Perfect abdominal breathing is readily observed in the newborn but unfortunately as we age, tension and stress in our day-to-day lives restrict this preferred pattern, resulting in a chronic and largely detrimental pattern of breathing.
And we thought breathing was one thing we couldn’t get wrong!
When we breathe, the diaphragm relaxes and contracts in order to inhale and exhale respectively (this can be easily seen by the rising and falling of the abdomen when we breathe). When an individual is under stress however, either emotional or physical, their breathing pattern changes. Typically, we take shallow breaths using our chest and shoulders, rather than our diaphragm, in order to move air in and out of our lungs, which gradually causes the body to automatically breathe into the neck and shoulders and not correctly into the abdomen.
It is understandable that all parents want the best for their newborn babies. Just walk into any large baby store and you are inundated with devices that are proposed to be "beneficial to the development of your baby".
Well not all, and generally very few, devices are beneficial at all!
There is a recent baby seating device on the market that many parents are buying. It has been designed as a seat that takes a young baby and keeps them in an upright seated position. You can just sit the baby in there and it "holds them up". Well, herein lies the problem.
Some months ago I was asked to present a lecture at North Shore Private Hospital to the senior midwife educators. The purpose of this lecture was to discuss the relevance of chiropractic in the current environment. It was a great opportunity to spend time with midwives and discuss pregnancy, childbirth, baby carriers and deformational plagiocephaly.