314.805.7837
439 S. Kirkwood Rd. Suite 214, 63122

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the best way to provide optimal bonding and nourishment to your baby, but unfortunately, breastfeeding often comes with common challenges, especially in the beginning. Please know that you are not alone, many mothers run into breastfeeding issues, but we are here to help and support you throughout your breastfeeding journey. Some women find they need help latching their baby correctly, some need solutions for nipple pain, others are searching for help with pumping or preparing to go back to work, while others merely just want help with general breastfeeding tips. At 1st Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood, we have answers to your breastfeeding questions and have all of the help and support you’ve been looking for.

Evidence-Based Benefits of Breastfeeding

Every year more scientific evidence is gathered to prove what most people around the world already know: a mother’s milk is the best food for her baby. Mother’s milk alone provides all the nutrients necessary for baby’s physical and mental development for at least the first six months, with the added benefit of natural immunity against numerous diseases.

Most mothers will agree that breastfeeding is one of the hardest things they have ever done, but don’t be discouraged; we have created a network of trained professionals to support your choice to breastfeed your baby. At 1st Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood, we have a collaborative team of specialists in our office to offer you the best breastfeeding care and support in St. Louis:

  • 2 Pediatric Chiropractors trained in infant cranial work

  • 2 Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC)

  • Le Leche League Leader

  • Birth Doula

  • Postpartum Doula

  • Midwife team

The Breastfeeding Mother

Supporting mom after birth is just as important as taking care of baby. Regular chiropractic adjustments following birth can promote optimal healing, and relieve mother’s bodily pain caused by pregnancy, labor, and often uncomfortable breastfeeding positions.

The breastfeeding relationship is always beneficial when mom is feeling her best. In addition to increased breastfeeding success, mothers that receive chiropractic care on a regular basis after birth have a tendency to:

  • Heal faster

  • Have less postpartum depression and anxiety

  • Feel better overall

Overcoming Potential Problems

There are multiple reasons a mom may need help with breastfeeding problems. Just like anything worth doing in life, breastfeeding is not without its difficulties. Several factors can make breastfeeding difficulties feel like “mission impossible”; the first of which is improper latching.

Latch

Breastfeeding should never be painful as this is a sure sign that the baby has not properly latched on to the breast. Improper latch is a very common problem since, although nursing is instinctive, how to latch on is not and may require a little time and patience during the first few attempts. Whether you are a first time mom, or expecting your fourth baby, each mother/baby pair has to learn each other and work together.

Not having an optimal latch around the nipple can lead to symptoms relating to colic, reflux, and dental decay; which can result in the need for otherwise unnecessary medications and treatments. 1st Step Family Wellness offers a free breastfeeding group, as well as in-office and in-home lactation consultation services to help mothers learn how to provide the optimal latch for mom and baby.

Having the proper latch can:

  • Eliminate nipple pain and allow damaged nipples to heal naturally

  • Improve the transfer of milk, which can result in increased weight gain

  • Increase mother’s milk supply

  • Improve sleep patterns—by increasing the efficiency of milk transfer, less time is spent at the breast, which means more sleep for mother and baby

Even with the optimal positioning there are other factors that can cause pain to the nipples, and prevent babies from properly latching. A newborn that won’t latch, refuses to suck, clamps down too fast, or is not maintaining an open mouth, may be suffering from an upper cervical or cranial subluxation. This should be evaluated by a chiropractor specifically trained to treat children and infants.

Cranial Work or Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT)

Every birth and pregnancy has the potential to cause trauma to the nervous system and cranial structure of a newborn. Therefore, 1st Step Family Wellness encourages every infant be adjusted by a chiropractor that specializes in pediatrics within the first 3 weeks of life. Dr. Jeanne Sandheinrich and Dr. Jana Flora specialize in pediatric chiropractic, with an emphasis in cranial work. A gentle adjustment to the infant’s cranial bones can:

  • Release the tightness of a latch, which eliminates a painful latch on one breast or both

  • Improve the transfer of milk, which can result in increased weight gain and increase milk supply

  • Balances nursing side to side

  • Restore normal cranial motion which reduces flat spots on the head

  • Create the environment for baby’s brain to develop and grow optimally

Tongue Tie or TOTS

One of the initial signs of Tongue Tie or Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTS), may be difficulties breastfeeding within the initial weeks after birth. Unfortunately, this is a major threat to ending breastfeeding completely. 1st Step Family Wellness wants to ensure that your family stays well-informed about such challenges; including how to identify if your child is Tongue Tied and what you can do to help them live a healthier, more comfortable life. Read more about Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding.

In addition to diagnosing the severity of the tongue tie, Dr. Jeanne has seen significant improvement in recovery after a revision with regular chiropractic care prior to and following the revision procedure. She also equips each family with simple exercises to help with  breastfeeding latch, and tongue movement.

Support for Success

Breastfeeding should be a restful and enjoyable time for mother and baby to bond. The goal of the breastfeeding team at 1st Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood is to provide each mother with the breastfeeding tips, tools, and support she needs to continue a successful breastfeeding relationship with her baby.