We are all aware of the many benefits of breastmilk and breastfeeding. Its nutritional value as well as bonding time. But what if you are trying to breastfeed and your baby is either getting very fussy while feeding, making clicking noises, not putting on weight, sucking but doesnt seem to be getting enough milk or seems hungry all the time. I’ve heard mothers tell me that they were told that maybe their ‘nipples are too big or too small, or the babies mouth is too small or maybe breastfeeding is just not for your baby!’. These comments are not helpful and this is were a qualified lactation consultant and also a Craniosacral Therapist can help.
I’ve treated many breastfeeding babies and their mothers. I often treat both mother and baby in a session. By treating the mother I can help release tension in the body and the nervous system, helping Mam to relax which in turn helps baby. I help release any fascia (connective tissue) tension so that breast milk can flow freely.
During a session it can be very helpful to see the baby feed so I can get a really good idea of what the difficulty may be. Some times babies have restriction in their bodies due to being in the one position in the womb for a long period. A baby’s skull is very flexible as the skull bones are not fused at the time of delivery. During a normal delivery the baby’s body gets pushed through the birth canal. Especially the baby’s head and neck get exposed to multiple and complex forces, which can lead to overlapping of the small bones of the skull. This can be more pronounced if a baby is born with physical ‘assistance’ such as Caesarean sections, forceps or Ventouse delivery.
All of the above and more and can an effect on the sucking reflex. You may notice your baby prefers one breast more then the other – this can be an indicator that there is some fascia restriction.
As Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is very gentle it works really well with babies – gentle ‘listening hands’ helps their small bodies to release easily.
A tongue or lip tie can make breastfeeding difficult.
A tongue tie or ankyloglossia is where the frenulum or the under surface of the tongue is tight or connected too tightly to the floor of the mouth thus restricting movement. Upper or lower lip ties is when the upper or lower lips are attached to the upper or lower gums too tightly resulting in the lips not being able to close easily resulting in poor latching to the breast.
Any of the above can have an negative impact on not only breastfeeding but bottle feeding too. In a baby with Tongue/lip ties there are often restrictions or tightness elsewhere throughout the body and this is were Craniosacral Therapy can be very beneficial. Craniosacral therapy can help release tension patterns in the neck, jaw or anywhere in the body that can have a connection to the mouth, tongue etc.
While CST may not release the tongue tie it can have a very positive impact on the effects of the tie on the rest of the body. Whether you decide to have a medical procedure to release the tie or not, having CST can be very benefical both before and afterwards.
Many mothers have reported feeling calmer and more confident after CST treatments as this also allows time for their bodies to heal after the birth process which in turn positively impacts their babies too.
So don’t be discouraged, you are trying your best but may need a little help and you are not alone.
Craniosacral Therapist for Paediatrics