Infant Feeding Difficulties & Breast – Feeding
Getting breast-feeding established in the early days can be difficult. Many new Mums that I see in my clinic are living away from their immediate families and use the services of a breastfeeding consultant. These experts provide a necessary support service for the newly breast feeding Mum and help to iron out any problems.
However, if the infant is still having feeding difficulties, then the services of a Craniosacral Therapist may be of great assistance. The nutritional advantages of breast milk are well known. Less well known, is that the action of breastfeeding is alot more helpful in releasing the effects of birth compression.
Many mother and baby partnerships do not manage to over-come the initial problems of breastfeeding. It may appear that the mother does not have enough milk to satisfy the baby, BUT it may be that the baby has difficulty in suckling correctly….As with Baby Shane’s case.
Self Help Breast-Feeding tips:
The first two below points may also be relevant for a bottle-fed baby:
- If your baby appears to be ‘fighting’ the breast, ie. Gets very agitated after s/he has latched on, this may be because of discomfort in the feeding position. Take note of which side this is happening. To help your baby, try tucking his/her feet in under your arm in a rugby-ball type of position so that his/her head is turning to his/her easy side.
- The back of the head and neck can be very sensitive in babies. Be careful not to put pressure on the back of the head or neck with your arm.
- It may be difficult to know whether a baby that seems to want to feed for very long periods is really feeding or just ‘comfort sucking’. One way to tell is to count the number of times they swallow. If they suck, but rarely swallow, it is proberbly comfort sucking. This is fine in moderation, but you may prefer to use a dummy or allow them to suck on a (clean) finger instead of the breast.
Thumb Sucking and Dummies
Sucking is one way that the baby can help to reduce the effects of moulding in the early days. This is one reason for the comfort sucking of a young baby as thumb/ dummy sucking is a way of relieving retained tension in his/her head.
This however can have longterm implications on dental development as it can alter the shape of the growing face. Sucking on a clean finger or a dummy causes less disruption than sucking on the breast or the thumb, as the baby doesn’t not have to work as hard to ‘latch on’.
There is usually a natural time to wean a baby off a dummy: 8-12 weeks. After 3 months or so, it does become more difficult because its a pure habit. Using a dummy early on does not mean that the child will be dummy – dependent for years!