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Discover Natural Help for Your Baby's Colic

Infant holding mom's fingerHealthy infants with colic have frequent, persistent or intense crying or fussiness. Colic can manifest in breastfeeding troubles, constipation and reflux, which all point back to the baby’s body. So what’s going on? The baby’s nervous system is stuck in a hyperactive state—in a stress response or a state of sympathetic dominance.

Wired for Stress

Many times we’ll find that there was some sort of history with stress throughout pregnancy or some sort of trauma during labor and delivery, which may include:

  • The baby was stuck
  • A C-section was performed
  • Interventions were used
  • Epidurals or Pitocin were given

Any of those interventions may have added stress on the baby.

If a baby comes into the world in a stressful environment, typically they’re going to be more wired for stress. A colicky baby is unhappy and crying constantly as their only way to communicate. Many parents find themselves exhausted and frustrated because they don’t know how to help their infant.

What We Look for in an Assessment

When evaluating a baby for colic, we’ll ask the following:

Is their body very rigid?

Are their hands in a fist?

Are their arms flexed up in a fighting position?

Are their legs sticking straight out?

Do they have troubles latching and eating okay on both sides equally?

Are they pooping regularly?

Are they sleeping?

Do they arch their back when they eat?

Do they like or dislike tummy time?

One of the important things that we assess when we’re looking at an infant is the tonicity throughout their body. There are issues with both hypertonicity and hypotonicity. However, typically what you’re going to find is a baby that is stuck in a sympathetic dominant state is going to have a lot of hypertonicity—they feel very rigid or tight.

The Effectiveness of Chiropractic

Safe, gentle and natural, chiropractic care can help infants improve considerably. Some estimates show that 94% of colicky babies showed improvement with chiropractic care. How does it help? A lot of the colic issues are due to vagus nerve dysfunction, which leads to a hyperactive nervous system, which can then lead to other issues.

The vagus nerve exits the spinal column in the upper part of the neck next to the top bone, C1. Any interventions which place undue stress in that region of the spine may cause a subluxation (misalignment) at C1 thus leading to compression or irritation of the vagus nerve.

When you specifically adjust the upper part of the neck, in addition to the sacrum of a colicky baby, that’s going to pump the brakes in the nervous system. The adjustment helps bring them out of that sympathetic dominant stress response more back into the rest and digest state.

Commonly, we find that as we start adjusting colicky babies their arms start to fold out and relax or their legs curl up and curl in. They are so relaxed that they may kind of melt into the table. Babies who receive chiropractic care for their colic will be much calmer and happier.

Won’t They Just Outgrow Colic?

Parents may forego bringing their child in because they think their baby will simply outgrow the colic. That’s not the case. It’s crucial to fix the issue as an infant because typically these babies are not growing out of colic, reflux or other issues.

Instead, babies with colic will grow into other issues like allergies, asthma and other autoimmune issues. When an infant is stuck in a state of stress it is vitally important to get them out of that state. That’s why it’s very important to get to the root cause when they’re young which will allow them to thrive as they continue to grow and develop.

If you have a colicky baby, we want to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lynch!

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