Nursing Difficulties & Chiropractic Care

Though breastfeeding is an excellent way to provide infants with the necessary nutrients and antibodies they need, it can be quite frustrating and seem overwhelming especially when there are so many things that can affect the positive outcomes of breastfeeding.

Some of the most common signs of difficulty with breastfeeding are:

  • Babies cannot latch firmly
  • Babies can latch, but not sustain sucking
  • Infants who are unable to easily manage suckling, swallowing, and breathing simultaneously
  • Babies who seem dissatisfied when nursing
  • Babies who chew on the mother’s nipples because they are trying to find the proper latch

Suckling is inborn primitive reflexes, which are controlled by the central nervous system, and are essential to a proper latch during a nursing session. Thus, neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction may influence the ability of an infant to suckle successfully. Studies have suggested that abnormalities in the cervical spine (neck) and the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) may influence the ability of an infant to suckle successfully. These bio-mechanical abnormalities can be the result of several things that the infant is subjected to during and after birth.

mother breastfeeding baby

Normal vaginal/caesarean delivery, birth trauma, and improper positioning during holding or nursing can all cause bio-mechanical changes in the cervical spine and TMJ. Unless the bio-mechanical causes of these difficulties are addressed, babies may become irritated because they cannot latch properly, and women may become frustrated and abandon their original intent to breastfeed their babies. In these instances, it is imperative that parents seek family chiropractors who offer mothers and infants the care appropriate for their needs.

infant at chiropractor

How Chiropractic Care Plays a Role in Nursing

Collaboration between different doctors is essential for dysfunctional suckling, and a chiropractor can be a part of this. There have been many study reports on the successful results of chiropractic care for an infant with dysfunctional suckling and the ways chiropractic care can restore normal suckling. Treatments that have a direct result in improving the infant’s ability to suckle efficiently often include soft tissue work, such as spinal adjustments and cranial therapy.

Chiropractic treatments for infants are gentle, safe, and effective and can help with types of bio-mechanical and postural fatigue problems related to nursing. Chiropractic care for your newborn may very well be one of the most important choices you can make in support of your family wellness lifestyle.

Dr. Joseph Merckling of Merckling Family Chiropractic PC encourages all parents to incorporate a chiropractic exam as a necessary part of their newborn’s wellness evaluations. Dr. Merckling is a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) and is certified in the Webster Technique for the evaluation and management of pregnant women.

Among other numerous benefits of chiropractic care for infants, the ability to successfully breastfeed has lifelong benefits for your baby’s future health.

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