Structural Chiropractic and Infant Feeding
Many parents are surprised to learn that bringing their babies in for gentle adjustments can have an effect on their child’s ability to nurse. This is because the infant’s jaw and palate play an important role in forming a proper latch and efficiently extracting breastmilk. Due to the many muscular attachments between the jaw and the surrounding skull and facial bones, the structure and alignment of the bones in the infant’s skull play a huge role in the efficiency of the infant’s jaw movements. The structure and alignment of the bones in the infant’s upper neck directly affects their ability to comfortably turn their head to nurse. As you are probably well aware, the ease with which your baby can latch and suckle plays a direct role in the success of your nursing relationship.
What are some signs that your baby may have a Structural Shift that could be affecting their ability to nurse?
1. Painful/difficult latch: this can be due to a shift in the normal orientation of the infant’s palate, making it difficult to form and/or maintain a proper latch.
2. Gas/colic: If the infant is unable to form and/or maintain a proper latch, they may be swallowing air while they are nursing, which can cause painful stomach problems.
3. Low milk supply: if your supply seems to be low, it may be the result of inefficient suckling. Breasts produce milk in response to demand. If the structure of your infant’s jaw has shifted from its normal orientation, they won’t be able to efficiently extract milk from your breasts, resulting in decreased supply.
4. Unequal milk supply: one side producing more or less than the other? This can be the result of a Structural Shift in the infant’s upper neck, causing it to be uncomfortable for the infant to turn their head to one side compared to the other. If this is the case, their suckling may be inefficient on the affected side.
If you and your baby are having difficulty nursing, be sure to have them evaluated for a Structural Shift. Having this problem corrected may improve your chances of nursing success and reduce any discomfort you and your little one may be feeling. Questions? Book a complimentary consultation with us!