Breastfeeding and Osteopathy

Breastfeeding has many benefits for your developing baby that many systems have been put in place to help support mothers who want to breastfeed, to have a positive experience. However, when things don’t quite go to plan there can be a significant emotional toll on mum and family, physical discomfort and trauma to mum can occur and then distress can set in. Breastfeeding being linked with your baby’s ability to thrive, means rapid help and support is needed to get mum and baby back on track.

There are some common concerns that often present at Stillpoint Osteopaths.

Parents might be aware that their baby doesn’t seem to open their mouth very wide both when trying to breastfeed or when they yawn. You may even see that the jaw seems off to one side. It may be that the babies seem to chomp on your nipple causing pain and discomfort and sometimes abrasions and cracks develop that are painful and hard to heal. Or baby pulls on and off and appears frustrated and unable to settle to feed well.

You might notice that the seal between babies’ mouth and mum’s nipple doesn’t seem very strong or that baby dribbles when they feed off one breast but not the other. All babies can dribble but when you find your bra and clothes soaked you may be aware that the seal is not quite right.

It may be that it takes a very long time for your baby to effectively drain your breast and it feels like you are feeding all day. Or they make very odd noises clicking, whistling sounds and appear to take in a lot of air. Again, quite normal for baby to make noises while feeding but if constant and associated with other difficulties you may have some questions and concerns.

The relationship of breastfeeding between mum and baby is complex and requires proper evaluation for good advice to be offered. Osteopaths are trained to evaluate the mechanics of this relationship. Your baby’s head, neck, jaw, mouth, face and torso all need to be carefully checked and assessed for good movement and function. Mum might also need to be assessed to ensure that her body mechanics are not affecting the breastfeeding dynamic.

Your osteopath will communicate if your situation could benefit from an osteopathic treatment approach to baby and or mum or might refer you if needed. They may refer you depending on the findings to a lactation consultant or will complement and work with your chosen lactation consultants to get optimal results for you and your baby.

Lactation consultants, such as Gerry at Elevation Lactation can help new mums in their breastfeeding journey.

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