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Kidz + Digestion : acid reflux, constipation, + gas

Posted by Jesse Lillejord on

Many babies suffer from digestive issues such acid reflux/spitting up, constipation + gassiness. Pediatric chiropractic can be one conservative + safe treatment option for your little. Read on to find out how we can help and learn at home tips you can do yourself!


Infant Digestion Tips for Acid Reflux, Constipation, + Gas


With a misaligned spine there is likely compression or pinching of the nerves that leave the spinal column. Some of these nerves are traveling to our digestive organs with instructions from the brain on how, when, and what to digest. That being said, when these messengers (nerves) are compressed, they aren't able to get the message to the organ correctly which is why correcting misalignments can provide GI relief.


Acid Reflux/GERD:

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is basically a fancy way of saying that the sphincter/valve between your esophagus and stomach isn't functioning properly.  Most often the sphincter muscle is weak or too relaxed when it shouldn’t be.

Common Symptoms:
  • Arching/extension of the back after feedings
  • Coughing, gagging
  • Poor eating
  • Irritability after feedings
  • Poor weight gain/weight loss
  • Forceful/frequent vomiting
  • Redness in the face
Infant Digestion Tips for Acid Reflux, Constipation, + Gas
Tips for Relief:
  • Avoid overfeeding: try smaller, more frequent feedings
  • Burp during feedings + after
  • Hold your child upright for about 30 minutes after feeding
  • Eliminate dairy + gluten products. Milk intolerances can mimic/aggravate all signs and symptoms of GERD
  • Infant probiotic [ Klaire labs has a good probiotic for kiddos ]
  • Consult your doc about adding rice cereal to bottles
  • Tummy time on an exercise ball! [ depicted above ]
  • Traction/sphincter release on the esophagus *** Video below will walk you through this trick


Constipation + Gas

 Infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, redness in the face, extension/arching of the back, and abdomen distention are all signs that your baby could be struggling with constipation or gas. Oftentimes kiddos coming into the office presenting with gassiness or constipation have a misaligned sacrum [ triangular bone in your pelvis ]. Nerves leaving the sacrum travel to the lower digestive tract and control the parasymphatics [ rest + digest ]. If your baby is stuck in sympathetic mode [ fight or flight ], they may not be able to fully release and release their bowels. 

Common Symptoms:
  • Infrequent bowel movements-- frequency can depend on the baby +  if they are breastfed vs. formula fed 
  • Hard stools (pebbles)
  • Redness in the face
  • Straining for 10+ minutes
  • Extension/arching of back
  • Abdomen distention

    Tips for Relief:
    • I- Love-U technique (video above)
    • Pelvic movement/flexing  
    • Juice: pear, prune diluted in water
    • Infant probiotics [ Klaire labs ]
    • Pelvic flexion + mobilization


    Each child is so unique and so is their GI system. Although these tips can help at home, it can be beneficial to have your child evaluated for specific care recommendations! Our pediatric specialist will adjust any involved segments of the spine that could be hindering your child's ability to digest + you'll be given individualized tips for help at home!


     *** As always don't hesitate to reach out with questions /// thoughts surrounding this topic! ***
    Just email us :

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