Is chiropractic safe for babies?
Dr Edna Giuntini is a chiropractor with 20 years experience and has completed postgraduate studies in paediatric development, chiropractic for infants, brain development and pregnancy. Here she answers some of the common questions around the chiropractic approach, including is chiropractic safe for babies? This post is a sponsored collaboration between Wholehearted Family Health and Giuntini Chiropractic.
What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a health-care approach that works with each individual’s body to help improve function. That means that chiropractors are looking at the spinal joints, cranial sutures and pelvic joints to determine whether there is too little or too much movement.
How can chiropractic help babies?
Chiropractors assess balance and symmetry in the body, and in babies this means checking whether they are moving both arms, turning their head equally in both directions, breastfeeding equally on both sides, using both arms and legs when crawling and reaching across their body to play with toys.
Any altered movement can be identified in this assessment. Altered movement can impact how comfortable babies are when doing tummy time, as well as their ability to meet their motor milestones, so we gently re-balance these alterations with chiropractic treatment.
Parents often bring their little ones in for a chiropractic check, particularly if they are experiencing torticollis, colic, wind, ear infections, or poor feeding.
Is chiropractic safe for babies? What happens during a consultation?
Chiropractic is a safe and gentle way for balance to become a natural part of baby’s body. Chiropractors are regulated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency; the same agency that doctors, nurses and physios are registered with. We are university-trained and practice according to the best evidence (research) we have available.
When I perform an initial examination I am looking to see if a bub is meeting their milestones, if their reflexes are appropriate for their age, whether the flexibility of their shoulders and legs is the same on both sides, and how well are they able to settle. Information about mum’s pregnancy and the birth also provides information to give a more complete picture of how we can help the baby.
What are some of the signs that a baby may have restrictions and require assessment?
When there is a restriction in the cranial system, spine or pelvis there can be altered movement patterns or postures that show up. These imbalances can occur in-utero, during birth or due to a specific event after birth. Some of the indicators that a baby could have restrictions within their body include:
Preference for one side of head rotation.
Bub should have equal movement of their head in both directions. If there are restrictions in the body, particularly in the upper neck and cranial system, bub may develop a flat spot on the back of their head, prefer feeding on one side and have a dislike of tummy time.
Only rolling in one direction.
Bub should be able to roll not only front-to-back and back-to-front but also over both shoulders.
Altered or skipped crawling.
Bum shuffling, bending one knee up or avoiding crawling all together is an indicator there is tension in a child’s body. Crawling is essential for developing the right posture and strength for walking, as well as balance and the coordination necessary for running and playing sport.
Delay in meeting their motor milestones.
As human beings, we are hardwired for movement, and it is through balanced movement that our brains develop and grow. If a baby has tension in their nervous system, body or muscles or they have retained infant reflexes, they will create altered ways of meeting their milestones and in some cases, can be delayed.
Dr Edna Giuntini
I have been working with children and families for the last 20 years and enjoy seeing the smiles on the faces of babies and their parents when proper development and movement milestones are achieved. We have created our office environment with families in mind; there are books, wooden toys, puzzles and dress ups for the kids and filtered water and herbal teas for the parents. I want you to be able to come into my office and find that it is a place where kids feel comfortable and have fun, you as parents can get answers, and lives can be changed. Positive change and a great experience are accomplished when chiropractic care is combined with lifestyle coaching and collaboration with other professionals. For more information or to book an appointment, please visit my website or call me on 0405-234-235.