chiropractic health

IV Fluids in Labor and Newborn Weight Loss

In my practice I see so many new parents struggle with breastfeeding. Newborn weight loss is a common issue that commonly leads to unwanted or unintended use of formula. Something that we view as simple and benign as IV fluids can actually lead inaccurate weight measurements which can lead down the path of formula supplementation. An IV hydrates the birthing person and also the baby. So when they are born they are full of excess fluid compared to if they had not had an IV.

It’s normal for newborns to lose up to 7% of their body weight as the mothers milk is coming in during those first few days. Up to 10% is acceptable by some pediatricians, however when more than 10% is lost parents are often told they need to supplement with formula or pumped milk. And ideally they will be back to their birth weight within two weeks. However if newborns are being tracked from birth with an artificially higher weight, they are more likely to lose that water weight and it will look as though they’ve lost more weight than they actually had.

Not only does an IV plump up the baby but it also plumps up breast tissue and that engorgement can make it harder for the baby to latch. Again leading to breastfeeding issues and a delay in milk coming in. Engorgement makes for tissue that is not as supple or malleable to fit into a newborns mouth and mold to their palate. It can often result in a more shallow latch which is not only painful but also can prevent the newborn from transferring as much milk as they could.

So if you do have an IV in labor, take the baby’s weight at 24 hours old and use that as your baseline so they have time to pee and release some of the excess fluid. This will give you a more accurate idea of how much weight they are actually losing, if any.

Use baby’s weight at 24 hours old as their baseline

Also the amount of fluid administered in labor has an effect on this. The more volume of fluid given the more likely you are to experience this artificial excess weight loss. Studies have found that mothers who receive 2,500 mLs or more are at higher risk for excess weight loss in their newborns. Evidence shows that hydration is essential in labor however drinking fluids is much more effective and doesn’t have the negative effect of newborn weight loss. Oral fluids have time to process through our digestive tract as opposed to an IV which goes right into the blood stream.

So what’s the big deal with formula anyway? After all, fed is best right? Formula fed babies are at higher risk of ear infections, asthma, diabetes, eczema, respiratory infections, digestion issues and SIDS. So how can you avoid formula? The more your baby is latching directly on you the more you are to increase your milk supply. Baby’s saliva is picked up by your nipple and your brain registers exactly what nutrients your baby needs in that very moment. It also increases oxytocin which is responsible for your let down. You can further increase oxytocin with skin to skin contact so if you need to be separated from your baby to pump try looking at photos or holding something like a hat or blanket that smells like them. If you are having trouble with latching, make sure to work with a lactation consultant and pediatric chiropractor. They can help you with positioning, oral, mechanical or neurological restrictions and troubleshooting many other issues. If your nipples are cracked or damaged you might need to consider pumping or hand expressing to allow yourself time to heal. Pumping with simultaneous hand expression can significantly increase supply.

Milk donations from other lactating women is also a great alternative to formula. It also increases the amount of antibodies to help fight potential infections because it exposes the infant to a whole new host of exposure from the milk donors environment. This is called informal milk donations. Milk banking is also another option. Milk from a milk bank has typically been screened for infections, however it also goes through processes that decrease nutrient value. Just remember any time you give a bottle make sure to replace that feeding with pumping to keep your supply up. The more you empty your breast the more milk you will make. It’s all about demand and supply.

Formula fed babies are at higher risk for ear infections, asthma, diabetes, eczema, respiratory infections, digestion issues and SIDS

If your health care providers are recommending formula, please take this information into account. Work with a lactation consultant, pediatric chiropractor, or any other provider that will support you. Breastfeeding is HARD WORK. It doesn’t always come naturally and it’s not always easy. But the support is there. Build your team before you give birth so you’re ready. You’ve got this mama. And we’ve got your back!


Our Fav Pracitioners

We have some local practitioners that we absolutely LOVE and we want to share them with you!

check them out! and tell them we sent you!

Placenta Encapsulation/Acupuncture



Birth Prep Classes


Pediatric Dentists

Pediatric Physical Therapists

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists

Naturopathic Doctors

  • Nourish Medical Center – children, mothers and adults Nourish


A gentle reminder… be gentle to your body

A gentle reminder… far too often I take care of mothers who have pushed their bodies too much too soon. Most OBs will clear you for exercise at your six week check up, well guess what? The bar is low AF. That basically clears you that you won’t die. It does not necessarily mean your body is ready for activity, and sometimes is a very inappropriate and irresponsible recommendation.

Remember, your placenta was attached to your uterine wall and now that it’s detached it’s basically an open wound. Give. It. Time.

In addition, your body is still full of the hormone relaxin, which relaxes your joints. This is great for pushing a baby out but not so great for high impact right after delivery. Relaxin is present AT LEAST nine months post partum or four months after you’re done breastfeeding.

If you have diastasis recti (abdominal separation), prolapse, bulging, residual round ligament pain, etc these are signs your body probably isn’t ready and you’re vulnerable for further damage. (Hello, peeing your pants at age 50)

So please, be gentle to yourself. Partners, encourage slow movement. Some cultures don’t even get out of bed for *40 DAYS* after having a baby. If you need to move your body do it slowly, safely and gradually. More to come on how to move…


Chiropractic During Pregnancy

Did you know that not only does your uterus and abdominal area change drastically during your pregnancy, but your spine does also? That’s right! When viewing the spine from the side we typically have curves in our spine both in the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine), and in the opposite direction in the mid back (thoracic spine).  These curves give strength and stability similar to the structural strength of arches on buildings. Pregnancy requires relatively rapid growth of the uterus over a short period of time and the spinal biomechanics have to keep up with these changes. In order to support the growth your center of gravity shifts forward, your lumbar curve increases and your spinal joints have to work overtime to support you. This, of course, can be painful. And here’s the kicker (yes, the baby is also a kicker) that pesky hormone relaxin (ya know the one that relaxes your joints to allow you to push a baby out of your pelvis) affects all your joints and makes them more vulnerable to injury. 

But have no fear! Chiropractic is here! Spinal misalignments, which we call subluxations cause dysfunctional movement, muscles, postural distortions and nerve interference. By detecting subluxations we can make corrections through specific chiropractic adjustments. Pregnancy however requires even more detail in the analysis and adjusting techniques. The Webster Chiropractic technique is a system of adjusting the spine through gentle, specific and effective adjustments to clear the nervous system while adapting to the dynamic nature of a pregnant woman.  

So what’s that popping sound anyway? Chiropractic adjustments don’t always require the big movements with popping or cracking noises (in fact, infant adjustments are performed with little to no force at all, but that’s a story for the next article). There are many tools and techniques to adjust you with whatever style you prefer, but if you do like the bigger adjustments you might hear a popping or cracking noise. Subluxations cause pressure to build up in the joints and the noise is the pressure being released. So technically, subluxations are not misalignments, because the adjustment is not moving the bone back into place but rather it’s releasing pressure and restoring proper joint mechanics. In addition to that, each spinal bone has up to 12 joints on it, so there are 12 opportunities for pressure to build up and 12 opportunities to make some noise! One adjustic thrust can sound like a ton of movement, but often we are localizing that adjustment to the one or two bones that are subluxated, and due to the multiple joints with built up pressure it sounds like every bone has moved! I hear this a lot when taking care of pregnant mamas. The extra relaxin (ya know, that hormone released during pregnancy that helps open your joints to push a baby out) makes the spine more vulnerable to subluxations during pregnancy so we often get a lot of movement during the adjustment. 

We also work with the ligaments such as the round ligament that connects the uterus to the pubic bones. These have little muscle fibers in them so they can contract and get tight when your spine and pelvis are out of alignment. Releasing these ligaments can provide a ton of relief to the pubic joint, lower abdomen and hip joints. I often see mamas who have a very hard time walking or moving their legs in a lunge-type motion, but after a series of Webster chiro care they are in tip-top shape again and ready to take on the world. 

Check out our Cafe of Life YouTube channel for more tips on stretches and mobility movements to assist you in making your pregnancy not only more comfortable but also more empowering! We look forward to seeing you during your pregnancy. It’s such an honor to be invited along the journey with you!


Love for the Unknown: A Miscarriage Story

Written by Dr. Stephanie Libs, DC

Published in Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine

After dating for eight years, followed by 14 months of planning, my husband and I finally tied the knot. Then, about six weeks before the wedding, we conceived. So, we thought, what better time than our wedding to announce our pregnancy? Everyone we loved and cared about would be there, and we could surprise them all at once. Upon completion of all the speeches and our thank-yous, Dean and I asked our parents to join us at the front of the room. We had them close their eyes and hold out their hands. When they opened their eyes they were holding onesies with the words “I love my grandma” and “I love my grandpa,” and we excitedly yelled out ,“We’re pregnant!” The room exploded with excitement, cheers, laughter, and tears. All four soon-to-be grandparents were overwhelmed with joy and couldn’t stop hugging us and each other. We were bombarded with love and support. It was a moment we will never forget.

Two days later I started to experience mild cramping and light spotting. I was uncomfortable but thought nothing of it. … [Read more]


Detox Bath

A detox bath is a great way to help your kiddo relax and boost your their immune system. This is a great routine if your child is exposed to potential illnesses, harsh chemicals, and environmental or medical toxins. Of course, chiropractic is a great thing to pair with this bath protocol to ensure proper brain and nervous system function. In our office we also do cranial work to allow for better brain function and enhance the ability of the body to detoxify itself. Remember, the blood brain barrier is open for the first several years of baby’s life, so prevention is best. Avoiding toxins helps to prevent heavy metals and pathogens from entering the brain tissue. We hope you enjoy this carefully cultivated recipe!

Everyday Detox Bath for Kids
1/4 cup of baking soda OR 1 teaspoon vitamin C powder
1/2 cup of epsom salt or magnesium flakes (flakes are more easily absorbed by the skin)
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
2 drops lavender essential oil

Immune Boosting Detox Bath for Kids (uses more salt for maximum effectiveness)
¼ cup baking soda OR 1 teaspoon of vitamin C powder (sodium ascorbate)
3/4 cup of epsom salt or magnesium flakes (flakes are more easily absorbed by the skin)
2 tablespoons of bentonite clay
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
3 drops of Frankincense or Helichrysum essential oil


First draw a warm bath. Make the bath as deep as possible, you want as much of the body in the water as possible for maximum effectiveness. Make sure to monitor your child the entire time while in the bath and of course, use your best judgement on depth of water and do what is appropriate for your child’s age and development.

If your water isn’t filtered you need to neutralize the chemicals (like chlorine) in your water or the detox bath will not work and your children will absorb toxic chlorine instead of eliminating toxins! You can neutralize your water 3 ways: 1) Crystal Ball Bath Dechlorinator (good for 200 baths!) OR 2) 1 teaspoon vitamin C powder. OR 3) ¼ cup to 1/2 baking soda.

Add your de-chlorinator of choice to the bath water and let it sit for 5 minutes to neutralize the chlorine.
Mix the epsom salts or magnesium flakes, coconut or olive oil and essential oils in a small bowl or cup. After the bath is neutralized, add the salts/oils to the bath.

Add bentonite clay if using. Bentonite clay binds to chemicals, including heavy metals, and removes them. To add the clay to your bath, mix it together with water first in a cup to get the clumps out (however you are not supposed to let the clay touch metal so use a wooden or plastic spoon to stir) and then add to bath.

Have your kids get in the bath and let them soak for 20 minutes.

Do not use soaps or personal care products in a detox bath. During a bath your children’s pores are wide open and they can absorb chemicals from personal care products! Skip the soap during a detox bath and just the ingredients work their wonders!

Detox baths can be done once a week on a regular basis. During times of illness you might increase the frequency to stimulate immune function.
Make sure your kids stay hydrated with filtered water before and after a detox bath.


How To Introduce A Bottle To Your Breastfed Baby

In my practice I meet so many families who are nervous about introducing a bottle. It should be easy right? I’ve found that parents are usually lost when it comes to bottles, there are so many to try, so many opinions on when to start, and all of this usually accompanies breastfeeding challenges, stress of returning to work or sharing feeding duties with other caregivers. While there are many factors that play into whether a baby takes a bottle or not, here are a few basic tips to help you get started. As always, working with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a great way to get more support that is tailored to your needs.

These tips do not mean you HAVE to bottle feed this way. But these tips help to eliminate variables to make bottle feeding similar to breastfeeding so they are more likely to take the bottle.

  1. Hold baby in the same position that they breastfeed best. Cross cradle is usually the ideal position to allow for safe swallowing and easier digestion. We found a lot of success with these bottles from ComoTomo.

  2. There are so many well-documented benefits of doing skin-to-skin after birth, but these benefits continue throughout the baby’s development. Position the baby’s cheek against the feeders arm or chest to continue the benefits, this will also help the baby bond and feel connected to the feeder.

  3. When feeding on one side, the baby experiences warmth, comfort and snuggles on one side of their head and body, and they have more exposure to their surroundings on the other side. The brain picks up a ton of information from their surroundings, so switching sides helps to stimulate both sides of the brain helping to integrate their environment. Don’t worry, you don’t need to go crazy keeping track, but many caregivers have a more comfortable side to hold a baby so just try to keep a mental note and switch off. You can switch half way through a feed, or just switch sides at each feeding.

  4. Take your time with feedings. Paced bottle feeding is a great way to mimic the flow of breastfeeding and deliver a slow and controlled feed. It helps if you can only fill a bottle with a feeding size quantity so it reduces the speed of the flow and you’re less likely to waste any unused milk. Paced bottle feeding also allows the baby to control the feeding so assess for their cues for satiety.

  5. Interaction is so beautiful during this time. Creating eye contact, singing, or telling stories is a great way to bond with the baby. It also allows the caregiver to be aware of the baby’s signs that they are full, still hungry, tired, etc.

Kelly Mom has a great article for more on the benefits of these bottle feeding techniques.

I also loved using the Medela Harmony manual hand pump once my milk supply was well established. These are NOT good if you are having issues with your supply but they are great if you need a quick pump on the go and all the parts were interchangeable with my Medela Pump in Style. Also the Haakaa Breast Pump was great to use during breastfeeding sessions on the side baby was not nursing. Although I wouldn’t really call it a pump, it’s more of a suction-cup-let-down-catcher-thingy, since you don’t actually pump it.

For more info on how to properly store your breastmilk check out our safe storage guidelines!


Introducing Solid Foods & Baby Led Weaning

Are you ready to start your baby on solid foods? Are you overwhelmed by all the contradicting information that’s out there? Yeah, I was too. With most things in parenting, I try to make choices that feel right, authentic and natural. I also tend to take the easy route, I like to call myself “lazy crunchy” because many things that are easy are also pretty natural and holistic. I found Baby-Led Weaning after attending a local workshop on the topic and I’m so glad I did. I read the book and knew that it felt right for my family.

Here’s the book Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley PhD & Tracey Murkett

So the gist of it is all about giving babies real food, in manageable hand-held sizes, and allowing them autonomy to choose how much to eat. It allows them the ability to explore textures and tastes while remembering the motto “food before one is just for fun.” This method also helps the baby learn how to listen to their body and satiation cues. While breastmilk (or formula) should be the primary source of nutrition for the first year, solid foods can be started as early as 6 months. However, it’s best to wait to introduce solids until the baby is sitting up unassisted with good neck strength, is able to move their jaw and tongue and is showing an interest in foods.

Start with one food at a time. This allows the child to really engage with the food and determine how to handle it and how to eat it, while also pinpointing allergies or intolerances. With my kiddos we started with things like cauliflower that we steamed so it was super soft, sweet potato peeled and baked into big strips, banana peeled and left whole so it wasn’t too slippery to hold, and a plain omlet cut into chunks.

The book explains how and why this method works, and I’ll tell you I’ve seen it work for my kiddos. They are both adventurous eaters and we don’t struggle with getting our toddlers to eat their vegetables. In fact, a whole bell pepper is often their meal of choice. Or cucumbers are a treat for dessert. I’ve never had to buy processed baby food in a jar or prep baby food at home. Check out the book! I think you’ll be surprised with how much you’ll learn!

And here’s the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook for awesome ideas!


Organic Gardening

We are in the season of spring and it’s a perfect time to pick up gardening as a new hobby, especially with everyone at home practicing social distancing.

full disclosure: i know next to nothing about gardening. but, my hubby, dean knows almost everything! so i’ve picked his brain to bring you some easy, applicable tips.

Organic soil

First things first. SOIL. Let’s talk about how to get healthy soil, because healthy crops grow in fertile soils. Kinda like humans, amiright? You can find organic soil at your local nursery or online like this smaller bag from Dr. Earth or this larger 12 quart bag from Fox Farm.

Raised bed dimensions

If you’re just starting a garden for the first time my hubby recommends starting small! A small garden box will be easier to manage so you’re less likely to get overwhelmed and give up, and there is less chance of injuring yourself by leaning over a huge box! A garden box that is somewhere around two feet by four feet and about a foot high is a great starting point; it seems small but it can still be a lot to manage. You can even start in garden pots if you have a small yard. I’m obsessed with these super cute geometric ceramic pots.

What are the best veggies to grow?

Grow things that you eat often so you’re motivated to get out their and enjoy the fruit of your labor! Right now (springtime) is a great time to grow things that “fruit” like peppers, egg plant tomato, zucchini! Your local garden shop or nursery will have organic seeds that are in season.

How to improve garden soil quality

Ok back to soil, it’s a good idea to give your soil some shelter with mulch. We often use leaves, sticks, grass clippings, and any green “waste” that might otherwise go in the trash to gently spread over the top layer of our soil. It gives the soil some nice cover while still allowing for air to flow through under it. Make sure you use things that won’t take root and become weeds that can compete with your fruit or veg. Having a mulch cover is important so the soil doesn’t dry out and kill the good bacteria that’s needed for soil health.

Don’t disturb your soil by churning it up too much. It’s ok to aerate it a bit on top but digging it up too much can dry out the lower layer that might be nutrient dense, it can stir up dormant weed seeds and kill off worms and other bugs that are contributing to the soil health.

If you really want to work long-term, legume crops like fava beans, red clover and field peas will give back by providing the soil with a ton of nitrogen that’s essential for plant growth via photosynthesis. These are best planted in the spring so if you’re starting a garden now you can start with these then rotate crops this fall to give back to your soil. They are also really effective at keeping weeds at bay. One year we planted a ton of fava beans, and while they are a little labor intensive to cook them they made some killer hummus!

Avoid chemicals

Most importantly, avoid chemicals. Even if you spray your grass lawn with herbicides or pesticides it can mix with your garden when you water or when it rains so avoid using them if you can. If you can’t avoid it (perhaps you live in a communal area with shared outdoor space like a condo or apartment and you are not able to change those factors) then try to plant your garden in an area with the most distance from the where the chemicals are sprayed.

Happy gardening! For more gardening instatips and tricks follow us on Instagram @thechiropractress

chiropractic pregnancy&Birth

Dr. Steph’s Favorite Books

I love books! Even more if they are about birth, parenting, natural health, breastfeeding, communication and personal growth. So as a book junkie Here are some of my top favorites and links to each!


Attachment Parenting – I love this book because it covers the top 7 topics in attachment parenting (birth bonding, breastfeeding, baby wearing, bedding close to baby, belief in baby’s cry and sounds, beware of baby trainers and balance) and gives a great overview on the benefits of each.

Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – This is such a great book, not only does it help prepare for for breastfeeding but there is an overarching theme throughout the entire book about birth and parenting. The authors maintain a philosophy that honors and celebrates the natural processes of the body.

Fifth Vital Sign – OK. I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. This has become one of my all time favorites. It’s an easy read, yet it takes a deep dive into the female menstrual cycle. By reading this you will earn your body so well, know what to do to fix your cycle and empower your divine feminine self along the way.

The Big Letdown – I’m so impressed with this author and her ability to gather so much historical data about how medicine, big government, and even the feminists movement have undermined breastfeeding and how these interests have a broader connection to an industrialized food system.

No Drama Discipline – This book provides so many tools that are easy to put to use right away. It’s full of examples, graphics and illustrations of how to turn discipline into learning opportunities with a gentle, brain-focused compassionate connection.

The Conscious Parent – Anything written by Dr. Shefali Tsabary is worth reading! She’s brilliant and a beautiful author. This books brings to light a conscious approach to parenting and helps to heal us, the parent, since children are mirrors of our ego.

The Awakened Family – Again Dr. Shefali Tsabary writes a beautiful book for the whole family to become more present and connected. Her conscious approach to parenting in this book is enriched by personal stories of her own journey through parenthood and her clinical psychology practice.

You Are a Badass – I love this book for a good laugh while also empowering myself as a business owner and a mama. While it’s not parenting specific, the concepts in it are great for boosting confidence, and can’t we all use a little bit of that? The author is really funny, I even found myself busting out LOLing a ton!

Hypnobirthing – This book is essential to all birthing couples. I love that it changes the philosophy and language surrounding pregnancy and birth to a set of terms that is more loving, honoring and empowering to both parents and baby. Again it’s an easy read and it’s so good! I also highly recommend the class, if you’re in San Diego check out a list of available dates through San Diego Hypnobirthing.

The Fourth Trimester – Kimberly Ann Johnson wrote this one and I love it because she offers a really thorough holistic guide to the delicate period after having a baby. With all the attention and appointments we receive during the prenatal period, there can be a lack of support during the post partum period. This is a really well-rounded guide to healing on all levels, physical, spiritual, emotional, relational.

Woman Code – All ladies need to read this book. Especially if your cycle is anywhere near abnormal or if you have PCOS. It’ easily explains our physiology and is full of everything you need to know to optimize your cycle, (wether you’re trying to get pregnant, or trying to avoid getting pregnant) how to super charge your sex drive and become a power source.

Well Adjusted Babies – This is the ultimate holistic guide for pregnant and new parents. It reads like a textbook so you don’t have to read it cover to cover, you can flip to a section and read up on a specific topic as needed. The author is a chiropractor and also a mother to four children and one angel baby. She’s a brilliant author and speaker. This book is a bit pricey but it’s worth every penny. I still read it and reference it often.

It Starts With the Egg – Another excellent book for optimizing your cycle and fertility! It’s all about the science and the practical tips to improve egg quality to get pregnant naturally, prevent miscarriage and improve your odds with IFV. I learned so so much science in this book that has helped me take care of more families.

Spiritual Midwifery – I love anything written by Ina May Gaskin, in my opinion she is the mother of midwifery as we know it. I love this book because the first two-thirds or so are all 1-3 page positive birth stories that are really beautiful. It’s very uplifting and was so lovely to read so much positivity during my pregnancies.

Our Babies Ourselves – This book is amazing if you’re really into the anthropology, culture and biology and how it shapes our parenting. It explores options to reconsider the traditional styles of parenting based on science and common sense.

Sacred Pregnancy – This book is really more of a guided journal for pregnancy and is full of prompts to emotionally and physically prepare for the transition to motherhood. It’s full of beautiful photos and is separated into 40 bite-sizes chapters to mirror your 40 week journey. It’s an easy read and really inspiring!

How to End the Autism Epidemic

Baby Led Weaning – This my favorite method for feeding littles! I followed this feeding style and my kiddos are very adventurous and healthy eaters even now as toddlers. It allows babies to feed themselves, skipping the labor-intensive, puree-spoon-feeding mush, and dives right into exploring textures, flavors, and hand-eye abilities all while being autonomous and developmentally appropriate.

Transformed by Birth

Wild Feminine

Spirit babies

Labor Like A Goddess