How chiropractic care can help with breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for one year and by the World Health Organization for two or more years.  Although it is highly recommended, many women struggle to breastfeed successfully.  If you have struggled with breastfeeding, you are not alone!  There are resources to help women learn to breastfeed their infant such as lactation consultants, as well as local support groups like La Leche League and Milk Matters.  (On a side note, breastfeeding is a learned skill, not something that is easy the first time for many women.)   Chiropractic care is another unique resource that can benefit both mother and baby.  

When it comes to breastfeeding challenges, some women have too little milk being produced, have slow milk letdown, have pain, or the infant has trouble creating a latch on the breast.  To improve breastfeeding outcomes, we recommend that both mamma and baby be checked for spinal misalignments.  Adjustments to the mid back often help women with their milk letdown because the nerves from the spine go into the breast.  When we remove nervous system interference, our bodies function better.  When it comes to milk production, we recommend drinking A LOT of water and eating a diet with sources of carbs, protein, and fats from vegetables, lean meats, nuts, legumes, fruit, etc.  

Breast/nipple pain is often a result of a poor latch.  "With infants, we find that they may be sucking more on one side.  This can create pain for mom and is easily corrected with gentle adjustments that balance the area of the spine involved in turning the head and/or the palate.  If your infant fatigues quickly when sucking, the problem may be related to their jaw and is also gently corrected as needed," said Dr. Lauren Palmer.  New mothers should feel hopeful that it is indeed possible for newborn babies to overcome these breastfeeding issues with simple chiropractic adjustments on their newborn baby. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can relieve pressure on a newborn baby and allow adequate breastfeeding to ensure your baby is receiving the essential nutrients that comes with breastfeeding.

Emily Simms, a patient of Flint Hills Family Chiropractic who also happens to be a nurse, took her newborn in at just three days old. “He wouldn’t open his mouth to nurse and was having problems latching, so I took him in to be adjusted and now his latch is perfect,” said Simms.

Chiropractic care is extremely gentle for newborn babies. The doctors at FHFC will use only the tip of their finger when adjusting. “We use about as much pressure as you would use on a tomato skin to check for ripeness,” said Dr. Palmer. Dr. Palmer and Dr. Campbell have practiced this gentle adjusting technique countless times with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association to provide safe, comfortable adjustments for infants and children of all ages. With that being said, chiropractic care has the ability to positively affect new mothers and their newborn babies to ensure a healthy, comfortable postpartum experience. For a consultation, please contact Flint Hills Family Chiropractic at 785-320-6791.

Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding in the infographic below. 




Lauren Palmer