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Prenatal & Pediatric Care

Asian parent couple standing in bedroom together. Man holding pregnent woman tummy tied wi

When it comes to Pregnancy the last thing mom needs to worry about is her body hurting, having complications, and worrying about how she is going to care for her baby.


After seeing thousands of women we have fine tuned our unique approach to prenatal care which has two main elements: restoring balance to the pelvis, then get your body strong and healthy in preparation for labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. According to the American Pregnancy association chiropractic during pregnancy not only is safe during the whole pregnancy but also helps to:

  • Maintaining a healthier pregnancy

  • Controlling symptoms of nausea

  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery

  • Possible prevention of a cesarean or breech delivery 

Why do women experience issues during pregnancy?

Well the growing baby puts extra demands on your entire body, this added stress, along with the hormonal changes of relaxin being released into your body lends itself to causing postural changes that can leave mom feeling unbalanced. 


We love serving pregnant and postpartum mothers so they can get back to enjoying their life. Once moms understand how our approach to chiropractic is really a lifestyle choice for people that want to have an amazingly functional, free, and fulfilling experience of their bodies with the confidence that they are doing what it takes to live that life. 

Postpartum care is a big concern of ours as well, breast feeding and caring for a young one is taxing on your neck and shoulders and can cause some issues if not addressed properly. On top of that making sure your hips, lower back and abdomen are healing properly postpartum will influence how your back functions as you get back to exercising and over time. Many women in the later years of their life never realized that by properly rehabbing their bodies postpartum could have made a massive difference in their health. 

Shoreline Chiropractic Office
Chiropractic and kids

Make an appointment to talk to a chiropractic doctor about the benefits of prenatal care.

Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic

By Gina Shaw 


Look around your child’s or grandchild’s school, a playground, a carnival or an amusement park. For every 100 children you see, at least three of them have probably visited a doctor of chiropractic at least once. According to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 3 percent of children have been treated with chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation.

The numbers are rising. In 2000, a survey found that there were about 30 million pediatric visits to chiropractors1; by 2009, that figure had more than doubled, to 68 million.2 The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners’ most recent practice analysis, issued in 2010, found that about 17 percent of chiropractic patients were under age 18 — approximately 7.7 percent aged five years or younger and some 9.4 percent between ages six and 17.

With chiropractic care involving children becoming so commonplace, it’s important to understand the evidence regarding its safety and effectiveness. Several reviews of the literature in recent years have examined the safety of pediatric chiropractic:

  • A 2011 review by Matthew Doyle found a rate of .53 percent to 1 percent mild adverse events for pediatric chiropractic manipulative therapy.3

  • A 2009 survey study by Alcantara et al. surveyed both chiropractors and parents of pediatric patients in a practice-based chiropractic research network. Chiropractor responders indicated three adverse events per 5,438 office visits from the treatment of 577 children. The parent responders indicated two adverse events from 1,735 office visits involving the care of 239 children.4 (This study has been criticized for some methodological weaknesses, however.)

  • A 2007 analysis by Vohra et al., involving two randomized trials and 11 observational reports, found nine serious adverse events and five mild to moderate adverse events, as well as 20 cases of delayed diagnosis for other conditions. 5

"The Vohra study looked at all the peer-reviewed literature over 110 years and involved not just chiropractic practitioners, but anyone doing spinal manipulation,” says DC and Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (DICCP) Elise Hewitt, a Portland, Ore. pediatric chiropractor who serves as president of ACA’s Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics. “That’s nine serious adverse events in 110 years. They were serious, absolutely, and we should not downplay them, but those numbers are very small considering how many millions of pediatric chiropractic visits there were over that same time period.”

Looking beyond just the peer-reviewed literature, Dr. Hewitt says, there’s another strong indicator of the safety of chiropractic in general and pediatric chiropractic in particular: insurance rates. “Chiropractors have the lowest malpractice rates of all primary health care providers in the country, and those rates are based on risk. Actuaries aren’t going to give us lower rates without good reason. And as a pediatric chiropractor, my rates are exactly the same as my colleagues who treat adults.”

Drug Safety

Dr. Hewitt also points to the issue of relative risk. One of the most common reasons parents bring their children to the chiropractor is formanagement of chronic ear infections. The other common treatment for ear infections, of course, is antibiotics. In a 2009 review of pediatric adverse drug events in the outpatient setting, Bourgeois et al. found that an average of more than 585,000 pediatric adverse drug events requiring medical attention occur each year; by far the most common culprits in these cases, at 27.5 percent, were antimicrobial agents.

Children’s Bodies

The key to safety in pediatric chiropractic is education, says Jennifer Brocker, DC, DICCP, who practices with Dr. Hewitt. “It’s a completely different process when you work with kids, and you have to know what you’re doing in order to treat them appropriately. You need to know the proper techniques,contacts and depth. The contacts need to be smaller and the thrust more shallow with less force. Pediatric chiropractic is extremely safe if you know what you’re doing, but less so if you don’t.”

“Children have the same joints that we do, but they’re not fully formed yet,” adds Emily Watters, DC, who practices in Portland’s Whole Mama Whole Child chiropractic and craniosacral clinic. “Their joints are still more cartilaginous than trulybony, so the adjustments have to be a little bit faster but with less force. This is due to the increased flexibility within the joint and the smaller surface area you are targeting. With kids, another option in certain cases is to mobilize joints rather than manipulate them.

“Pediatric chiropractic also differs dramatically from treating adults when it comes to the nature of the complaints. Older children — middle schoolers and teens — may come in with musculoskeletal complaints that resemble those of young adults, particularly if they are involved in athletics. But younger children,toddlers and infants don’t usually arrive at the chiropractor’s office complaining that they threw their back out after lifting a really heavy Elmo doll or dancing too hard to The Fresh Beat Band.

Babies’ Bodies

“For young babies, the most common complaints are colic, sleepissues and nursing dysfunction,” says Dr. Hewitt. “We also frequently see plagiocephaly and torticollis.”

“Even in utero, if there was any sort of intrauterine constraint, the baby can get stuck in one position, potentially for several months,” says Dr. Watters. “Wouldn’t you be hurting if you’d been in one position for two months? From day one, they can have directional preferences, possibly due to shortened tissues during growth. The goal of treatment is to restore motion to the joints and balance the tissues to keep everything as biomechanically even as possible. Taking the tension off from day one can help allow for optimal growth and development.”

With respect to nursing dysfunction, Dr. Hewitt says, “Every baby is born with an instinctive ability to suck. If the baby can’t latch on properly, there may be a communication problem between the brain and the elements of the suck-swallow reflex. I just get the joints moving again, clearing out the irritation of the central nervous system, which opens communication pathways that let the tongue and throat muscles work properly.”

In a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) in 2009, Miller et al. reported on a clinical case series of 114 patients with “sub-optimal infantbreast-feeding” at ages 12 weeks and younger.6 The babies had all been seen by multiple practitioners, including midwives, pediatricians, lactation consultants and others, as well as the doctor of chiropractic for their feeding issues. Of the 114 babies in the case series, 89 (78 percent) were exclusively breast-fed after four chiropractic treatments.

The authors caution that there are obvious limitations to a case series vs. randomized trials, and they note, “It is not known whether this is a result of chiropractic manual treatment, the co-treatment provided along with other health care providers or the natural course of this condition.”

Nonetheless, says Dr. Hewitt, those are impressive findings. “If a baby has problems latching, there are normally very high rates ofbreast-feeding failure.”

Miller’s chiropractic teaching clinic in the United Kingdom has also done studies on infant colic. In another study published in JMPT, she took an innovative approach toblinding parents as to whether their baby received a chiropractic treatment or not.7 The 104 infants were randomized to one of three groups: two treatment groups and one non-treatment group. For one of the treatment groups, parents observed the infants receiving chiropractic care. For the other treatment group and the non-treatment group, parents were seated behind a wall and could not see whether their baby received the chiropractic treatment or not.

Improvements were reported via a 24-hour “crying diary” kept by the parents. “By day 10, the mean difference in the change in crying time from baseline between patients treated and not treated was 1.5 hours,” the authors wrote. “In contrast, there were no statistically significant differences in the mean change in crying time from baseline at any of the time points between the patients of parents who were and were not blinded to treatment.”

Chronic Ear Infections

For slightly older children, one of the most common reasons to visit the chiropractor is a chronic ear infection. A 2011 review of the literature by Pohlman and Holton-Brown, published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, paints a conflicting picture of the evidence for its effectiveness (although the safety findings are strong).8 “From the 49 studies (17 surveys/editorials/commentaries, 15 case reports, 5 case series, 8 reviews and 4 clinical trials) found in this report, there was limited quality evidence for the use of SMT for children with otitis media,” the authors wrote. “There is currently no evidence to support or refute using SMT for OM and no evidence to suggest that SMT produces serious adverse effects for children with OM.”

How might chiropractic care improve chronic ear infections? Dr. Brocker explains the process this way, “Fluid is getting trapped in the middle ear cavity, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Medically, you’d use an antibiotic to kill the bacteria, but that doesn’t do anything about the fluid buildup. We’re asking, why is the fluid trapped? If the muscles surrounding the Eustachian tubes are spasming, that can close down the tube’s opening and not allow the fluid to drain. Our goal is to stop those muscles from spasming.”

Quality of Life

Some claims have been made about chiropractic’s potential to have an effect on larger childhood developmental disorders and syndromes like cerebral palsy, ADHD, autism, post-stroke, Down syndrome and so on. Dr. Brocker says that no one could ever legitimately claim to “cure” a child with such conditions. “But chiropractic may make some changes that allow them to lead a more comfortable life,” she says. “You can improve their quality of life by keeping their system moving and allowing their nervous system to work the best it can, so their body can reach its fullest potential.”

“I’m not sure if there’s any evidence that shows some of these things, but I’ve had parents come back to me after I’ve adjusted their child and found some places that are restricted, and say that their behavior seemsmore calm and they’re more relaxed in their own body,” says Dr. Watters.

Pediatric Chiropractic Specialty

There are few chiropractic practices that specialize solely in children, as those of Dr. Hewitt, Dr.Brocker and Dr. Watters. “There are only about 225 DICCPs around the world, and about 175 or so spread across the 50 states in this country,” Dr. Hewitt says. “But there is more and more interest now at the student level in pediatric chiropractic practice.”

Because of the growing focus on chiropractic integration and collaboration with the medical mainstream, students are coming into the profession interested in specialization — and pediatrics is a specialty that particularly attracts the interest of young chiropractors. “There’s much more awareness among students, as well as the profession and the general public, that chiropractic can help children than there was in past years,” Dr. Hewitt says. “Every time I speak in public, my breakout sessions are always crowded because people want to learn more about pediatrics. I think in the next 20 years we will see a lot more chiropractors in this specialty.”

Launching a pediatric chiropractic practice today should be relatively easy, Dr. Hewitt believes. She hasn’t advertised in 15 years and gets patients only via referral, yet she has a two-month waiting list for new patients.

“There’s a huge need. Medical care is great for saving our lives but doesn’t do a lot for everyday quality-of-life issues that plague us. There’s a lot more anxiety and stress in kids’ lives today. As a chiropractor, the adjustments we do are great, powerful and can be life-changing,” she says. “But there are other aspects to a conservative first approach to health care that are particularly important for kids: focusing on adequate nutrition,sleep and physical activity. Parents are looking for answers besides putting their kids on more drugs. This is a great gift that we have to offer our children.”


1 Lee AC, Li DH, Kemper KJ. Chiropractic care for children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154:401–407.

2 Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic. Explore (NY). 2009 Sept-Oct;5(5):290-5.).

3 Doyle M. Is chiropractic pediatric care safe? A best evidence topic. Clinical Chiropractic, v.14, no.3, 2011 Sept, p.97(9).

4 Alcantara et al.

5 Vohra et al. Adverse Events Associated With Pediatric Spinal Manipulation: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics Vol. 119 No. 1 Jan 1 2007 pp. e275 -e283.

6 Miller et al. Contribution Of Chiropractic Therapy To Resolving Suboptimal Breastfeeding: A Case Series Of 114 Infants. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 32, Number 8.

7 Miller et al. Efficacy Of Chiropractic Manual Therapy On Infant Colic: A Pragmatic Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 35, Number 8.

8 Pohlman KA, Holton-Brown MS. Otitis media and spinal manipulative therapy: a literature review. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2012) 11, 160–169.

Pediatric Best Practices

The NCMIC Foundation funded a consensus process resulting in best practice recommendations for chiropractic care of children. It is called “Best Practices Recommendations for Chiropractic Care for Infants, Children and Adolescents: Results of a Consensus Process.”1

A broad-based panel of experienced chiropractors was able to reach a high level (80 percent) of consensus regarding specific aspects of the chiropractic approach to clinical evaluation, management and manual treatment for pediatric patients, based on both scientific evidence and clinical experience. (For more on the importance of best practices documents, see September 2014 ACA News, p. 18.)


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What brought me into Dr. Christine Meshew’s office was my having nausea and vomiting due to being pregnant.

I was also suffering from low back as well.

Results:  I received both Acupuncture & Chiropractic care from her. I felt amazing after my first session. My nausea calmed down and I haven’t had any pain in my back nor anywhere else in my body. I continued care during my entire pregnancy. I would recommend any pregnant woman to come in to see Dr. Meshew. She will take care of all your problems and she will make sure your baby is in the correct position so you can enjoy yourself throughout your pregnancy.  This treatment works wonderful on pregnant women.

Sushma. P.

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What brought me into the office for care was starting at 26 weeks of pregnancy I was desperate, in much pain (lower back). I couldn’t even walk 6 feet at times due to pinched nerves and spinal misalignment. I then continued care with Dr. Meshew every week until 6 weeks post-partum. I plan to continue treatment!

Dr. Meshew provided me instant relief and healing. It was almost too bizarre to have immediate results! One night I was in agony and couldn’t get out of bed without pain (and assistance). After my visit the next morning I was up & down & completely agile, freely moving, unencumbered. These results lasted, and as my pregnancy brought new physical shifts and challenges, they were immediately addressed and “fixed” (I’m still amazed at the “fixed” part.)

I carry 4 business cards of Dr. Meshew’s in my purse at all times just in case I have an opportunity to share my testimony with others and refer people in need to her. I also have recommended her care to many of my dearest friends and family members, online, on the phone and in person. I have also had my 3 year old daughter and newborn son adjusted by her. This surely attest to my faith, trust and confidence in her care & practice.

Jennifer Hoof

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I’ve received Chiropractic care for over 5 years from Dr. Meshew and have brought my 3 children for the last year.  As my children have gone through various growth stages and normal bumps and falls, it’s been reassuring to know that their systems are kept in alignment and they will be able to avoid long-term issues from these minor injuries. Dr. Meshew does a great job finding things that are out of alignment and fixing them. She is very patient with the children and answers all of their questions, including mine. I would recommend others to Dr. Christine Meshew

Yolanda Matheson

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