When offering parents the option to adjust their newborn, the doctor of chiropractic must first consider the parent’s perspective. Many good chiropractic patients will still hesitate to get their newborn adjusted because of the fear of hurting them.
Consider this: As a parent, if you went to a chiropractor who used high velocity osseous techniques on you, and you never got to witness first hand an adjustment on a child, wouldn’t you be frightened that the adjustment could hurt the child? The fear can be eliminated if the chiropractor takes the time to demonstrate the minimal amount of force used to adjust an infant. You can use pinkie pressure on the arm of the adult to show the amount of force used on an infant. Explain to them that the adjustment is so gentle that a sleeping child may not even wake up.
Perform the adjustment on the newborn with care, respect and love. Move your hands slowly and only take the baby from the parent with permission and ease. If the child is awake, look into the eyes of the child and make contact. Speak gently, call the child by name, and wait for them to respond and get used to you before you proceed. Sometimes, the first visit may be an opportunity for the baby and the parents to get accustomed to you. The parent’s response and trust in you will affect the baby’s ability to feel at ease with you as well.
If you lack confidence with your skills to care for infants and you are avoiding them in your practice, take classes where you can gain proficiency.
The International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association offers over 150 classes around the world. Take advantage of this resource and begin providing a very needed service in your community.
Jeanne Ohm, DC, has practiced Family Chiropractic since 1981. She is currently Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is the instructor on Perinatal Care in their 360-Hour Diplomate program. She can be contacted via their site at: www.icpa4kids.com.