Mom, Baby and Birth

AOP Health July

sponsored by Cornerstone Family Chiropractic

There is nothing quite as miraculous as birth. All the planning and prep has brought parents to this moment, and it’s hard to put into words how it feels. You’re happy, proud, and a little nervous about this new responsibility but excited about caring for someone beyond yourself.

One of the things we advocate from the start of chiropractic care at Cornerstone Family Chiropractic is having adult practice members bring their families and children in for regular spinal evaluations. Stressors can occur as early as birth, as noted in a recent study by Grimm from Bioengineering for Women’s Health (2021).

For example, during pregnancy, the “round ligaments” keep the mom’s uterus in proper orientation. During birthing, the round ligaments contribute to the advancement of the fetus down into the pelvis during contractions. An imbalance in these ligaments negatively affects the mom’s ability to deliver an effective contraction. During dilation, force is key; more force equates to a successful vaginal birth. Less force correlates with a higher chance of c-section, greatly increasing stressors on both mom and baby. Chiropractic offices with Webster Certified doctors are trained to evaluate the round ligaments and treat imbalances.

For baby, Towbin was the first to note how stressors from the birthing process can affect the spinal cord and brainstem, both vital regions for human function and development. A lot weighs into the birth stress: mom’s health, baby’s positioning, baby’s size, interventions, etc. You need force in a birth, but imbalance is a key cause of injury. Grimm cited a case where 18.9 lbs of contractile force resulted in a nervous system injury in the baby’s neck and arm. For reference, the low end of a vacuum-extractor birth is 26.5 lbs. A c-section birth is even higher. Delivery by hand, even during difficult labor, averages at 15 lbs, but it is essential to note the range of this average was between 7lbs and 30 lbs of force on baby’s head and neck.

One of my mentors in chiropractic school (we’ll call him Dr. Todd) had the honor of helping deliver his first baby boy. The obstetrician on the team noted a problem; the baby had a blue coloration on several spots and shallow breathing. The baby was not getting enough oxygen. The birthing team prepped for additional testing, and Dr. Todd, as frightened as he was, felt compelled to do a spinal analysis on his son. He did find a misalignment in the atlas bone, the highest bone of the neck and spine. It is presumed the misaligned atlas bone was affecting a region of the brainstem called the medulla. One of the medulla’s functions is controlling breathing rate, so breathing could reasonably be affected if stressed. Dr. Todd made a gentle chiropractic adjustment to his son, and amazingly, his son’s oxygen levels and breathing improved. One of the nurses, who witnessed this normalization, said, “Well, he seems alright now,” and then proceeded with the team to the next birth.

Dr. Todd’s son recently finished high school and plays football at his college. It was a needed adjustment to the spine that changed the trajectory of his son’s life, and it is our mission to achieve this for as many people as possible.

Dr. Jordan Jensen earned his Bachleor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences at Auburn University in 2013 and earned his Doctor of Chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic in 2018. Following graduation, Dr. Jensen was accepted into the International Chiropractic Association’s Diplomate of Craniocervical Procedures postgraduate program, where his research encompasses Chiropractic’s application of advanced imaging and patient outcomes.

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Mom, Baby and Birth

by Guest Contributor time to read: 2 min