Recently my Dad overheard a conversation I was having with my Mom about me helping a Mom and baby who were struggling with breastfeeding.
I’m not sure how much he heard but he asked, “Wait, what did you do?” with a very puzzled look on his face.
I explained that I worked in her mouth and on her head and neck and by releasing tension and aligning those areas, latch improved, baby began gaining more weight and Mom had less pain.
His response: You worked in her mouth and it fixed her nipple?
Umm, no Dad, I was adjusting the baby!
No doubt, getting Mom adjusted could help with nursing. Relaxing stressed postural muscles and ensuring proper nerve supply definitely helps to encourage proper supply and letdown. However, where the real difference is made is when we check and adjust the baby!
Chiropractic care has the ability to create profound changes in an infant’s body. When it comes to feeding we look specifically in their cranium. The chiropractic adjustment for an infant is incredibly gentle and precise. By gently placing our hands on the infant’s head we determine whether or not the cerebrospinal fluid is flowing smoothly and whether or not all of the bones of the cranium are moving properly. It is important that these bones be moving on inhalation and expiration in order to pump fluid around the brain and down the spinal canal. When this fluid is not being pumped properly the body is not balanced. Often times we see infants who cry a lot, are uncomfortable in their body, not sleeping well or having digestive issues become much happier babies (and have more rested parents) once we have helped their body to balance the craniosacral rhythm.
On a physical level we determine if any of the bones in the the head or spine are not moving properly and gently apply a very specific pressure to encourage proper motion. This pressure is no more than you would use to determine if a piece of fruit is ripe. We often adjust inside a baby’s mouth to make a correction to the palate.
Tension and misalignments in the palate and cranium affect the baby’s ability to open their mouth wide, have a strong suction and deep enough latch and can create a latch that is stronger on one side than the other. When tension is released and baby can latch better they have shorter more efficient feeds, Mom has less pain and her supply and let-down regulate themselves better, baby is more content at the breast. It is a beautiful thing to see a baby who was labeled failure to thrive start gaining after just a few adjustments.
We also assess babies for tongue and lip ties and refer for revisions as necessary. Babies with ties tend to need a bit more Chiropractic care to release the tension in their bodies and do wonderfully with adjustments.
Overall, breastfeeding can be very challenging and requires a lot of patience and the proper support. We are happy to be apart of the team who leads Moms and babies to a successfully breastfeeding relationship! Please reach out with any questions!