Wednesday, January 16, 2013

newborn chiropractic care and what to expect

ok, here's the deal - i have talked about our love for chiropractic care before but this is a little more specific. right before robin's first appointment i tried to google what i should expect from the visit, step by step. i am a step by step person, i need to take on a new "thing" knowing all the information, that is just how i work. visuals? even better.

i didn't have much luck finding exactly what i wanted but i knew i still wanted chiropractic care for robin. i love it for the girls and knew it would he no exception...but he is so tiny. i had read horror stories when i researched craniosacral and those were still in the back of my mind. our chiropractor adjusts the girls just like he does tim and i, so i was super curious how it works with a newborn. luckily i had recently had a conversation with our doula/friend about when she took her newborn daughter there - we joked about how dr. myco is the body builder type and while normally his energy seems big and loud, the second he takes your baby in his arms it calms and wraps around them. this made me smile.

again, already planning on having regular adjustments for robin all throughout his life, i went into this with some minor concerns. there was the thing with his neck, how he always preferred to have it to the left and craned way back, looking up, due to how he was in my womb. this was already way better with time and craniosacral but lingered a little. also, when he was flat on his back he would curve his mid back on the side, kinda into a side crunch position. theses are all things dr. myco picked up on without me even telling him.

*disclaimer: having brought up robin's visit a couple of times i have learned that the way our chiropractor did things isn't always the exact way it happens but still seems pretty common. i already knew that he was particularly trained and certified for newborn chiropractic care and that is something you should verify as well. it also really helps if someone, or several people who have taken their infants can give you a recommendation.

right away i expressed my nervousness and i made sure there would be no bending or cracking. dr. myco received all my questions very well and then explained how babies are still so much cartilage right now that their adjustments can be described as, "checking a melon for ripeness" and then showed me on my arm the firmness he would use and it was next to nothing pressure wise.

to start, the doctor took robin and spent a couple of minutes just holding him, getting to know him. he observed how robin held his neck up and looked around. next he laid him on his (the dr's) knees so that robin's feet were at his chest and robin was looking up at him. then, he spent a couple of minutes slightly lifting him by his arms to test his strength and how evenly he was lifting - at this point one arm was coming up before the other. 

this next part is the oddest - even though i was totally expecting it! dr. myco carefully wrapped his hands around robin's feet and ankles and lifted him upside down into the air. i have to laugh at myself a little because even though i knew days before that he would do this and he told me at the beginning of the appointment, and warned me right before he did it - i still jumped out of my chair like i needed to catch robin. 

while robin was upside down he took a few seconds to explain how robin was curving to one side a bit and that he was keeping of of his arms tucked up by his chest. a well aligned baby will hang perfectly straight with his arms dangling straight down below his head.

next he spent a few minutes applying some pressure to his neck, mid back, and what appeared to be his ribs. he kept us involved by telling us what he was doing and then letting us know when he got good releases on the problem spots, stopping to hang him upside down again after every couple of "adjustments" to check where he was in correcting the issues.

robin didn't fuss once and even smiled after a couple releases.

by the end, and we're only talking a few minutes here, robin was hanging totally straight with his arms straight down and was all smiles and coos for dr. myco. dr. myco gave us instructions to hang robin upside down at home during every diaper change - i am compromising and doing it with the morning change until i get a little more comfortable with it, haha. it is done for two reasons, it seems - to show where the problem is, if they are our of alignment and also just the act of hanging them upside down helps them self adjust, plus they love it! ever notice how your toddler loves to hang upside down from your lap? like they get a rush from it? it is actually very soothing and comfortable for them.

immediately after robin was visibly more aligned and felt so when you held him, this made me super happy and confirmed for me why i took him in the first place. think about it...their little bodies go through so much between how they are for so long in the womb to how they are born that you can imagine how out of whack they can get.

we have been back once now since and right away dr. myco noticed he was looking a lot better. he got right down to business hanging him upside then "adjusting" a couple of trouble spots. again, robin smiled through the whole thing and was hanging straight by the end. when i had a look on my face that alerted dr. myco i was concerned about the pressure he was applying he showed me on my knee again and i was reassured it was next to nothing. after we got home, robin was noticeably more aligned again and favored looking straight ahead versus craning his head to one side.

we still probably have one or two more visits before the initial trouble spots are completely cleared up but taking queues from robin, we are keeping up with it for now.

whew, that was a mouthful! but there you have step by step what to expect if you chose chiropractic care for your newborn. i know so many people who swear by it and it is finally being recognized by more people as a useful medical practice. does your family see a chiropractor?

8 comments:

ruthy ann said...

I did for 4 months bc of my pregnancy induced carpal tunnel! I've been so nervous about my daughters hip dysplasia that I'm considering having her see the Chiro too

melissa rohr said...

I really love reading your blog (random, I know). I just feel like we'd get along SO well "in real life" (that sounds so funny!) where I don't have to explain away and defend all my "weird" choices, like taking my little guy to a chiropractor. Honestly, I was nervous about seeing one for myself up until I slept so badly on my neck it wouldn't move. After about a week of crying in pain all night, my husband convinced me to try it (he'd never been, either). A friend of mine's brother in law is a chiropractor and I knew of him to know he was a nice, gentle, sweet guy with one small child (at the time, now he has two and one on the way!). So I made an appointment and with one, painless, amazing appointment, he fixed my neck and all this tension in my back I didn't realize I had. Now we go regularly, both my husband and I, and have started taking my son as well. Ethan rarely even realizes the doctor is doing anything to him when he does his adjustments, and I love that the doctor is a dad to young kids and so well-versed in caring for babies and making sure Ethan is having fun during the appointment. Because Ethan has asthma/respiratory issues, our pediatrician recommended keeping Ethan at it regularly (chiropractic, that is) in hopes it would help. We really love it!

melissa rohr said...

awe, thank you! that means a lot!!
my family thinks i am screwing up my kids for taking them, obviously it is doing wonders for their health otherwise i wouldn't keep it up, lol - haha, i swear i am the most misunderstood member of my extended family.
i was SUPER nervous the first time too, i almost cried but my chiro is so receptive to it, he totally gets me distracted before he does my neck so i don't anticipate it cause he knows it freaks me out ;)

melissa rohr said...

Wow! Excellent post from a clearly well informed mother. Kudos to you.

melissa rohr said...

My niece is 5 months older than my son. When he was just a few days old my sister told me that their chiropractor says to hang the baby upside down for an adjustment. I was so shocked and thought there was no way I was going to hold my wobbly little human upside down by his feet! I finally got over it and we do it regularly even with him being 21 months now. I love chiropractic adjustments. My son started getting really bad ear infections. He literally had one a month. As soon as he was off his antibiotics another would come back a couple weeks later even with probiotics. (His dad had them so often he was deaf before he was 5, after tubes he could hear normally again). They wanted to do tubes because he had more than 5 in 6 months. After 3 adjustments at the chiropractor he has never had another one. It's been almost a year now. As soon as my daughter is born she will be going in for an adjustment. I recommend the chiropractor to anyone I know especially if their little one has colic, reflux or ear infections!

melissa rohr said...

My niece is 5 months older than my son. When he was just a few days old
my sister told me that their chiropractor says to hang the baby upside
down for an adjustment. I was so shocked and thought there was no way I
was going to hold my wobbly little human upside down by his feet! I
finally got over it and we do it regularly even with him being 21 months
now. I love chiropractic adjustments. My son started getting really bad
ear infections. He literally had one a month. As soon as he was off his
antibiotics another would come back a couple weeks later even with
probiotics. (His dad had them so often he was deaf before he was 5,
after tubes he could hear normally again). They wanted to do tubes
because he had more than 5 in 6 months. After 3 adjustments at the
chiropractor he has never had another one. It's been almost a year now.
As soon as my daughter is born she will be going in for an adjustment. I
recommend the chiropractor to anyone I know especially if their little
one has colic, reflux or ear infections!

melissa rohr said...

i wish i could do that with my kids! its so freaking expensive :/

melissa rohr said...

kinda like laying on an inversion bed.