polyacrylate is the absorbent material in diapers. It is VERY similar to the absorbent materials used in the TSS tampons of the 1980s.  In diapers the polyacrylate material is covered in plastic, creating a pocket of material rich with bacteria that stays on children for hours and quite possibly could be producing enough heat to render male children sterile.

What does that mean for you?

For me the fact that approximately 90% cheaper than disposables was enough to pique my interest. However, the environmental and health impacts I discovered were astonishing.  The studies I uncovered cemented the fact that I was going to at least give cloth an old fashioned college try, despite all those stories about how horrible cloth diapers were. To my surprise they were not anything like what my grandmother and friends had said they were. Today’s wide range of cloth diapers makes chemical-free diapering pretty simple.

 

Considering the chemicals and additives included in disposable diapers, cloth diapers are certainly worth a try! To allow our Dodge Family Chiropractic patients and fans the ability to give cloth diapers a go or to add to their current cloth diaper stash, we are offering a $50 gift certificate code to Simple Baby’s online store!! Use the rafflecopter link to enter or enter over on our Facebook page!

 

Rafflecopter link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Tiffany Carra owns the Fort Worth Cloth Diaper Store, Simple Baby, and is a chapter leader for the Tarrant County Birth Network, a chapter of BirthNetwork National. For more information about attachment parenting and cloth diapering topics visit the Simple Baby Blog.

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.

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