sponsored by Cornerstone Family Chiropractic
A moment of inexplicable joy follows the birth of a baby. The development of a baby in the womb is fascinating week by week. For example, at week 6, your baby has a heartbeat. At week 15, your baby has taste buds. By week 23, their proprioception is well developed. Who was once just the size of a “bean” grew into a fully-developed, full-sized, self-sustaining baby. Remarkable!
Once baby is born, your birthing team will include an APGAR score in their evaluation. When mom starts labor (maybe even sooner), an adaption process begins in the baby to prepare for living outside the womb. An APGAR score measures how a baby is adapting. This is done by evaluating the color of your baby’s skin, muscle tone, heart rate, breathing rate, and cry. We want the baby to be mostly pink, move around, have a 100+ heart rate, 40-60 breaths per minute, and cry well. All these are great signs.
There are situations where the APGAR score does not reach acceptable levels. I’ve written on Towbin’s and Grimm’s work on birth trauma and how the current data reveals a range of outside forces that can hurt babies. Babies adapt and heal damaged tissues, which is good.
Still, if a misalignment remains that weighs on the body’s precious control center, the nervous system, it can lead to imbalanced muscle tones and contribute to other dysfunctions during development.
The best opportunity to have a good APGAR score comes with development. There are a lot of factors that weigh into development, especially the state of mom. Eating good nutritious foods, exercising, sleeping well, and keeping stressors low are all fine examples of keeping a mom healthy during pregnancy.
This is an easy plug for advocating chiropractic care to improve and maintain quality of life during pregnancy, as many studies from OBGYN-based literature support chiropractic care contributing to the best pregnancy experience, along with a number of other studies suggesting improvement with the birthing process.
An interesting case study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health highlighted a case of a baby with transient Tachypnea. Transient Tachypnea is a condition where a special fluid in the lungs isn’t totally removed at birth. This fluid does help with development in the womb. By week 34 of development, the baby’s lungs start preparations to have the means to remove the fluid, as any fluid after birth will negatively affect breathing. Thankfully, this condition is usually self-resolving, but on average, it takes 48 hours and may require supportive care (i.e., neonatal intensive care).
During this birth, the team doula, who was also a chiropractor, was asked to perform a spinal evaluation of the newborn after the diagnosis was made. Her evaluation revealed such a misalignment in the baby’s upper neck. A gentle adjustment was performed on the baby. In monitoring the baby, what normally took a couple of days to resolve, took only 12 hours to improve the APGAR score to acceptable levels. This particular misalignment affected the nervous system’s signal to drain lung fluid. It’s amazing how powerfully one adjustment can change the trajectory of life.
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.