27 Apr A Parent’s Guide to Chiro Care for Babies & Children
Founder and Clinic Director – Polly Hand, talk about all things chiropractic for babies!
Polly – you specialise in pregnancy and paediatrics, can you give us an insight into how you became interested in this area of Chiropractic care?
I’ve just always been obsessed with babies and pregnancy- since I was a small child myself! I think I always knew I wanted to work with babies and children, so when I realised I wanted to be a Chiropractor I just knew I would specialise in that area. I even stated it in my application to the Chiropractic course and I’ve never swayed away from it!
Do the other team members at CBH share your passion for pregnancy and paediatrics?
Definitely – we’re all pregnancy and baby mad!! All of the other chiropractors in the team have a special interest in pregnancy and paediatrics, Brodie is qualified in the Webster technique just like myself. Lauren has been doing my adjustments throughout my pregnancy and has a great deal of experience with little people. Jack is new to the team but also passionate about this area. It’s not just our chiropractors who have this focus, we have an in house reflexologist, Jo who is trained in maternity reflexology; Julie is our therapeutic integrative counsellor who has 10 years experience preparing parents for childbirth and early years attunement with infants and Anna is our licensed massage therapist specialising in holistic, pregnancy, deep tissue and seated massage treatments.
Why would a parent want to bring their child for chiro?
Parents naturally want to do the best for their children- they get their ears and eyes checked, their teeth checked- they come to us to get their spines and nervous systems checked!
What is the youngest age at which you can treat someone?
I’ve adjusted babies at 2 days old! I always just say to the parents that it’s just whenever they feel happy to bring baby in, have someone else touch their baby, and when they’re ready to leave their postnatal nest! For some that takes a few weeks, for some they come in on their way home from the hospital! (This has genuinely happened a few times!) I feel so honoured to be trusted with their new bundle of joy.
What does it look like to adjust a child, and does it differ from adjusting an adult? (what techniques do you use?)
The adjustments are VERY gentle for babies- the maximum pressure used is the same as that I would use to touch my own eyeball! That’s literally all that’s needed! For older children we can increase that pressure, and sometimes for toddlers we use our adjusting instrument/ activator on a low setting as they like the gadgets and it keeps them still and interested! We use cranial techniques and SOT techniques on babies and children. We don’t use traditional Chiropractic adjustments until children are older – it depends on the child but usually not until they are about 5 or 6 or maybe even older.
Are there any contraindications to treating infants or children?
As the techniques are so gentle- no not really! As with adults though we always carry out a thorough consultation and examination before commencing any treatment and we do not carry out treatment if we feel there is any risk, or even if we feel that Chiropractic is not the required treatment for that baby/ child. We will always refer to the correct clinician if we feel we can’t help.