Once the miracle of childbirth happens, most parents turn their attention to monitoring for milestones in their baby’s development. Weight, length and reflexes are all quickly measured to ensure that the baby is healthy. As they grow, these continue to be monitored as other milestones are reached, including sitting, crawling, standing, and then walking.

Today, more and more parents are recognizing that while childbirth is a miracle, it is also often very stressful on the baby’s body as they squeeze and twist through a narrow birth canal or are pulled through a small surgical opening in the belly, as in the case of a caesarean section. It’s even harder on baby if instruments, such as forceps, are used in the delivery.

“It is a very traumatic process for babies,” explains Dr. Stephanie Louie, a Victoria chiropractor who treats babies and children regularly at her Saanich-area clinic Mind Body Spine. “Because their joints are so moveable, it often results in misalignments in the spine, which puts pressure on the nervous system.”

Pressure on the nervous system from a misaligned spine cuts off vital life flow from where it needs to be. Important messages generated from the brain may not get to the limbs and organs to tell the body to move in a certain way and can interrupt organ function.

“From conception, the nervous system controls everything, telling the body to heal, grow and regenerate,” says Dr. Louie. “If there is a misalignment cutting off vital life flow, we must take pressure off to restore energy and life.”

Dr. Louie encourages parents to bring their babies in for a chiropractic baby wellness check. During an infant’s first year of life growth is exponential, and it’s important that there isn’t anything hindering it, such as undue pressure being placed on their spinal cord.

She has one infant patient who suffers from gassiness and constipation. As soon as she adjusts his spine, he’s able to fill his diaper – it’s nearly instantaneous.

The general benefits to doing chiropractic adjustments on babies is that they sleep better, develop on time, feed better, are more social and happier, and their digestive systems work properly. This sets them up for success as they grow.

One piece of advice that Dr. Louie finds herself providing parents more and more frequently is to keep their children active. That might mean getting them into organized sports or going for family hikes or swims, since being active is good for the entire family.

“The body is meant to be in motion, and these days sitting for long periods of time on electronic devices is ruining kids’ backs,” she says. “As a society, we have become sedentary – it’s as though we value material things over our health.”

To learn more about spinal health, including total body chiropractic care, check out Dr. Stephanie’s Louie’s website: mindbodyspine.ca.