We’ve all heard the saying ‘Breast is Best’, but why all the fuss about the importance of breastfeeding? Suboptimal breastfeeding is now recognised worldwide as a problem among both mothers and healthcare professionals. The WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed for at least 6 months. Only 1% of mothers in the UK reach this point even though 81% of mother’s do initiate breastfeeding. With so much pressure on busy and tired mums, there are two big questions that follow on from this: Why is breastfeeding so important? And how can chiropractic/osteopathy help you to achieve the goal of breastfeeding? The research now clearly shows the importance of breastfeeding and an ever increasing number of mums-to-be are looking towards both osteopathy and chiropractic care during pregnancy.
Importance of breastfeeding
There are so many benefits of breastfeeding that many people aren’t aware of.
Increases maternal bond and improves psychological health
Cheaper (supporting women to breastfeed to 4 months could save the NHS £11 million annually)
Reduces the risk of common childhood illnesses as well as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and Childhood leukaemia
Reduces the risk of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity
Studies show breastfed babies cry less!
How can Chiropractic and Osteopathy help?
It’s all very well laying out how important breastfeeding is but when there are so many obstacles in the way of reaching this goal, mothers can be left feeling very disheartened. 1 in 4 women in the UK reported that they’ve felt unsatisfied with their post-natal care and feeding support.
Research indicates that nerve irritation can occur even with straightforward labours, affecting the biomechanics of the cervical spine, skull and jaw. In fact 80% of babies had some kind of strain patterns in the cranial mechanism either due to the stress of the birthing process or constraint or abnormal positioning in the uterus. The result of this may impact your babies’ ability to breastfeed. The very gentle treatment techniques that we use with babies may have a profound effect on your baby’s ability to feed. This is especially the case if issues are found in the neck or jaw as this will affect their ability to latch.
The best way to find out if we can help is to bring your little one in so that we can see a feed and find out if there are any aspects we could help with! Breastfeeding can often put an awful lot of stress on your neck, back and wrists so don’t forget to get yourself checked as well! Hopefully we have raised your awareness of the importance of breastfeeding!
Chung, M., Raman, G., Chew, P., Magula, N., Trikalinos, T. and Lau, J., 2007. Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries. Evid Technol Asses (Full Rep), 153, pp.1-186.
Victoira, C.G., Bahl, R., Barros, A.J., França, G.V., Horton, S., Krasevec, J., Murch, S., Sankar, M.J., Walker, N., Rollins, N.C. and Group, T.L.B.S., 2016. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. The Lancet, 387(10017), pp.475-490.
Frymann VM. Springall P. Effect of Osteopathic Medical management on Neurological development in children. JAOA.
Miller J DC. Caprini Croci S DC. Cry baby, why baby? Beyond Colic: Is it time to widen our views? JCCP 2005:;6(3)