Talking Spinal Health with Dr Erin!
Welcome back everyone!
We have slowed down with our live video's for the summer season, but we were very pleased to partner with Dr. Erin Kempt-Sutherland for a quick one on Thursday, July 13th!
If you missed it, no worries, it's always on our Facebook page, so you can watch it here.
Dr Erin Kempt-Sutherland is from the Choice Health Centre, at both locations, Dartmouth and the newly opened Bayers Lake!
We were so happy to welcome Dr Erin to talk about spinal health for babies during diaper changes and baby wearing because those two things are our bread and butter here in store! We always stress the important of proper baby wearing for baby AND you!
Here are some tips from Erin,
- baby comfort (warmth, smell, heartbeat of mom, general closeness)
- ergonomic ease for mom compared to holding
- bonding (chest to chest)
- better than leaving in a car seat - which can negatively impact lumbar or lower back development
- babies are born with a lumbar flexion or kyphosis which as they develop and grow, needs to develop into the opposite type of curve, a lordosis, or arch. The carrier keeps them in a flexed position.
- tummy time, crawling, and baby wearing allows this curve to develop naturally
Baby Wearing Do's
The wrong carrier can negatively affect normal development of baby's hips and pelvis alignment
- Thighs at 90 degrees to each other. Baby in utero is in fetal position with hips flexe and externally rotated. This is the position we want them in a carier as it is safest for pelvic and hip development. Specifically, we want the thighs to be at 90 degree angles to each other. This is definitely more easily attainable with baby facing INWARDS.
- Wear baby facing in (belly button to belly button). If baby faces forward, the thighs drop and internally rotate, leading to pelvic and hip strain. For these exact reasons, we do not recommend swaddlig infants, which forces their legs into a straight position, with hips extended and internally rotated. Facing in, we also have the added benefit of comfort for the infant, again, in being chest to chest and able to see mom, as well as the world, over her shoulder, as opposed to just the world.
- Make sure hips are square by looking in the mirror to see if baby is twisted, and to double check that the legs are even.
- Make sure baby's neck is supported.
- Do switch up who is wearing the baby! Don't forget about yourself! Wearing a carrie all the time can negatively affect the person wearing the baby, creating repetitive strain disorders! Switch up who wears the baby! Even the best carriers with the best ergonomic designs can create shoulder and neck strain over time. This leads into how to wear the baby carrier as the parent.
- Do look for a carrier with wide straps (wraps are great for this - criss cross in the mid t-spine(T6-7,near the bottom of the shoulder blades)).
P.S. The carrier that Camillia and Dr Kemp-Sutherland were demonstrating in the video was the Tula Free to Grow carrier in Play - check it out on our website here!
Babies are born in the fetal position. Babies spines until about six months when crawling begins are therefore C-shaped whereas adult spines are S-shaped.
The typical way of changing diapers (holding by the ankles and lifting the legs upwards) forces the C-shaped curve into a hyper-flexed or more C-shaped position. This creates increased mechanical stress due to increased flexion on an already flexed curve.
The nerves from the lower back region, specifically T12-L1. Usually the fulcrum of the curve, which is the point of the spine under the highest amount of stress with this technique, supply the intestine allowing them to function properly. This diaper changing technique can irritate symptoms of colic and intestinal distress through diminished intestinal function.
This also places a lot of stress on the cervical spine as well (the neck).
Seeing a chiropractor can help, we will often detect restrictions at this level in these infants with colic, digestive issues, etc. But you can also help at home by changing how you change you baby's diaper using the roll method.
The live video on our Facebook has the best demonstration of the roll method!
Another quick tip from Dr Erin to end the blog was when the best time to take your new born baby to a chiropractor is?
Basically after every major milestone that they hit. With the first one being birth! Then after they learn to pick their head up when on their tummy, then crawling, and then walking! These are all great times to take the littles ones to see a chiropractor!
Thanks for tuning in! We will be sure to let you all know when the next live video will be!
Leave some comments if you feel we forgot anything or if you have any questions!
The FBB Team
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