I love my job. I get to adjust babies every day.
Lately my practice has been crawling with pregnant women.
Well, they're actually not literally crawling around (although it would probably be good for them and the baby since it helps with baby positioning!).
They're comfortably laying down on my special pregnancy table where they relax, breathe, and get their spines and pelvis adjusted.
(They sometimes fall asleep and snore too!)
I love it!
When I adjust a pregnant woman, I'm connecting with her energy focused on her stress levels, tension in her spine and around her pelvis, as well as the tension in the uterus.
One amazing thing that happens is that I inevitably get so connected and somehow bonded with her baby.
It's fun adjusting pregnant women because I can tell that the babies love the adjustment too.
They move, kick, and seem to go through the motions as I adjust their mother.
One time I had a pregnant woman that I started adjusting in her 2nd trimester, and she came in every week until the birth.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, around the 38th week, I just sensed how happy, safe, and secure he was inside his little sac in the uterus.
And I just told the mother that I had a feeling that he would be 'born in his bag'.
(Please understand that this, my 'feeling' and my senses about this woman's birth outcome was unscientific, and also completely unrelated to my skill in chiropractic adjusting of the pregnant spine and pelvis.)
A few weeks later when her baby was born, she texted me,
"My baby boy was born yesterday. You were right - he was born in the sac!"
Babies born in the sac or caul happens infrequently, so I was surprised that my senses were right!
The most amazing and gratifying part of adjusting women is when I receive the text informing me that they had their baby and it was a wonderful and straight forward birth with little or no interventions.
And then, of course, I get to meet the baby and check and adjust them too!
I get very emotional when my pregnant mums achieve the birth they always envisioned to have.
It's how it's supposed to be!
(One time a mother texted me sharing that her birth was wonderful, in the birthing pool. Then she scared me because she said that there was one thing she wishes didn't happen - she pooped in the water when she was pushing! Shit happens!)
Women's bodies were made to do this, and I'm certain that chiropractic care helps their bodies to be in their optimal state and position to enjoy a comfortable and manageable pregnancy, as well as a successful birth experience.
Chiropractic care can start for women BEFORE they get pregnant, and continue throughout their pregnancy from the moment they discover they are pregnant!
Please help me share this with more women.
See you soon!
— Dr MaryAnne
I had my first child in a birthing centre which was located on the 11th floor of the hospital on the Upper West Side in New York City.
I chose it because it was a great birthing centre, and it happened to be only twenty blocks away from our flat.
Convenience and practicality are pretty high on the list of a labouring woman.
I had a midwife, a doula, and my husband helping me through the labour.
And after 3 hours of active labour (making it a total of 23 hours from the very first contraction I felt), my little baby girl was born at 3:00 in the morning.
I remember how insanely overwhelming the whole experience was.
Giving birth, pushing a 4kg baby out of me in the middle of the night, being up moving around labouring all day, feeling intense pain, thinking how my Ironman was easier than this ... then not to mention how do I do this mommy thing ...
It's all a lot to process.
Don't ya think?
After everything settled (and I had a huge breakfast with coffee and pancakes and eggs that amounted to probably 10,000 calories), I was ready to bring my baby home.
But, I was told, the pediatrician has to sign you off.
What does that mean, I ask?
I had no idea how these things worked.
(It was my first baby.)
The nurse explained to me that the doctor had to look my baby over to make sure everything was healthy.
I could already tell she was fine.
But it's important to make sure everything really is doing fine.
So, the doctor finally arrived and did her thing.
With stethoscope in hand, she poked and prodded.
The doc didn't check those last three things.
I thought, "Doesn't matter, I'll check her. Just let me go home."
It wasn't until years later that it dawned on me that pediatric medical doctors don't do what I would do.
To be fair, they have their specific skills, and it's essential for them to do their job.
I'm grateful for that.
What's missing is the newborn's spinal check.
That's one of the most important bits!
All newborns need to get checked after they are born.
It needs to be a standard normal procedure done by a skilled trained paediatric chiropractor.
Or even an osteopath.
The point is, so many babies are born every day, every where, and it's usually not until the mother thinks something 'is wrong' with her baby that she takes them to see a chiropractor.
That just doesn't make any sense to me.
Why, at the hospital within 24 hours of birth, does the doctor have everything checked except for the integrity of the nervous system and spine?
Babies also undergo hearing tests too.
But where's the assessment for the baby's spine?
Please, can someone explain that to me?
In any case, if you have a baby, or children, and they haven't had their spines checked, go NOW.
Take them to a chiropractor and have their spines assessed and adjusted.
Because it's MUCH easier to keep children healthy than to deal with grumpy difficult contorted adults.
See you at your next adjustment!
— Dr MaryAnne
Yesterday I sent an email with a video of me adjusting a child.
I've started to become good friends with his mother and what warms my heart is that I know that as long as they are in my life, that kid (and his siblings) will probably get regular adjustments for the rest of his life.
What breaks my heart is when I hear about children who are suffering from health issues, some common and some more complicated, and if I could only get my hands on them to check and adjust their spines, their health would probably improve.
This morning a woman I've known for a while was telling me about her 8-year-old son who had to go to the A&E for some complications with his brain.
(I won't get into the gory details here.)
I was surprised and also very curious about what happened.
She explained it to me blow by blow.
So, my doctor-thinking-cap went on and I started to ask her everything, starting from birth.
She told me that the birth was difficult, especially at the end, and pushing took a while.
Then she noticed that when he was 7-months, there were already problems with his muscle development.
She asked the GP if it was normal.
They said yes.
Then at age 2, she noticed that he didn't speak very much.
The GP told her it was normal for bilingual families to have children who have speech delay.
But she knew something wasn't quite right.
He also started walking later than most children.
She also noticed that he was clumsy.
Then at age 4 he developed a squint.
More and more, she noticed something subtle, but the GPs always told her it was nothing to worry about.
"He'll grow out of it."
But her mummy instincts always sounded the alarms.
What's a mother to do?
I didn't say this to her, but I wish I had seen this boy at birth! Or even at age 7-months when he was a baby showing signs of interference in the nervous system.
And now, this boy at 8-years-old, the mother was proven right.
The neurosurgeons had to do a relatively minor procedure in his brain.
Finally, the neurosurgeons, with the clear tests showing he had an issue, took action to correct the problem.
Thank god they found the problem in time.
But, was this avoidable?
If I did have the chance to adjust this child since birth (like I believe all children should), would he still have developed this problem?
I can't answer that because we will never know.
But I bet that regular adjustments would probably have helped in some way.
Luckily, he's still young at 8.
Now that I've told his mother about chiropractic and what it can do to help his nervous system and spine to clear up any interferences in his system, we can see how the regular adjustments makes a positive improvement.
He's still going to the neurologist and the paediatrician for tests regularly.
Yes, that's important.
But I have a strong feeling that this boy will heal much better and faster if his spine and nervous system are in optimal condition from the regular adjustments.
This is such a passion of mine.
I wish I could somehow tell everyone about this.
But I can't just shove it down people's throats.
That would probably scare off a lot of people.
They'd think I'm a crazy person.
I need your help.
Tell people about chiropractic.
Share your story with people.
Tell them about your child getting chiropractic care.
I'm convinced that it's the good that will make a positive difference in this world.
Have a good night!
See you at your next adjustment (don't wait until you're in pain!).
— Dr MaryAnne
As most of you probably know, I adjust a lot of pregnant women. And babies. The interesting thing is that the pregnant women come in waves. For some reason, a few months at a time, a bunch of pregnant women come to my office for their regular weekly adjustments.
Then, as you know, these pregnant women eventually have their babies. And then there's a wave of babies to check and adjust!
One of the things that I've noticed with this cycle is that these ‘chiro babies’ seem to respond to the adjustments incredibly well and quickly, and they often get all ‘blissed-out’ towards the end of the adjustment. It's like their bodies and systems know what the adjustment is, and they respond like it's not their first time, but their fourth, or fifth, or even their twentieth!
My theory is because when babies are in the womb, they are very responsive to their environment inside, as well as outside. They are incredibly sensitive to everything around them - sounds, movement, touch, as well as stress, and equally calmness and relaxation of the mother.
That's what an adjustment usually does: it relaxes and calms the mother's whole body. There's other stuff involved as well, like a nicely balanced and aligned pelvis and spine. And the overall effect of the adjustment is helping her calming nervous system engage, which allows the mum to feel ‘blissed-out’!
So, is it really a surprise that the baby is familiar with this feeling? Not to me, it isn't!
When I adjust a baby that has already experienced an adjustment before they were born, and this was a regular sensation and a good positive one, then once the baby is born and they have that similar sensation from their own first adjustment to their spine, of course they are going to respond so well and get ‘blissed-out’ too! (Though it could be that they have sensed mother’s response to the adjustment, and are cueing off the sounds of the journey to the adjustment or off mother’s response.)
That's another reason why getting adjusted during pregnancy is so beneficial to both mother AND BABY!
After writing my last post, I realised there was an important section missing in the whole topic about children and chiropractic. This is what needs to be talked about.
I bumped into one of 'my mums' the other day at school and she was telling me how much she loves chiropractic. She started bringing her son to me a few months ago because one of her friends told her about my paediatric chiropractic practice.
Like most mums, she had no idea that chiropractic would have anything to do with helping children. Just like most people, she associated chiropractic with adults wanting to get their backs fixed.
I don't fix backs in my office.
This mum was telling me how pleased she was with how well her son was improving after a couple months of the regular adjustments. She told me that she even noticed the benefits after just a few weeks. She couldn't believe it because she had gone through so many disappointing and sometimes horrible experiences with illnesses and antibiotics, drugs, and visits to the GP, all to which had very little effect on getting his body to be healthier.
The way I see it, that route will never get your child healthier. Do you know why? Because it's called 'sick-care'. Chasing and masking the symptoms.
I can now say that I've been in practice long enough to see a pattern with children and illness. This not only happens here, but also (and worse) in America.
Baby is born. Baby is beautiful. Everyone's in love. Everything is wonderful.
Then baby has colic (or insert symptom). Parent takes baby to Paediatrician or GP. He prescribes a drug for that symptom. It works. A little.
Baby grows. Baby is 8 months old and has a cold. Teething. Lots of mucus, coughing, and is generally not well. (It's scary. I know. I'm a mum too.) Another GP visit. Another drug.
Baby is 13 months old. He starts fiddling with his ear a lot and cries. Has a fever. Visit to GP results in series of antibiotics (because that's what happens too often). How else is an ear infection treated? (The answer below.)
Baby becomes toddler. Toddler has another cold and another ear infection. GP diagnoses glue ear. Mum notices other concerning developmental issues like poor muscle tone, imbalanced walking, hearing loss, or delayed speech.
"Oh, they'll grow out of it. Here's another prescription," says the GP.
I'm serious here. This is what I've been hearing for years from parents.
Oh, and have you heard of the recent WHO declaration that the over prescribing of antibiotics will soon because a global problem? Don't get me started on that.
As for the toddler who gets round after round of antibiotics to deal with the flu, or the cold, or whatever symptom they have - the parents have no other alternative, yet instinctively they know something's not right. And they aren't given any answers.
Even if there is an infection lessened by the antibiotics, the antibiotics have two side effects. First, they train those bacteria to be immune. Next time, perhaps when you really need the antibiotics, they won’t work as well or at all. Second, they mess with the microbiome: the small things living in symbiosis with you, you helping them, them helping you. Of course, when antibiotics are needed they can be essential, but that is very rare. If you are using antibiotics for ordinary mild sickness (rather than, say, major surgery), it is already going wrong.
Here's my answer. Children who start out with chiropractic as early as birth have better health, fewer illnesses, and also heal faster. Chiropractic adjustments do not 'treat' a symptom; chiropractic adjustments align and balance out any interferences in the spine so that the body functions and heals the way it's designed to.
A child's body is designed to thrive, heal and regulate itself, always.
Do you know what that mum asked me? She said, "Why don't people know about this? It's seems like it's too easy - chiropractic is easy!"
You know what, I don't know why more parents don't know about the benefits of chiropractic for their children. And that's why I'm sharing this and writing about it.
It's my passion. I truly believe that if more babies had their first adjustments early in life, and then regularly throughout their young lives, especially during their developmental milestones, they would be healthy, thriving, less sick, and more adaptable. And that leads to happier children and happier families.
And we all want to be happy, right?
Q: Hi. I was wondering if you could give me some more information about chiropractic for babies. How old do they need to be - my son is 6 weeks. How do you do it? Does it cause any pain? I would also be interested in doing it for my other son who is 5 years. How many sessions are recommended?