Chiropractors have often shared with us that, although expectant mothers come to them for prenatal care, many times, once their babies are born, these patients stop coming in, for no apparent reason. They don’t return for postpartum care, or when they finally do, they never have their babies evaluated.
Some chiropractors are apprehensive about approaching pregnant patients to discuss the importance of chiropractic care for newborns. Sometimes, they sense skepticism from the mothers‐to‐be and are afraid they will be rejected. Other times, chiropractors just don’t feel confident that they can effectively communicate with expectant mothers the importance of having newborns evaluated.
Here are some of our favorite tips for helping your pregnant patients make the decision to eagerly return with their newborns after delivery:
#7 Don’t wait until the patient’s due date or the week before she is delivering to approach the subject. By then, her hormones are in full swing and she is likely to be distracted, and quite possibly even overwhelmed. She won’t have the time or even the state of mind to ask the right questions or process the facts and information you’re providing. Instead, start educating her about the benefits of chiropractic care for infants and children as early in her pregnancy as possible.
#6 Introduce your pregnant patient to other moms who choose to have their newborns adjusted. If you don’t see too many infants and children in your practice, make it a point to schedule these families at the same time as your pregnant patient. Seeing other babies get adjusted will put the expectant mother’s mind at ease, and will lend validity and credibility to the choice of chiropractic care for infants and children. Introducing her to other mothers will also give her a sense of being a part of the wellness community. This will be especially impactful when you invite her to attend a Wellness Moms America meeting at your office, where she will learn about the benefits of chiropractic care for babies and children in a supportive environment.
#5 Help the expectant mom prepare her birth plan. Many expectant mothers don’t even know that they can prepare a birth plan and are unaware of all of their rights and options. You or your staff can help guide pregnant patients with sample birth plans and examples of the options available to them. For example, as part of her birth plan, your patient may wish to include getting adjusted during labor or having the baby receive a chiropractic evaluation after delivery. Helping with the birth plan gives you another opportunity to speak about the importance of pre‐ and postnatal chiropractic care for mom and baby.
#4 If your patient’s husband/significant other is not already under your care, try to have him come in to meet you and your staff. In many cases, although the mother is committed to having her newborn evaluated, the father is not. This is especially true when he is not your patient and has no chiropractic experience, or, even worse, has had a negative experience. By encouraging your patient to bring the father with her during one of her office visits, you will have the chance to show him that your office is a warm, welcoming place. Most importantly, you will also have the opportunity to educate the expectant dad about what it is you do and how chiropractic care might benefit his child, and to dispel any fears or myths.
#3 Talk about the safety of chiropractic care for infants and children. Even if they don’t express it, many parents (and grandparents, caregivers, etc.—those who can influence the parents) have concerns about safety. Let them know that adjusting children is extremely safe. The scientific literature and our malpractice rates are just two of the ways to lend validity to how safe it is to adjust babies. Adjustments for newborns are gentle! They might think that you adjust newborns with the same force or pressure as you adjust older kids or adults. Share with the expectant parents the gentleness and safety of adjusting their baby with your particular technique. You can demonstrate this to them by having them observe another pediatric patient getting adjusted, or on a baby doll.
#2 Multiple times throughout her pregnancy, remind your patient that every pregnant mom’s favorite adjustment is the one immediately following her delivery. Liken it to pampering herself. After months of feeling the biomechanical changes from the weight of the baby, as well as the labor and delivery process, she just can’t imagine how good that first adjustment is going to feel! Normally she will bring the baby with her for this post-partum visit, which will give you another opportunity to check the baby for subluxation.
#1 SUBLUXATION CORRECTION! Even in the most “normal” of births, subluxation can occur due to the compression, traction, and torsion on the baby’s neck during the labor and delivery process. Talk to the expectant mom about the importance of having the baby assessed and eliminating any nerve interference to help maximize her child’s potential for health and wellness. Encourage other patients to share their testimonials about their babies and children. These success stories will remind the expectant mom about how getting her baby adjusted can help avoid common childhood aliments like colic, reflux, and asthma.
Don’t leave it to chance that an expectant mom will want to have her baby adjusted. Put these tips into action and they will give you the foundation to effectively communicate with pregnant patients and build a great pediatric practice.
We hoped that you found this weeks Top 7 list valuable. We are committed to your practice success, so if there is anything we can do to help please let us know. If you are ready to grow your practice to the next level join us at the next Chiropractic Pediatric Fantasy Camp.