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!


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!