Family Centered Chiropractic Care
Family centered chiropractic care for kids & expecting moms is a great choice for families looking for improved joint mobility, function and health. Finding the right chiropractor for you and your family is the first step.
A Personal Testimony of Chiropractic Benefits
For Dr. Beth Smolick-Reese of Life in Motion Chiropractic Center in Canonsburg, PA, chiropractic is a calling, a vocation, not just a job. “Chiropractic literally called me. It finds you. I practice with my husband, and we both feel like chiropractic found us.”
Having injured her back at age 15 when she was a cheerleader, Dr. Beth turned to chiropractic after a family friend referred her. “It changed my life,” she declares. Not only did it help with her back pain, but it also eliminated childhood sinus issues and more. “I was a very sick child. I was just sick all the time, so that is why I try to put kids first in my practice because I know what it can do for them.”
In fact, Dr. Beth testifies that she hasn’t even been on antibiotic for a sinus infection since she started chiropractic care as a young girl. “My mom says if she knew what she knows now, she would have done things completely differently, with my health. So, I would like to set the stage from day one with moms-to-be and parents here with their little ones that if we nip issues now, we’re going to have fewer problems in the future, which is wonderful.”
Gentle Chiropractic Before and During Pregnancy
Dr. Beth and Dr. Nate serve patients of all ages and stages of life, but when she talks about expecting moms and children, you can really see her passion come through. Helping so many women who couldn’t get pregnant and then are able to get pregnant by healing their own bodies is awe-inspiring for her. “To see literal life being restored within these walls is pretty remarkable. That is my driving force for doing what I do.”
In addition to her deep knowledge of chiropractic techniques, Dr. Beth is also Webster Technique Certified. Webster’s Technique has become a familiar term in the pregnancy and birth conversation. Families are seeking out chiropractors who are proficient in this technique as a way to support a more comfortable, safer, and easier birth.2 This technique not only opens up the pelvis for birth but can also sometimes allow baby to move into the right position for birth. Speaking to any unease a patient or medical provider might feel about this, Dr. Beth reiterates, “We’re not obstetricians, and we’re not ‘turning babies’. We are just allowing the body to get more comfortable, and with that sometimes baby can get more comfortable and mom can get more comfortable, too.”
Your Prenatal Chiropractic Visit
When asked what she would say to expecting moms if they have never tried chiropractic, Dr. Beth relies on her own experience. “I don’t know how women don’t get adjusted while pregnant. Having been through it myself, it just makes you feel and function so much better.”
Consider visiting a chiropractor before, during, and after pregnancy for a more comfortable pregnancy, safer birth, and to make sure your body is functioning at 100%. “If you are running a marathon, you want to be sure everything is in tip top shape. You need to be biomechanically balanced so that your gait is not off. The same thing goes for birth,” Dr. Beth explains. “You are kind of training for this big day when you’re going to be birthing this baby. Making sure the whole body is balanced from the pelvis, sacrum, and the little ligaments like your sacrotuberous ligaments, the round ligaments, and just making sure that everything is balanced, so when that day does come, you’re able to work through the birth process effectively.”
Safe and Effective Chiropractic for Kids: What to Expect
Having completed pediatric training with 200 hours of graduate work with the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association (ICPA4kids.org), Dr Beth was exposed to her working with a wide variety of pediatric issues.
When asked what it is like for a child to visit Life in Motion Chiropractic, Dr. Beth shows me a whimsical, inviting patient room set up just for children’s adjustments and evaluations. “We try to make it easy by emailing paperwork ahead of time, so parents and their children don’t have to wait any longer than necessary.” In addition, Dr. Beth completes a detailed initial consultation with any patient, regardless of age. For children, they request an overview of your child’s birth, your pregnancy, and other medical history and also an examination. X-rays are taken only if necessary, especially on children
The emotional component of mom during pregnancy can play a big role in a child’s development. Says Dr. Beth, “That’s why I like to get a very detailed history from day one. I like to allow 45 minutes to an hour for that initial visit. I’m checking primitive reflexes and milestones in development at that point. If they’re in pain, I’ll do some orthopedic tests as well. Depending on their age, we will do thermography scans and we’ll even do orthotic foot scans to help with gait.”
Commons Reasons for Children to See a Chiropractor
Common reasons for parents to consider chiropractic care for their children include ear infections, constipation, colic, asthma, chronic colds, flu, etc. Dr. Beth elaborates. “Constipation and reflux are probably the top issues we see in the office with babies. Some parents just want to be sure their child’s immune system is functioning really well and that’s why they bring them in. We also see babies with birth trauma. Lately, we have been seeing a lot of plagiocephaly, or flat heads, because of babies sleeping on their backs.”
Dr. Beth also specializes in cranial work. “I do cranial sacral therapy. We work with the cerebral spinal fluid that flows around the brain, down the spinal cord and back down to the sacrum. We work with the cranial bones to make sure they are aligned correctly. I love it. Its my favorite technique.” This technique stems from the Sacral Occipital Technique (SOT), which is one of the most researched chiropractic techniques. SOT was developed to restore a functional relationship between the head, the pelvis, and the spine – a structure that envelopes and protects our central nervous system. It is also known as a more “light,” or gentle, method of chiropractic adjusting.3
When Dr. Beth talks about adjusting a child, she testifies to its effects. “Feeling that life force and feeling that turn on is pretty cool,” she says.
For patients who want results on one visit, Dr. Beth stresses that it doesn’t happen overnight. “When we’re working with the body, it takes time. Its not this magic fix that we can go “poof” and all of a sudden the body is remarkably changed or we’re out of pain. That’s not the way the body works. It takes time, and you have to prepare yourself for that.”
The Fourth Trimester is the Most Important Time for Adjustments
While the early postpartum period, known commonly as the “Fourth Trimester”, is a time of great joy for many, it’s also a very vulnerable time. Women and their families experience substantial physiological, social, and emotional changes. Why, then, do we not offer careful monitoring, support, and anticipatory guidance with the same fervor as in the weeks before childbirth, in order to keep women safe? Most women would benefit from much closer follow-up during the fourth trimester. Though some attention is given to preparing pregnant women for the challenges of breastfeeding and the pitfalls of postpartum depression, women, families, and healthcare providers tend to focus on a healthy outcome at birth.3
The fourth trimester is the most important time to get adjusted. It is a stressful time for a new mom, a period of unknown territory. Make sure you are being supported by friends, family and professionals. Dr. Beth agrees. “The fourth trimester is a time period where people often think well, baby’s here, ‘I’m good’. I don’t feel that way by any means. I think you need nurturing, you need your village, whether its family, friends, your doula or whomever to come over and help you through that. You are not supposed to go through that period alone.”
Focus on Baby and Recovery
Women put a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect instead of focusing on baby and recovery. Dr. Beth agrees and offers heartfelt advice. “We’re not perfect. We’re not supposed to be doing all of this stuff all at one time. If you have the help, accept the help. Or hire somebody like a postpartum doula. Its ok to ask for help. Find reassurance in knowing you don’t have to do it all. You are supposed to rest, let your body heal, and care for your baby. Know that things aren’t going to all get done in one day.”
Dr. Beth encourages women to consult a chiropractor during pregnancy and beyond, especially during the Fourth Trimester. “It’s a huge change for mom to go from pregnant to not pregnant. So those three months postpartum are so important, not just emotionally but physically. Relaxin is still pumping, everything is still really mobile because your body is trying to get back to where it should be. Getting adjusted during that period is actually really important.” In addition, Dr. Beth and team can advise you on pelvic floor health and other aches and pains experienced after childbirth. “Moms need to be nurtured just as much as the baby postpartum, and we are here to help.”
Dr. Beth Smolick-Reese is a pediatric, prenatal and family chiropractor. She practices with her husband, Dr. Nate Reese in Canonsburg at Life in Motion Chiropractic Center. She is certified in Webster’s Technique and is a certified pediatric and prenatal chiropractor through the postgraduate program of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). I have a passion for helping women through preconception, pregnancy and the postpartum time, while also helping children move and function better through chiropractic care! She grew up in Hershey, PA and moved to Pittsburgh in 2010. Dr. Beth earned her BS in Nutritional Sciences from Penn State and her Doctorate in Chiropractic at Life University. She is a mother of two (4 year old and 2 year old) and has a passion of holistic living and parenting. You can contact our office at 724-745-1533 and check out our website at www.lifeinmotionchirocenter.com.