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The Truth About Colic

Untitled designBeing a mom is hard, no matter what stage of motherhood you are in with its own challenges and blessings. As a brand new mom you are running on as little sleep as you ever have and developing a new definition for tired (in fact we should all agree that refraining from saying “I’m tired” to a new mom is in everyones best interest). You are learning the language of crying to figure out what your baby needs, and almost all sense of self care goes out the window as you give everything to your baby. All of these challenges are hard enough, but the addition of a colicky baby makes being a new mom close to impossible. You schedule your life around their witching hour, and you desperately try everything to get them and yourself through it. So I have to let you in on what seems like a secret if you are struggling with this, because I hear moms say everyday, “I wish I would have known this sooner.”

Since becoming a chiropractor I have seen countless moms try chiropractic, because after hours of research and trying everything else their last option to get through this awful part of motherhood is to listen to their one friend that suggested it. They come in lost, because every doctor they have talked to has told them that it is normal for babies to cry and that it will pass. Or maybe they were told that it is largely due to digestive issues, or more recently suspected headaches. So with this you try to do everything at home to make it even the least bit better, but it feels impossible to fix something you don’t quite understand.

Well I’m here to tell you that in my years of working with these colicky babies there is normally some sort of stress in their history. Whether mom had a stressful pregnancy, long stressful delivery, or c-section delivery these all play into stress on a babies nervous system. Stress on the nervous system can come out in digestive issues, tension in the neck causing discomfort, constipation, and even in newer research possible headaches. So this explains the indecisiveness among research, and why they can’t conclusively decide what the cause of colic is, because for every baby it is different. So every baby is different yes, but for a chiropractor I know that all of these issues that they are finding makes clear sense when you look at it through the lens of chiropractic and the nervous system.

A stressful pregnancy causes inflammation and a change in hormones which are all hard on baby and can lead to them being hardwired and stuck in a stress mode, so colic. Long deliveries also increases the risk for the use of forceps or twisting to get baby out as it is most commonly due to baby being stuck, which can cause injury to the upper cervical spine. A c-section is the biggest culprit in my experience. In a vaginal birth the contractions actually work to stimulate nerves and activate the nervous system to kickstart things like digestion and breathing so they are born primed for these functions. Then going through the vaginal canal baby is exposed to bacteria that acts as the first dose of probiotics. C-sections cause us to lose that nervous system activation and the bacterial congregation in the gut. Also, birth in general, but especially a forceps or c-section delivery can cause injury to the upper cervical spine. I have yet to check a baby and not find an upper cervical misalignment, which affects the nerves in that area. Those nerves are responsible for calming, handling stress, digestion, and can cause headaches. So every single cause of colic that has been suspected by researchers and pediatricians ties back to the upper cervical spine. In fact recent studies have shown that when newborns were checked after birth over 90% of babies had some sort of upper cervical misalignment and strain to the neck musculature. So, its easy to see that when you look at colic from a nervous system point of view the fix is easy. Which is why recent studies have shown that 85% of colic resolved with chiropractic care! Momming just became a little bit easier when you know that colic isn’t normal, we do know the cause, and we can fix it!

Moms colic is not normal, and while a baby will outgrow colic symptoms they don’t outgrow the nervous system stress, which shows up differently later in life. Instead of suffering through colic praying for it to end find a pediatric chiropractor that can measure the amount of stress on the nervous system, and help you determine if they can help your child. Being a mom is hard enough, so let us help you make it a bit easier.

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