August is National Breastfeeding Month and is a month dedicated to advancing advocacy, protection, and promotion of breastfeeding to ensure that all families have the opportunity to breastfeed.
While breastfeeding is instinctive and innate for a newborn baby, it doesn’t always come without some difficulties. Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals overseeing a new mom and her baby are unaware of the connection between stress on a newborn’s spine and breastfeeding difficulties. Physical stress on a newborn’s spine is often a result of poor positioning in utero and trauma related to the birthing process. Failure to recognize the signs of structural misalignments in a newborn, and/or lack of education on breastfeeding solutions, can leave a new mother feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, ultimately abandoning her efforts to breastfeed. New mothers who are experiencing difficulties breastfeeding should have their infant evaluated for possible spinal and cranial misalignments.
Common Signs of Breastfeeding Difficulties
Here are the most common things to look for when determining if your infant is experiencing breastfeeding difficulties:
- Inability to maintain a firm latch (smacking or unlatching)
- Babies who cannot sustain sucking
- Babies who have difficulty latching on one side
- Babies who nurse in only one position
- Nipple pain or scabbing
- Babies who are comforted by constant sucking
- Increased regurgitation following feeding
Chiropractic Care for the Breast Feeder
When evaluating a newborn or infant who is experiencing troubles breastfeeding, misalignments (or subluxations) and tension in the upper neck, jaw, and skull are often found. Misalignments found in the upper neck are often a result of trauma related to the birthing process and can be easily diagnosed with gentle palpation and examination of neck range of motion. By correcting misalignments at the top of the neck, the infant can more easily turn his or her neck, making latching on both sides more comfortable. Also, gentle cranial molding and soft tissue release of any tension found in the jaw and skull can help promote a deeper, stronger suck. 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.
Breast Latching Difficulties
Remember, breastfeeding takes practice and doesn’t always come easily for new babies but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It is important to remember during these trying or frustrating times that there are health professionals who are here to help you achieve your goal of breastfeeding your new baby.
Breastfeeding Support Services in Minnesota
Dr. Krystle Lieberman Wall of Advanced Medical of Twin Cities is a Chiropractor, Licensed and Registered Dietitian, Certified Acupuncturist, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, and Lactation Consultant. With a background in chiropractic care, nutrition, and acupuncture, she can help with the breastfeeding experience in multiple ways. As a lactation consultant, patients get the confidence in knowing that they are supported from before the baby comes until long after they choose to wean. Contact Advanced Medical of Twin Cities online or call (763) 541-1280 to schedule a consultation or in person appointment today!