When newborns cry, they can often be calmed with a quick fix. Are they hungry? Tired? In need of a diaper change? Meet their immediate need and they are again quiet and satisfied. But what happens when babies cry for no apparent reason? What if they suffer from gas and vomit after every feeding, causing them to be uncomfortable, hungry and inconsolable? Infant reflux could be the cause – and chiropractic care could be the answer.
What is Infant Reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when milk or food mixes with stomach acid and is regurgitated backwards through the alimentary canal. Babies with reflux often vomit frequently, and many experience pain and discomfort. Infants that arch their backs, refuse to eat, cough or cry excessively are likely to be suffering from some degree of reflux.
What are the Causes of Infant Reflux?
Reflux is common in infants for many reasons. First, sphincter muscles are not fully developed until they are about 10 months old. Because these muscles hold food down in the stomach, any amount of eating can result in vomiting.
Second, certain foods are allergenic for babies. The only way to uncover these allergies is through trial and error – by eliminating a food group through a nursing mother’s diet or seeking an alternative formula – and that can take time. Cow’s milk is a common culprit.
Third, a misalignment of the vertebrae can cause acid reflux to occur or worsen. This misalignment often occurs during a difficult delivery, in which the mother pushed for an extended time, or when forceps or a vacuum was necessary to extract the baby. Sleeping positions during early infanthood can also contribute.
How can Chiropractic Care Help with Infant Reflux?
If reflux is caused by vertebral misalignment, a chiropractor will gently and gradually correct the alignment. This can help the upper valve of the baby’s stomach to gain more control, and can also improve nerve function.
Even if an infant doesn’t suffer specifically from acid reflux, chiropractic care can help with a variety of common issues, including gas, sleep difficulties and more. At Opp Family Chiropractic, we use targeted chiropractic techniques to treat pregnant women and babies for conditions common in pregnancy, delivery and the first weeks of a newborn’s life. We are committed to making this intense transitional period healthier and happier!
To learn more, contact our St. Francis chiropractic clinic today.