As many of you know, I care for a great number of expectant mothers. They have special needs and I do my best to offer the care they require and deserve. Then they have their babies and I tend to care for many of them as well. So many times I am asked, "Why would a baby need a chiropractor?" To that I always say, "Why not? Their nervous systems control every single function of their little bodies just as your nervous system controls your." I usually get a "Huh. I never thought of it like that. Can I bring in my son (or daughter) in to see you"?
So back to today. My first two patients this morning were babies. One baby started seeing me when she was 2 weeks old. Her young parents were frantic. This little baby had projectile vomiting after every time she nursed. She screamed in pain all day long. Imagine, painful vomiting 12 times per day (that's every two hours!) for two weeks straight. Now imagine watching your newborn do that. No one in that house was happy, I can guarantee that. Their pediatrician said the baby's stomach was too small and they would need to operate; in the meantime, we'll give her prevacid. WHAT? How did he know her stomach was too small or that she had a prevacid deficiency? No testing was done; just his opinion.
Then enter the amazing midwives with whom I work. They told this young mother to call me. I saw the baby the same day her mom called and adjusted her. Surprisingly, her jaw needed re-aligning. See wasn't latching onto her mother's breast properly. As a result, she gulped a lot of air while nursing. Her rib cage was also torqued which caused her diaphragm to torque and spasm which caused a valve, that supposed to stay closed to keep stomach contents inside the stomach, to stay open. This open valve allowed the stomach contents to spew forth...no pun intended. She's been doing great ever since her first adjustment. That was 4 months ago. Today was just check up day. Oddly enough, she didn't have a prevacid deficiency after all. Go figure.
Baby number two was born 10 weeks ago. As I was adjusting his mom two days ago, he got quite cranky. Then he projectile vomited all over the room...and I mean ALL OVER. His mom apologized and said he has been cranky and sick since he got his shot yesterday. After further questioning I learned that this baby has been given vaccines EVERY WEEK since he was four weeks old and has been projectile vomiting ever since! Some more talking to the mom, I checked this little guy out. Sure enough, he had many subluxations to his little spine that needed immediate correcting. So I found them and fixed them. I told mom he would probably sleep a lot today and get ready for a busy diaper day. He ate, slept and pooped (as babies should) and didn't vomit once since his first adjustment. Today, I was greeted my a VERY happy baby and momma.
Neither of these babies brought me to tears though. It's the next one that did me in. My last patient for the day. I was adjusting a new mom. She gave birth 2 weeks ago. I had cared for her throughout her pregnancy. She had an amazing birth experience and came in for her postpartum checkup last week. She showed off her baby to me and I shared some baby stories with her. She asked about chiropractic care for babies and I explained some basics. Today mom was in for her appointment and looked distraught. She asked if I could check her daughter because she isn't nursing because she isn't latching on, she isn't sleeping and she isn't pooping. Mom was really upset and worried.
I asked her to nurse her baby so I could get an understanding of what might be going on. Her mom winced at the idea since it's very painful to nurse if the baby isn't latching on correctly. She agreed, though and as I observed the "bad latch" I could see the baby couldn't open her mouth wide enough. I palpated her TMJ while she was nursing and felt that the right side was "jammed" and not moving as it should. I adjusted this baby while she was nursing and then the mom let out a sigh of relief. She said, "Oh my God. It's completely better. She's latching on normally now." I finished my exam - mostly while baby was nursing - found a few more areas to adjust, including a closed valve in the intestines that was not allowing her bowels to move properly. I warned this mom as well, that it could be a big diaper day. Then she started to cry. She said, "Dr. Karen I never knew that I would be so worried about poop or lack of it. I never knew that just a little fix to her jaw would make such a difference in how she nurses. I never knew. I never knew because no one told me; until you that is. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have to go to the breastfeeding resource center and tell everyone about this. You have to. You are saving lives."
And that's when I cried.
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Dr. Karen, just wanted to say wow...I've learned so much and I'm only into the 2nd module. This is the stuff we need to know in everyday practice! I could listen to you all day long! ~ Dr. Katie Gelesko Stull