On March 21, 2016, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study showing chiropractic helping an infant with multiple health issues resulting from a traumatic birth.
The study begins by noting that about 5% of all births in the U.S. are either by forceps or by vacuum extraction. They report that forceps delivery is associated with an increased death rate during birth, and that vacuum extractions are associated with increased head injuries, facial paralysis, and other head and nerve problems. Chiropractors are interested in this problem from a standpoint of the effect these types of births have on the upper portion of the neck.
In this study, a 6-week-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor for consultation and possible care with problems of infantile colic, acid reflux, restlessness, inability to relax and/or lay on his back, difficulty sleeping and general irritability. The baby's mother described her son as being fussy, restless, always tense and frustrated. She reported that in the first six weeks of life he was screaming and could not be comforted during all his waking hours. While sleeping, the infant would moan and whimper.
The baby had been given a medical diagnosis of acid reflux and infantile colic and he was given the label of a "high needs baby." With this diagnosis, the infant was prescribed and given a generic form of the medication Zantac for his colic and reflux.
A history of the birth process revealed that infant's mother did not experience any contractions prior to the beginning of labor. After only 17 minutes, it was reported that the baby's heart rate had decreased. Because of this, an episiotomy was performed and the baby was pulled out with the aid of vacuum extraction. This resulted in a large bruise on the infant's skull from the vacuum extraction.
A chiropractic examination of the infant revealed the presence of multiple vertebral subluxations, including several in the upper neck region. Chiropractic adjustments were performed specific to the subluxations, and the age and size of the infant.
After the first adjustment, the mother reported that her son had the longest nap he had experienced since birth. The parents also reported that within the first week, the infant had six large bowel movements within 36 hours of being adjusted, was less fussy, less gassy, sleeping more soundly and peacefully, showed improved postural alignment of the neck and entire body, and appeared to be much happier, more comfortable, and demonstrated an overall improved demeanor. After several more visits, the child no longer had any of the digestive issues or other health concerns seen on the initial evaluation.