Colic relief through a nappy change?! If you're wondering whether or not you read the title right... don't worry, this blew me away too when I researched diapering in order to write this page.
And I want to share this knowledge with as many expectant, new and even experienced parents as possible, because this can make a big difference!
We all know the double leg lift technique. Hold baby gently by the ankles, lift the lower part of their bodies to remove the dirty nappy and replace it with a clean nappy.
But from birth until your baby is able to sit or even crawl, there's a technique that will actually help to reduce discomfort in your baby's tummy. It's called the rolling technique.
Be sure to roll your baby's entire body and not just the hips, so that the spine stays in a straight alignment.
Let's start at the beginning. In the womb, your baby lies curled up in a C position. When they are born, they only have this one curve in their spine.
Then as your baby grows and their muscles get stronger, they learn to lift their heads and hold them up. This is what forms the first secondary curve, the curve in the neck (cervical curve).
Later, the baby learns to support their own weight on their hands and knees and eventually learns to crawl. This action forms the secondary curve in the lower back (lumbar curve).
Once these muscles are strong enough, the baby is able to support their body weight while standing upright and thus learns to walk. In other words, it takes time for a baby's spine to go from a C-shape to an S-shape.
Our intestines get most of their nerve information from the part of the spine that is near the bottom of the rib cage and the upper part of the lower back.
Now think logically... when you lift up both of your baby's feet to change a nappy, you bend the spine at that exact position. And every single time you do this, it can push those vertebrae out of place.
This is why studies show impressive results for babies with colic being treated with chiropractic care. Those vertebrae are put back into place and the intestines' nerve messages are not interfered with, resulting in less discomfort and pain.
So your baby might be doing great after a chiropractic adjustment, but it takes a few repeat sessions to keep it there, because every time you change a diaper, you push the vertebrae out of place yet again, without even knowing it.
Don't worry, there is hope and a better way to do things!
Instead of lifting both legs, rather use the rolling technique until your baby starts to crawl. Dr John Edwards demonstrates and explains it beautifully in this video.
One last question...
What is the difference between using the double leg lift to change a diaper compared to when a baby lifts their own legs to suck on their toes?
Well, when a baby lifts their own legs, they do so at the hip joint. When we lift their legs, we bend them at their spine in order to remove the nappy and be able to wipe the entire bottom.
For more information on chiropractic and colic, check out these external articles:
Other pages on breastfeeding problems
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