Breastfeeding is a natural occurrence and until recently it was the only option for infant nutrition. I always thought that because breastfeeding is natural it should come natural for mother and baby, that is until my wife and I were expecting our daughter and we joined a lot of mommy groups. Lactation is something that many women struggle with and latching does not come natural for all babies.
There are many factors that play into difficulties with breastfeeding. These difficulties can include tongue or lip tie, however, the majority of difficulties stem from stress. What is there to be stressed about, it’s just a new baby and a new way of living? I am not here to tell you about lactation cookies, putting your baby to breast as frequently as possible, lactation tea or any of the other things that I am sure you have already heard. Chances are if you are reading this, you have already tried all of the things that everyone else has told you helps with lactation. I am here to tell you what I know best.
Though care will not remove a tongue or lip tie it will definitely remove the interference in the nervous system that is caused by stress. Sleep with a baby, if you are able to get any at all, will never be the same as you had before. Lack of sleep adds tremendous stress to any situation. Many new mothers do not hold spinal alignment for long periods of time for many reasons. Your body releases large amounts of relaxin, a hormone that loosens ligaments, towards the end of pregnancy in order to ready itself for the birthing process. Not only will you have loose ligaments after birth, if you are breastfeeding you will quickly become accustomed to holding your head and neck in awkward positions for long periods of time while you and your baby bond with eye to eye connection. All of these stresses can cause spinal misalignment which causes interference in the communication of the brain with the body. This complex is commonly referred to as a subluxation. When your spine is aligned your body is able to function optimally and give your baby what it needs. It is also important to have your new little one checked for subluxations.
As I’ve said in a previous blog, even when everything goes as planned with a birth it is a process that puts both your body and the baby’s body under a lot of physical stress. I have found that the majority of first subluxations occur during the birthing process. With this knowledge it is becoming common practice for families to have their chiropractor come and check their newborn within the first few days of life. A spinal misalignment can make it difficult for baby to latch due to discomfort with the position of their neck. Having your baby checked for subluxation can eliminate frustration by removing the interference from their nervous system.
I know from experience that when you and baby are having difficulties with breastfeeding it is discouraging and you can feel like you are doing something wrong. There may be a simple solution offered through chiropractic care.