Can a Chiropractor help my baby with Acid Reflux?

Can Chiropractic care help my baby’s reflux? This is an awesome article that shows how it might, and did help this baby!

Chiropractic care has long been regarded for it’s ability to help children with specific ailments when others have failed. There are many different approaches (some natural some un-natural ) to try and remedy a fussy baby or help a baby that is struggling with reflux. This article from Mama natural is great! Before we go down the remedy rabbit hole too far, let’s try and understand why some babies experience reflux!

Let’s think about it! For the last 9 months, your baby has had every need it ever had fully fulfilled before she ever knew she needed it. Your amazing body has been providing an amazing environment for baby to thrive, since conception. With that being said, baby has never had to eat before! So, for the first time in his life, digestion is happening! Whether your baby is breastfed, bottle-fed breast milk, or formula fed, he is having to digest fats, carbs and proteins for the very first time! With digestion comes stomach acid and at times baby might not have the hang of it yet and produce ‘too much’ stomach acid. This might cause baby to spit up, as it can be very irritating to the esophagus, and cause baby discomfort, and with discomfort comes fussiness. Additionally, baby is still learning to control his or her esophageal sphincter neurologically. So, even though the acid content and the amount she is drinking is ideal for them, the impulse from the brain to close the sphincter might not be getting there and thus the communication between the two is effected causing some of the contents of the stomach to back up (or reflux) into the throat and come spilling out on baby, you, or any other group of innocent bystanders, HA! On a serious note, although rare, some babies do suffer from a more severe condition called pyloric stenosis (if you suspect your baby is suffering from this, contact your pediatrician for their recommendations). In most instances this is not the case with reflux and babies who suffer with traditional reflux can be and SHOULD be managed conservatively, FIRST!

There are many ways to try and manage the symptoms of reflux, often times doctors recommend for parents to:

  • Add rice cereal
  • Burp your baby after every 1 to 2 ounces of formula. If you breastfeed, burp your baby after nursing from each breast.
  • Avoid overfeeding
  • Hold your baby upright for 30 minutes after feedings.
  • If you use formula and your doctor thinks that your baby may be sensitive to milk protein, your doctor may suggest switching to a different type of formula. Do not change formulas without talking to the doctor.

And if none of that works, often times doctors might prescribe some various medication types such as:

  • H2 blockers, which decrease acid production
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which lower the amount of acid the stomach makes

The only problem with all of these methods, is that they are only addressing the symptoms, not fixing the problem. Medications that lower the acid content, can then slow digestion and cause other side effects, I have never met a parent that wanted to put their child on medications!

So, what do we do? What options are we left with?

The Chiropractic approach!Here at EFC, we are advocates for Chiropractic FIRST, drugs and surgery second, only when necessary! We are so grateful for emergent, invasive measures that we have so readily available to us in this country, but without a doubt, we all to often use measures that are meant to be a last line of defense as our first option! We are advocates for change in this world, and we want to empower our community to achieve TRUE health, not just temporary symptom management!

During the birth process, or as baby is learning to hold her head up and do tummy time (this is SUPER IMPORTANT ), the bones of the spine can become mis-aligned. A condition called Vertebral Subluxation. When this occurs, the messages going to and from the brain can become altered and symptoms arise, such as, reflux. A baby cannot tell us something hurts, but they can cry and be fussy “one more time for the sleepy moms in the back!!”

Think about it, if a bone in the spine mis-aligns and puts pressure on the nerve that goes to the stomach, how could the stomach possibly work the way it is supposed to? Did you know that? That every organ in our body is controlled by nerves that branch out from the spine?! Look at this chart, do you have any of these symptoms of nerve interference? Does your baby?

A neurologically based chiropractor is able to identify where the subluxation is occurring and adjust the bones back into alignment, gently and specifically. How gently? (Think about the amount of pressure it would take to test if a tomato is ripe)

With time, the communication between the brain and the body is restored and the body can function optimally again.

Lastly, WHY! Why is this so important? Every connection between Mom and Baby is so special and unique. An upset baby and a sleep deprived mom can only facilitate so much connection. The love is so strong yet there can be a disconnect that is hard to explain. (Check back with us next week for our blog on ‘The 4th Trimester’) When baby is functioning better and less fussy, mom and baby can be better connected and the love can be shared at a level they previously didn’t think they could reach! When this happens there is a ripple effect into our community and society that is immeasurable, but profound!

We have a saying around our office, it was born out of the fact that we see parents all the time that tell us “I wish I would have known.” Too often parents aren’t aware of their options and are driven by fear to make a decision they are told is for their babies best interest. We are here and we do what we do, because “I wish I had known, shouldn’t be your story”!

-Dr. Ryan Hewkin

Excelsior Family Chiropractic 636.345.4816.

Excelsior Family Chiropractic


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