Chiropractic care is not just for adults and children. Infants can benefit from chiropractic care too!

A case study published in the July 2006 issue of the peer-reviewed, scientific publication, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) documented the effects of chiropractic care on a nine month old infant girl with a history of disturbed sleep. The JCCP is the official publication of the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics of the International Chiropractors Association.

The study article starts off by noting that the average 9 month old should sleep approximately 14 hours per day. In this case study a nine month old infant girl was presented for chiropractic care with a history of severely disrupted sleep and fussiness. Additionally, the infant was refusing to breastfeed on one side and exhibited, what was called a generally unsettled behavior. It was also noted that the child would not turn her head to the left. These problems had been occurring since birth."

The examination confirmed a reduced range of neck motion to the left and significant muscle tension in the left and upper neck. Upon touching the neck the child exhibited signs of being in pain by crying and moving away. It was determined that subluxations were present, and an appropriate course of adjustments was initiated."

The results in this case were very impressive. The study noted that on the afternoon after the infants first adjustment the baby girl fell asleep for 5 hours. This was followed by nighttime sleep of 2 periods of 6 hours each. Over the next three weeks of care the daytime sleep got shorter, but the nighttime sleep remained between 6 and 8 hours."

In addition to the dramatic sleep improvement, the child also improved her range of neck motion and was able to turn her head to the left in response to sound on the left side. Additionally the infant began to feed freely and comfortably."

In their conclusion, the authors of the case study noted that the dramatic improvements after just one adjustment indicated that the vertebral subluxation found in this case was at least in part responsible for the disrupted sleep pattern."

From the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health comes a case study published on March 28, 2013 documenting the case of an infant who was suffering from colic and torticollis, who was helped by chiropractic care.

The study authors start by noting that colic affects 29% to 39% of infants. According to the US government website MedlinePlus, "Colic is crying in a baby that lasts for longer than 3 hours a day and is not caused by a medical problem. About 1 in 5 babies cry long enough to be considered colicky." The study authors also note that the signs of colic go beyond just crying, "In addition to abdominal pain and distension, the patient will have excessive bowel gas and legs held in a position drawn up toward the body."

In this case a 3 month old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor suffering from incessant crying and torticollis. Infant torticollis is when the baby's head is tilted to one side and the chin turned toward the other, due to muscle contraction. The baby's history revealed he was born six weeks early by cesarean section and spent two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He started experiencing gastric reflux and colic in his first month of life. At the baby's first pediatric check-up he was diagnosed with colic, torticollis and flattening of the bones on the top of his head as well as the left side of the back of his head.  The boy's mother noted that he could not turn his head comfortably to either side. His medical doctor suggested a helmet for the torticollis.

The boy cried during the entire chiropractic examination. The results of the examination showed a number of postural abnormalities and restrictions in ranges of motion. His abdomen was extremely sensitive to touch with the muscles being hard. It was determined based on the chiropractic examination that the child had a subluxation of the top bone in his neck, C1, as well as misalignments in his pelvis and mid back area. Specific chiropractic adjustments were initiated to correct the baby's subluxations.

The case reports notes that on the second chiropractic visit the mother reported that her son was able to sleep with his head turned to the left, which he had not been able to do previously. His mother also reported that her son exhibited positive behavioral changes, noting that he was a happier baby and was crying less. By the third visit the baby was sleeping better and continued to cry less. By the fourth visit the patient’s mother stated that her son's torticollis as well as the colic were completely resolved. The child continued to be healthy and happy from that point forward.

The authors of the study summed up the outcome by stating, "The child showed marked improvement after each chiropractic visit with complete resolution of the colic and torticollis after just four visits. This completely changed the demeanor and character of this child illustrating the positive effect of chiropractic on this child as well as his parent’s lives."

The above headline comes from an NBC News story on May 7, 2013.  The story, and several more in other news outlets, is based on a report released April 30, 2013 titled "Surviving the First Day", by the organization, Save the Children. The study shows that the United States ranks 68th in the world for infant survival beyond the first day. This places the US last among industrialized nations, and behind such countries as Cuba, Egypt and Mexico.

The report shows that in the US three babies die in their first day for every 1000 born. Page 55 of the report states it clearly by saying, "The United States has the highest first-day death rate in the industrialized world. An estimated 11,300 newborn babies die each year in the United States on the day they are born. This is 50 percent more first-day deaths than all other industrialized countries combined."

The US spends more on healthcare than any other nation. The US also uses a very high rate of medical intervention in child birth with a national cesarean birth rate of over 32 percent. In some hospitals the cesarean rate is almost 70 percent.

An article in Consumer News on May 8, 2013 questions medical intervention in childbirth in the US. The article starts off by saying, "Pregnant women often undergo medical procedures and invasive interventions, including induced labors and cesarean sections, without fully understanding the risks or being involved in making decisions about their care."

According to the findings of a major new survey conducted by Childbirth Connection, a nonprofit organization that focuses on maternity care, many procedures are unnecessary and carry risks the expecting mother may not be aware of. Maureen Corry, M.P.H., executive director of Childbirth Connection stated, "Our survey suggests that pregnant women need to take a more active role to make sure they get the care that is best for themselves and their babies. They need access to trustworthy information about the benefits and harms of interventions, to educate themselves, and be their own advocate."

The Surviving the First Day report notes that the US has a very high rate of premature births, which they feel contributes to the high death rate. The report notes, "Many babies in the United States are born too early. The U.S. preterm birth rate (1 in 8 births) is one of the highest in the industrialized world (second only to Cyprus). In fact, 130 countries from all across the world have lower preterm birth rates than the United States. The U.S. prematurity rate is twice that of Finland, Japan, Norway and Sweden. The United States has over half a million preterm births each year – the sixth largest number in the world (after India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and Indonesia)." The report continues, "According to the latest estimates, complications of preterm birth are the direct cause of 35 percent of all newborn deaths in the U.S., making preterm birth the number one killer of newborns."

The report also points out that the US has a high rate of adolescents giving birth. "The United States also has the highest adolescent birth rate of any industrialized country. Teenage mothers in the U.S. tend to be poorer, less educated, and receive less prenatal care than older mothers."