More women now prefer the caesarean section (C-Section) to natural delivery of their babies. Reason? To dodge finite pain and to a lesser degree, to maintain figure.
But this could be bad for the baby. Dr Caroline Mwendwa says children born naturally have a head start in life with a stronger immunity acquired through interaction with bacteria in the birth canal.
“It is important to note that unborn babies grow in an atmosphere devoid of any bacteria and the bacteria in the birth passage serve as a first inoculation, activating the baby’s antibodies, building its immunity against diseases.”
She says it is advisable for doctors and nurses to swab the birth canal of a mother delivering by C-Section and smear the swab all over the baby’s body to stir up immunity. “It happens in developed countries with obvious advantages,” she says.
Mwendwa notes that babies are the biggest victims of C-Section and other unnatural birth options. “Nature requires that a baby comes out via the birth canal with minimal or no interference such as pulling, twisting and turning by external agents.
The painful physical contractions of the uterus and the birth canal as the baby is pushed out squeezes off excess fluids, alleviating problems such as surplus fluid in the lungs. Mind you, babies float in fluids in the womb until they are born,” she says.
“Many doctors and nurses rush to manipulate the baby’s head immediately it appears, risking turning it in the wrong direction and injuring the neck and spine in the process. I have dealt with many cases of children with stress in the upper neck caused by undue manipulation during birth.”
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A chiropractor, Mwendwa decries the abuse of C-section, which ought to be done only as a last resort to save the life of the mother and baby. Chiropractors are experts on the diagnosis and treatment of neuro-muscular disorders through manual adjustment and manipulation of the spine and bones.
“No university in Kenya trains protractors while in Africa, the course is available only in South Africa,” she rues.
Mwendwa describes the spine as the house of the nervous system and anything interfering with its normal function affects the coordination of body functions. “That is why major surgical operations such as C-Section need to be exclusively emergency driven because they have a direct impact on the spine and the general well-being of the patient,” she advises.
She says her patients range from day old babies to people in their 70s and beyond. “Back problems hinge on the spine and they are a major cause of disability in adults. Causes range from accidents to heavy work to sitting for long hours,” she explains.
Mwendwa describes as needless most of the operations done to correct back problems, saying they often result in disability that could be avoided. “Pain killers and expert manipulation of the spine to put vertebrae, nerves and muscles right often offer remedy,” she clarifies.
Her journey to becoming a chiropractor started rather tragically. She reminisces: “I was 19 when I was involved in a bad accident after I cleared Form Four. I was driving my mother’s car when it hit another car and overturned, throwing me out and hurtling over me as it rolled. I did not have my sit belt on.”
“I sustained head and other injuries including bleeding in the lungs that confined me to the Intensive and higher dependency units for four months. I took a year recuperating at home before I got a scholarship to pursue a medical course in the US.”
She also suffered migraines, stomachaches, high blood pressure and reproductive tract disorders. Mwendwa recalls how one time she leaned from her stool to pick a pen on the floor and had to be assisted to sit up. “Something had happened to my back and the pain was unbearable. A colleague advised me to consult a chiropractor who explained to me that my spine got disorganised in an accident,” she says.
“To my surprise, he prescribed no medicine, only handling my spine to the accompaniment of some noises. He did this three times a week and a month later, I no longer had back pains, migraines and stomach problems and my blood pressure normalised alongside my fertility disarrays punctuated by erratic menstrual cycle.
Dr Mwendwa says she abandoned medical studies midstream to train as a chiropractor. “That was how I switched to a chiropractic school from where I graduated in 2005. I was back in Kenya two months later and have been practicing for 12 years now,” she said.