A Touch to Help: Chiropractic and Newborns

We all worry about our kids—maybe that loving concern began even before they were born. At any rate, the minute you see that fragile newborn, there’s an instinct to protect it.

You might not think that coming into the world can be a stressful situation for a baby. While the plates of the head are beautifully designed to mold as the baby passes through the birth canal, sometimes the baby’s position or the structure of the mother’s pelvis make delivery problematic.

This can result in complications and even injuries. While more common in a mechanically-assisted birth, or during a birth where the mother is unable to push effectively due to medication, even the force of natural labor and delivery can put pressure on a child’s delicate bones. The result can be physiological and psychological issues that may carry into adulthood.

Michelle Ruebke is a Certified Professional Midiwfe in Kansas with nearly 30 years of experience. She has seen her share of easy, natural deliveries as well as higher-risk, more complicated births on four continents.

“The movable plates of the head, the neck and spine take a beating in birth,” said Ruebke. “Chiropractic is very effective at putting things back where they belong.”

While Ruebke is well-prepared and equipped to assist and even resuscitate a struggling newborn, she can also identify a baby that may need specialized care. This occurred after an average labor and delivery, when Ruebke called on a chiropractor.

The newborn boy was a first born, a trail blazer, as Ruebke says. “The pelvis has never had a head come through and the first born takes the brunt of it.”

The baby’s vitals were good, but Ruebke observed that he was uncomfortable. He remained agitated and didn’t want to calm down and nurse. A thorough newborn exam did not reveal a source. The baby was stable and in no danger, but Ruebke was eager to help him.

She called Ryan Dopps, D.C., willingly to made a late-night house call. He gently adjusted the the cranials and the atlas.

“I’ve never experienced a newborn’s atlas moving the way this child’s did,” said Dopps.

Dopps checked on the baby, adjusting him several more times.

Ruebke observed that the baby’s whole body relaxed in the chiropractor’s hands, as he breathed deep, sighing breaths without the tension he’d had previously.

The next morning, Ruebke told Dopps, “He is doing so great that if I didn’t know better, I’d say someone had switched kids on us. No fussing. Nursing like a champ, through the night and all afternoon. He is alert and cuddly.”

Ruebke has also noted the usefulness of chiropractic and occipital manipulation on babies with chronic eye drainage and more.

More serious health concerns in children could be caused by issues from their birth. A German doctor, G. Gutmann found that a large percentage of children had upper neck subluxations, which he connected to a variety of childhood illnesses and issues. Gutmann recommended that parents have a spinal checkup done on their baby after birth.

(Blocked Atlanta Nerve Syndrome in Babies and Infants in the 1987 Manuelle Medizin)


Please contact us if you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an appointment with Dr.Ryan Dopps of Dr. Denise Dopps.

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