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Breastfeeding and Chiropractic

Woman breastfeeding

Is your baby having trouble with breastfeeding including an inability to maintain suction, chewing on the nipple, or becoming irritable during and after nursing? Although breastfeeding is the best option for infants, some infants may struggle. But, did you know that these struggles may be able to be corrected with chiropractic care?

During birth, the pressure of contractions and passing through the birth canal puts stress on the new bones in the baby’s body. Even birth by C-section can place stress on the baby’s bones since the baby must pass through layers of the mother’s muscles. The C-section process can cause misalignment in the spine, as well as possible changes to the cranium. In addition, when babies are born via C-section, they miss out on a process called molding.

Molding occurs when the baby passes through the birth canal and is exhibited through an elongated head. Since an infant’s head is made up of several bones attached by cartilage, the pressure of moving through the birth canal causes these bones to change shape. After birth, they return to their normal position. If these bones are not moveable, then this can cause issues with latching and sucking.

Birth, in general, is a traumatic event for an infant. Things such as very short labor, very long labor, failure of the cervix to dilate, the cord around baby’s neck, C-section due to lack of progress, pulling or twisting the infant’s head during delivery, or the use of Pitocin, forceps, or vacuum extraction can cause birth trauma. As a result of the stressful event of birth, some infants may have undetected biomechanical injuries in the spine or cranium. These biomechanical injuries are known as subluxations and are misalignments of the bones that affect nerve flow and joint function.

When a baby breastfeeds, the spinal bones, skull bones, and facial bones, such as the temporomandibular joint, are all part of this process. However, if the baby is having issues latching on, it can usually be attributed to a subluxation in one of these three main areas. In these cases, chiropractic care can greatly benefit the infant.

Chiropractic treatments for infant differ from the chiropractic treatments most of us are familiar with. For starters, chiropractic techniques are adjusted for and infant’s weight and age. Treatment is also catered to infants through the use of specialized tools, such as a toggle headpiece. A toggle headpiece helps to make the adjustment gentle with a low force being exerted.

After chiropractic adjustments, mothers have reported that their infants have an easier time latching and maintaining this contact to breastfeed. They also report that their infants are less fussy during breastfeeding and seem much more comfortable.

If your infant seems to be unformtable while nursing, is excessively fussing while nursing, or is having problems latching on, you may want to consider chiropractic care. To find out what options are available to you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Justin Dempsey of Waco Chiropractic and Wellness today!