To all of our breastfeeding moms out there, we applaud you! Breastfeeding is no easy task and as moms sometimes we can get frustrated when baby isn’t latching firmly. Many of the care providers as well as moms are unaware of the biomechanical disorders in the infant’s spines and craniums that cause difficulties in breastfeeding. Some of the most common indicators of difficulty with breastfeeding are:
Babies who cannot latch firmly
Babies who can latch and not sustain sucking
Babies who are unable to smoothly coordinate suckling, swallowing, and breathing
Babies who can feed in only one position
Babies who seem dissatisfied when nursing or who remain fussy and distressed throughout the day
Babies who chew and damage the mother’s nipples
Babies who may not feed any better from other devices
Babies who have the need to suck 24/7
So how can we help? Babies with latching issues who see a chiropractor usually respond favorably and most mothers see a huge improvement. The major things a trained pediatric chiropractor will look for are the following:
Do they have a sucking reflex?
All babies are born with this instinctive reflex that allows them to find food and thrive. Although not all babies develop this reflex upon being born. Teaching them through tongue and mouth exercises is one way to work on building the reflex to improve the spontaneous desire to latch.
2. Is the jaw aligned properly?
The jaw is a complicated joint. When nursing it moves in little circles when functioning correctly. If they baby’s jaw is not tracking properly the signs are not always so obvious. Gentle cranial and neck work can help to improve the biomechanics of the jaw, in turn approving latching.
3. Can baby fully rotate his head to nurse?
Finally, we have to look at the ability of the baby to get into proper position to nurse. This allows a good amount of rotation from the neck. This ability comes from the joint at the very top of the spine, the atlas, which spins on top of the axis vertebra. If the bones that make up this joint are misaligned baby’s range of motion will be decreased. Now how does this happen? most of the time it is caused by the stress and pressure of moving through the birth canal during birth. Gentle adjusting can correct this misalignment and allow for more balanced nursing on both sides.
So don’t get discouraged if breastfeeding is not your superpower, we are here to help! Dr. Ashtiani is certified in more than 200+ hours of training in pediatric chiropractic through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). As well as a certification in Tongue and Lip Ties. Now can we promise major changes overnight? No, if you did see them we would be rich by now and be on a beach in the Bahamas somewhere. Breastfeeding is a process and consistency is key!