Chiropractic Care: Supporting the Breastfeeding Relationship
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Chiropractic Care and Breastfeeding
As a chiropractor who specializes in prenatal and pediatric care, I often have women bring babies into my office because they heard chiropractic can improve their breastfeeding relationship. And that is true! Regardless of how your baby enters the world, the birth process places a great deal of stress on your spine and cranium. This stress can cause misalignments, what we refer to as ‘subluxation,’ to the joints of the neck, cranium and jaw, and result in nerve irritation. Without proper motion in these joints it is difficult for your baby to turn their head well to nurse on both sides, or open their mouth enough for a strong, deep latch. Gentle, specific chiropractic adjustments on babies are amazing at restoring optimal motion in the joints which allows for better function and a better breastfeeding experience. Yay!
But breastfeeding isn’t just about your baby. Breastfeeding is a relationship between your baby and you.
That amazingly, stressful event that brought your sweet baby into the world? Yes, you were part of it, too. It’s just as important for you to be evaluated and adjusted by a chiropractor after birth, and continue to be throughout your breastfeeding journey. How you think and how you feel can influence breastfeeding. Postural changes physiologically occur during pregnancy, but can continue postpartum as you hold and feed your little one. Chiropractic adjustments induce proper motion in the spine, reducing nerve irritation and stress in the body, and allowing for improved function in the nervous system. When your body is well-adjusted you are able to be more relaxed, hormone levels (which play a big role in milk production) become more balanced, and your body functions better overall.
Breastfeeding is an amazing, natural process between a mother and a baby, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It is a learned skill that will be a little different for every baby and every mother. It requires patience, time, and a lot of support.
Chiropractic for Babies
This is my baby girl receiving her first adjustment. (Side note - we're so grateful to have these photos from the lovely and talented Tavia Redburn Photography; highly recommend birth photography!) The first few weeks of our breastfeeding relationship were hard. She needed additional cranial adjustments, I needed to try different positions and more sleep, and we all (daddy too) needed all the love and support available. It’s been over a year since that first latch and our breastfeeding relationship is still going strong.
I know firsthand that just because breastfeeding is natural, that does not mean it is easy. I'm here to join your team and support you in this journey.
This blog by Dr. Josiah was originally posted in 2018 on www.birthfit.com