Breastfeeding is the most natural of all parenting practices. It provides incredible bonding between mom and baby. Yet, there are often many challenges that come along with breastfeeding, both emotionally and physically.
Regardless of how your child enters this world (vaginally or cesarean), the birth process puts a great deal of stress on the newborn’s spine and cranium. This stress may lead to misalignments in those areas of the body. Not being able to recognize the signs of structural misalignments in a newborn can leave a new mom feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, ultimately abandoning her efforts to breastfeed.
Many parents and healthcare providers alike are unaware of the biomechanical stress in an infant’s spine and cranium that cause difficulties in breastfeeding. This is why we encourage all new mothers who are experiencing difficulties breastfeeding to have their infant evaluated for possible spinal and cranial misalignments.
Misalignment in newborns leads to decrease range of motion, with the most well-known being “torticollis”. However, a decrease range of motion, or a “subluxation” can lead to challenges other than torticollis. When there is improper range of motion, a baby is not able to turn his or her head equally to both sides, which often leads to baby not being able to breastfeed on one on side, a weaker latch on one side, or even a painful latch for mom.
Some other common things to look for when breastfeeding challenges arise are:
– Inability to maintain a firm latch (sometimes described as ‘smacking’ or baby bobbing their head)
– Baby having difficulty latching on one side
– Baby that nurses in only one position
– Nipple pain or scabbing
– Baby who is comforted by constant sucking
– Increased regurgitation following feeding
Gentle, specific chiropractic adjustments on babies are amazing at restoring optimal motion in the joints, which allows for better function and a better breastfeeding experience for both mom and baby. Chiropractic care is a safe, gentle, and natural way to help improve breastfeeding success and positive changes can be seen just after a few visits when symptoms are recognized early on.
If you are struggling with breastfeeding, we are here to help! Dr. Lauren and Dr. Weston are 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.
In the meantime, check out the latest research on the benefits of chiropractic for breastfeeding (and torticollis).