When your Support System Quacks Up
When my first daughter (we’ll call her Rose) was born over five years ago, the local baby clinic was my lifeline. With no family living in Cape Town, and none of our close friends having had kids yet, my partner and I were in desperate need of support and advice. The clinic sisters were wonderful; kind, knowledgeable and never autocratic, full of good suggestions.
When we returned to the clinic five years later with my week-old second child (we’ll call her Fynn), things looked to start on the same wonderful footing. Despite the time lapse and the fact that this clinic has seen more than 10 000 children, the sister took one look at me and said “Rose?”. They remembered us! I was filled with a warm fuzzy feeling of belonging.
A few minutes later and I was having to rethink – the sister had actually just encouraged me to take my tiny baby to a chiropractor. “Have you not heard about the baby in Australia whose neck was broken by a chiropractor” I wanted to scream at her. “Don’t you know that there is no real evidence to support chiropractic, especially in children?” Not to mention the fact that my baby is perfectly healthy and I had only been complaining that she was a little windy!
Unsure how to voice my concerns without sounding like a hysterical closed-minded zealot, (especially in front of a bunch of other moms who have all placed their trust in these health care workers), I kept mum. Afraid of making a scene? Loathe to challenge the sister’s professional status? Embarrassed by the strength of my own emotions? All of the above. And now plagued by the fact that I didn’t say anything,
So I have prepared a meager email to send to the clinic. In an attempt not to get any backs up (I am seriously conflict averse) I have, a little disingenuously, framed my opinion as a question (as though I haven’t already got a very strong opinion on the topic!) I suppose I could console myself that as a good skeptic I should be open to hearing a counter point but really I am just a coward, or as we say in South Africa, a woes.
I have heard you a few times recommend a baby chiropractor to parents at the clinic and have been wondering about the scientific merit of this form of treatment. Having read about the case in Australia where a baby’s neck vertebra was fractured after being treated by a chiropractor, I am very nervous of this approach. I’ve done a bit of research into the advantages of baby chiropractic and it seems that the potential harms of this practice outweigh the possible benefits (if indeed there are any). Can you direct me to any research that outlines clear positive results of babies benefiting from this treatment?”
We’ll see what transpires!
Ps: A few day after writing this, we went to the Paediatrician for a six-week check up, and guess what? The Paed suggested I try homeopathic drops to ease the wind. I’ve been well and truly quacked!