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Traumatic Birth Syndrome and Chiropractic

Traumatic Birth Syndrome (TBS) occurs when an infant’s spine is injured during or shortly after a delivery, this injury results in nerve system damage or interference and can lead to other health problems. It’s critical your infant is evaluated by a chiropractic doctor to determine if TBS has occurred.

Birth Injury in the United States

Labor and delivery isn’t just difficult for the mother, the infant also experiences the physical stress and strain of the birth process. Around 2 percent of births in the United States result in physical injury to the infant. This percentage is likely low as injuries often go unnoticed and TBS may be painless, making it difficult to spot if TBS is present. The only way to determine if TBS has occurred is through a chiropractic evaluation.

Some common injuries are Brachial Plexus Palsy (injury to the nerves in the baby’s arm), bone fractures, cephalohematoma (hemorrhage of blood between the skull and outer membrane of the bone), facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries and caput succedaneum (swelling of the scalp).

Most Common Injury: Clavicle Fracture

The most common injury is a clavicle fracture, which occurs in one out 11 births. Of these births, around 10 percent of the clavicle fractures also result in damage to the brachial plexus, which are a collection of nerves in the arm. These injuries can result in temporary or permanent immobility of the arm.

Subluxation of the Spine

Spinal subluxation occurs when one or more spinal vertebrae move out of position, creating stress or irritation on nearby nerves, which prevents the body from functioning optimally. One of the three most common causes of subluxation is trauma.

Minor and/or major trauma can occur to an infant as he or she makes the way through the narrow birth canal, especially if the medical staff must use tools to assist the baby’s exit from the womb or birth canal. These traumas often result in subluxations. Chiropractic adjustments remove the subluxation, allowing the body to function optimally.

Why Birth Injury Occurs

Birth injury is may occur due to use of tools during the births. Doctors and medical staff will often use vacuum suction and forceps to reposition the baby’s head or to pull the baby out, if pushing is proving ineffective. Doctors will also pull on the baby’s limbs or head. Any of these techniques can result in Traumatic Birth Syndrome.

Have Your Baby Checked

Immediately following or soon after birth, it’s important to have your infant checked by a chiropractor to determine if any subluxation occurred. Many chiropractors have pediatric certifications and specialize in infant adjustments, and chiropractic adjustments on infants are proven to be safe and gentle. Research has shown a correlation between chiropractic care and a reduction in the symptoms of colic, ear infection, ADHD and more.

Make an appointment to talk to a chiropractic doctor about chiropractic and traumatic birth syndrome.

Read on to learn more:

Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic, American Chiropractic Association, accessed April 2016

Newborn Clavicle Fractures, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, accessed July 2015

Birth Injury Statistics, Birth Injury Guide, accessed July 2015

Birth Injury, Stanford Children’s Health, accessed July 2015

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy, American Pregnancy Association, accessed June 2015

Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature, Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, Spring 2007

Chiropractic Advice for Moms-to-Be, American Chiropractic Association, accessed June 2015


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