Colic. Sleeplessness. Gas pains. Poor latch. Reflux. Does my baby even like me? When was the last time he pooped? Flat spots on her head. Screaming at the breast. Screaming when I put him down. Why is my baby screaming SO MUCH?
Mama, you are doing a fantastic job. You are reading your baby's signals and trying EVERYTHING to respond and help. Bouncing, colic drops, pushing up baby's legs, wearing your babe, napping with baby. You are enough, you are doing enough, and you deserve some rest and time for you.
Poor little babies don't have the words to tell us what is wrong and how they are suffering. As moms know, birth can be a very traumatic event. Whether it was long, slow, and arduous with pushing that seems to last forever, or swift and powerful, birth is often dramatic and difficult for both mom AND baby. In a study done by a manual medical doctor in Germany in the 1960's, over 90% of the 1250+ babies checked for major misalignments in the upper spine showed signs of trauma
, with over 10% being SEVERE trauma. Signs of this misalignment, called KISS syndrome, include: swelling in the delicate tissues surrounding the brainstem, asymmetry of upper neck muscles, pressure on the spinal cord and brainstem, decreased blood flow to the brain, and an alteration in the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Risk factors include: long labor, C-section, Vacuum or forceps extraction, twins or triplets, and prenatal positional anomalies.
So what might this look like in a newborn or infant? A preference of holding the body in certain positions (head extended back, or rotated or tilted to one side), bruising or 'stork bites' on the head or neck, having a cone head at birth (especially if it is more on one side or the other)
. As the baby grows, this can translate into torticollis, preferring one breast or the other or not being able to breastfeed at all, picking up their head earlier than they should, plus ALL the fussing, colic, sleeplessness, reflux.
Misalignment in the upper spine or cranial bones cause major disturbances of the nervous system. The top bone in the neck, C1 or atlas, surrounds and protects your brainstem. Pressure in this area can alter automatic functions in the body such as digestion, sleep patterns, mood, balance, and immune function.
In this area, the fight or flight nervous system should be tempered by the parasympathetic, which helps with healing, digestion, and relaxation. So if parasympathetic nerve flow doesn't slow down the raging engine of fight or flight, we see a very stressed individual: increased heart rate, sweating, blood going to the limbs and away from digestive organs, stress hormones raging making pain and suffering a vicious cycle
. So as children grow out infancy, we see a different set of symptoms from this same brainstem issue emerge: immune system problems such as frequent ear infections, asthma, or allergies, continued digestive issues, and often times an alteration in neurological function such as ADD and anxiety.
The great news about working with an infant with a birth trauma is that the healing power in babies is incredible. It takes just enough pressure to check the ripeness of a tomato
to gently and precisely
remove the misalignment in the upper neck and head. No twisting or cracking ever needs to occur, because babies don't have layers of scar tissue and degeneration that adults have accumulated. Many infants recover from their symptoms in just a few visits. To fully resolve the issue often takes just 6-12 visits.
Ready to try a gentle and effective approach to help your baby and reduce your own stress in the meantime? Contact us for a complimentary consult.
Dr. Sheena grew up in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota and completed her undergraduate studies in Architecture, Chemistry, and Sustainability at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.