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World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1st – 7th. Breastfeeding during the first year of life is regarded as the optimal form of nutrition for infants. Current research shows that breast milk is best for babies and even has numerous health benefits for Mom. During the first few days of life, your baby will get colostrum which is rich in nutrients and antibodies to help protect your baby. As the baby nears the first week of life, the production of colostrum changes to mature milk. Mature milk contains the right amount of sugar, fat, protein and water to help your baby nurture and grow. Breast milk is easier for most babies to digest and it helps boost your babies’ immune system to keep her healthy. Mom can benefit as well from breastfeeding. Mom may have a lower risk of developing Type II diabetes, Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, and Post-Partum Depression.

Including a chiropractor in your baby’s early lactation team can make the difference in a healthy breastfeeding relationship. A pediatric chiropractor is properly trained to evaluate the upper cervical spine which can have an impact on the nerve supply to the muscles of suckling and swallowing. In addition, the bones of the skull can be evaluated using Craniosacral therapy. Proper alignment of the cranial bones can affect the function of the tongue, the palate and the facial muscles.

Moms often ask how their little baby can have spinal trauma or misaligned cranial bones. Even the most natural birth can cause subtle birth trauma. Optimal fetal positioning of the baby in-utero is important to have minimal torsion to the baby’s head and facial structures. If the baby was in the breech or transverse position or experienced any birth trauma such as forceps, vacuum extraction, or prolonged labor these factors can be enough “trauma” to cause spinal misalignments.

Spinal and cranial subluxations can impact the nerves that are necessary for proper suckling. The muscles of the pharynx, soft palate, and tongue impact the suck reflex. A subluxation at the base of the baby’s skull can alter the nerve supply to these muscles resulting in dysfunctional nursing. According to “Chiropractic Care for Infants with Dysfunctional Nursing” in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, Gentle chiropractic care including spinal adjustments and Craniosacral therapy, play a role in restoring normal function in the breastfeeding dyad.

Some of the most common indicators of difficulty with breastfeeding include that might improve with a chiropractic evaluation:

  • Babies who cannot latch firmly
  • Babies who can only turn their head to one side
  • Difficulty opening their mouth wide
  • Babies who bite down on Mom’s nipple
  • Nurses better from one side
  • Fussy baby who wants to continually suck all day
  • Clicking noise while feeding

Your family Chiropractor is supportive of breastfeeding and wants you and your baby to succeed. A newborn that can’t latch, refuses to suck, clamps down too fast or is not maintaining an open mouth may be suffering from an upper cervical subluxation and should be evaluated. If your newborn is manifesting any of these symptoms, please contact Dr. Davis today to schedule a pediatric Chiropractic screening. Chiropractic care can be the most important choice you can make to have a successful breastfeeding relationship with your baby and have lifelong benefits for your baby.  Please watch the following video on You Tube if you would like to see a demonstration of an adjustment with a little baby.

Chiropractic and Breastfeeding Video

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