Many mothers experience difficulties breastfeeding their infants. Why? The act of breastfeeding is a complex one involving the coordination of multiple muscle movements and structural factors, in addition to positioning and nutritional considerations.
Is your baby experiencing difficulties latching on, disinterest in breastfeeding or feeding constantly but unable to get enough milk?
Frustrated and fearful their babies are not getting the nutrition they require, parents may resort to bottle feeding early on. Formula feeding isn’t always the best option, however.
While breast milk is individualized for your child’s specific needs, formulas are general derived from soy or cow’s milk—neither of which are optimal for human infants. Scientists are recently finding that breast milk for girls even differs from that for boys! Infant formulas are mass produced and contain substances such as BPA, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and genetically modified ingredients, all of which carry potentially harmful side effects. Formula feeding compromises nutrition and introduces unnatural proteins and carbohydrates, which can be extremely detrimental to developing infants. Studies show that formula-fed babies are at greater risk for ear infections, severe respiratory infections, dermatitis, asthma, obesity, immune system dysfunction and gastrointestinal damage, among other issues.
In addition to the nutritional advantages breastfeeding offers, the physical act of breastfeeding encourages normal infant bone growth and muscle development. Without this natural sucking pattern, issues may develop around proper function and development, airway restriction and facial abnormalities.
Although some parents must resort to formula feeding due to factors outside of their control, many of the common problems that discourage parents from breastfeeding can be successfully addressed and treated.
Causative factors impacting breastfeeding may include:
- Lip mobility
- Lingual (tongue) functioning
- Latching issues
- Lip tie
- Tongue tie
- Stiff neck/wry neck/torticollis
- Mother’s consumption of foods that baby is allergic to
Here at Wholistic Chiropractic, we care for and treat adults as well as children (and pets!), and we love to assist in healthy babies’ development!
If you have any questions about breastfeeding, bring your infant in for an evaluation. Solutions may be simpler than you think!
In Health and Happiness,
Dr. Richard Gerardo
D.C., C.S.C.P., D.A.C.B.N.