Birth trauma is any trauma or injury, most commonly physical, that happens during the labor and delivery process, and often leads to lifelong health challenges, disabilities, and neurological problems.

In our opinion, birth trauma is the single most overlooked causative factor of the massive rise in chronic illness in our kids today. It leads to “short term” and long term problems in kids. Again and again, we see birth trauma correlated with things like: 

  • Difficulty latching, nursing, breastfeeding
  • Sleep disturbances and disorders 
  • Reflux, colic, constipation 
  • Torticollis, plagiocephaly, shoulder dystocia, etc. 
  • Cerebral palsy 
  • Epilepsy (seizures) 
  • Autism, sensory processing disorders, ADHD, and other neurodevelopmental challenges 
  • Speech, motor, social, and emotional delays and disorders 
  • Chronic ear infections, respiratory, and immune challenges 


Birth trauma is most commonly physical in nature. It can come from all the various forms of birth intervention like epidurals, inductions, forceps or vacuum extraction, fetal cord monitoring, and c-section deliveries – such as in Landon’s case.

Other common risk factors that may lead to birth trauma or birth injury include:

  • The position of the baby
  • High levels of medical intervention
  • A large baby
  • Lengthy or very short painful labor
  • An unusual or small-shaped pelvis

Additionally, it’s important to note that birth trauma can vary significantly in severity. Most cases of birth trauma go completely undetected and unnoticed by the traditional medical team. 

Birth can be extremely traumatic for both mother and baby, yet documented and described as “normal” and ordinary. Sadly in today’s world, instances like birth trauma have to go dramatically wrong to get the attention of the traditional medical system. 

To keep it quite simple, the longer labor and delivery goes on, and the more intervention that starts to stack up – the more likely that birth trauma will occur. 


As listed above, the negative health effects of birth trauma on the child are far-reaching and really can be connected to almost every pediatric health condition. 

The reason for this is actually quite simple to understand – the location and system most negatively affected by physical (and toxic) birth trauma is the central or autonomic nervous system. 

When the function of this system is altered and thrown off course right in the very first moments of life from birth trauma, it creates a condition known as dysautonomia

Nerding out just a bit more, the real key to all of these early and later life health challenges are tied to a very important nerve, called the vagus nerve. The Vagus Nerve is responsible for coordinating our heart rate, breathing, digestion, immune function, social and emotional regulation, and so much more. 

The Vagus Nerve is most easily injured via birth trauma simply because of its location. This vitally important nerve originates (comes from) the lower brainstem area, and then makes its way down through the cervical spine (neck) and all the way into the thorax and abdomen. This is why it’s long been called the “wandering” nerve. 

Perhaps more appropriately, we call it the “Air Traffic Control” or “Operating System” nerve. It truly does need to be at 100% function for our children to have 100% health throughout life. 

This physical injury to the Vagus Nerve, brainstem, and other areas of the nervous system via birth trauma is what Pediatric Chiropractors call a subluxation


“There is a 99% chance Oliver will have a life full of neurological damage and challenges such as seizures, cerebral palsy, and autism. He’ll likely never walk and never talk.” 

That was what the best of the best Harvard-trained medical neurology team told us once Oliver had made it out of his 3 life-saving surgeries from birth trauma. I’ll never forget that conversation, the room we were in, and the look of despair on my beautiful wife’s face when we heard that prognosis. 

But God had a different plan for Oliver. Because he had a different plan for me. 

“I don’t believe in chiropractic.” 

Those are words I’ve heard again and again in my career as a Pediatric and Family Chiropractor. Not near as much anymore today thankfully as parents are getting more educated and informed about birth trauma and chiropractic care. But I’ve heard it plenty nonetheless. 

I’ve got to tell you moms and dads – I didn’t believe those medical neurologists when they told me my son was certain to have a life full of seizures and neurological disabilities from birth trauma. 

Why? Because I knew what they didn’t – that neurologically-focused, specialized chiropractic adjustments can and would restore full function to his brain, brainstem, vagus nerve, and autonomic nervous system. 

I knew he was subluxated and had the worst case of dysautonomia and birth trauma I had ever seen (and likely ever would). But I also knew this – I could help. 

At this point in my career, just 3 years in, I had already been able to help teenagers and young adults with seizures, anxiety, autism, and other chronic neurological challenges see vast improvements and healing from scenarios other than birth trauma… so, why couldn’t Oliver? 

While he had experienced true brain injury and damage from birth trauma (his original MRI and EEG findings were so bad that only 20% of children with that level of damage even live past age one), he also had one very important thing on his side – neuroplasticity. 

That is a whole other article for another day, but that big word simply means one thing – the brain and nervous system can heal. 

God designed us to be resilient, adaptable, and “plastic” with our nervous systems. In fact, the younger the child and “newer” the brain – the faster, bigger, and more complete healing we can expect! 

Article written by: PXDOCS

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