Lactation Consultants are uniquely qualified to assist mothers and babies with Lactation and Breastfeeding issues and feeding in general for children aged 0-5 years. We only give evidence or physiologically based advice and information to help parents feed their baby or child safely and effectively.
However raising a baby is not only about feeding them, we are also able to assist with sleep, settling, feed management, transitioning to bottle feeding and solid foods and digestive issues including reflux disorder and Tongue tie.
Often we recognise that further specialised help from other healthcare professionals is needed including paediatricians and osteopaths.
I have been referring babies and their mothers for osteopathic assessment and treatment for more than 20 years always to good effect. Recent research demonstrates that osteopathy is helpful in reducing colic in babies, and I have a great deal of experience in observing the impact of osteopathy post frenulotomy (tongue- tie release).
Osteopaths often describe cranial dysfunction and restrictions in the skull sutures being linked to breastfeeding issues. If there is a misalignment of the skull, this can affect the palate, tongue, and other structures of the head and make the facial muscles too tight. Cranial osteopaths work by allowing some of that tension to be released so your baby can effectively latch more effectively. Sabrina, the local Cranial Osteopath, says:
"Osteopathy doesn't substitute to medical treatment. However, it can have an important role in optimising gut function by identifying and minimising the underlying causes of your baby's symptoms."
Cranial Osteopathy focuses on the following area's:
The neck, head and mouth: By gently releasing tension in the neck and around the mouth. Osteopathy contributes to improving suckling, reducing air swallowing during feeds. Also, the vagus nerve, which exits from the base of the skull and supplies the digestive system, can be irritated or compressed during the birth process. Irritation of this nerve is thought to contribute to colicky symptoms.
Visceral tensions caused by colic can create spinal tensions, which can affect the mobility of the back and neck, which in turn can interfere with proper food absorption as well as making breastfeeding more challenging.
The Mum and Baby Drop-in clinic at The Osteopathic clinic in Croydon
The Breastfeeding and Osteopathic clinic held every Tuesday at 9:30-11:00 am. There is no need to book, the Lactation consultant and Cranial Osteopath will assess your baby's feeding and undertake an oral assessment.
By Katherine Fisher, Lactation consultant and Cranial Osteopath Sabrina Peyandane.