Pain relief for moms and babies with osteopathy
You're in the right place if this sounds like you
Feeding your baby doesn't feel natural or easy for you. It feels like a struggle. Your baby fights you, pushes away and arches their back. Your baby's body feels stiff and tense.
Your baby's latch feels shallow. You can't get a deep latch because your baby won't open her mouth wide enough.
Your nipples hurt!. Breastfeeding feels like your nipples are being rubbed with: sandpaper, a cheese grater, shards of glass, or tiny baby sharks. The pain makes you gasp, curl your toes, cry or want to scream, You dread every feed.
You're heartbroken that breastfeeding isn't going like you imagined. It's way harder than you expected.
You feel like you nurse and comfort your baby all day and all night. You feel trapped under your baby. You want your body back. You need a break!
You're worried your baby isn't getting enough to eat. She spits up your milk that you've worked so hard for.
What's possible for you to have
A massive sense of relief from stress, pain and constant worry.
A baby that melts into your arms and falls asleep content with a full belly.
Feeling relaxed, comfortable and confident while nursing.
Having more time and space for yourself in between feeds as your baby gets better using her body to breastfeed more effectively.
We release the tension in your baby's body.
You don't need to try harder. And it's not your fault. Read that again. The problem is that your baby has imbalanced tension in her body. Your baby doesn't feel good in certain positions
This tension is pulling her head, neck or hips to one side making it hard and uncomfortable for her to turn her head or use her mouth effectively without pinching or chomping. That's why she's clenching her jaw.
That's why she does better at one breast over the other. That's why one hold works better on one breast and a different hold feels better on the other..
If she's fighting you try football hold. If it's better it's likely she has tension in her head, neck and shoulders that's making cross-cradle too painful for her.
If she does better in side lying it may be that she has a problem curling her body like she has to for cross cradle.
These are all signs that your baby needs help balancing that tension so that she can comfortably and effectively feed in all positions and settle with a full belly.
Why does this happen?
Your baby was curled up inside of your body. As your baby grew inside of you the surrounding space got smaller as their body got bigger.
During your baby's birth their body was compressed on by powerful contractions. If a vacuum or forceps were used to pull our baby's head out during your baby's birth additional twisting and pulling were likely added their body. If your labour was long or your pushed for a long time (2-3 hours) your baby's head was pressing down on your cervix for a long time and that can compress their neck.
All together this can cause the insides of her baby's body to feel pinched, pulled, twisted or compressed. That's why your baby cries when they don't like certain positions like being on their back, tummy, side or in the car seat.
This tension can be corrected in a gentle and relaxing way with osteopathy and craniosacral therapy.
Why this is an overlooked solution
Your baby's body has been inside of your body since the beginning. It can be hard to see that your baby has a separate body from yours and that she has her own unique anatomy. Your baby's little body has a TREMENDOUS impact on how you both experience breastfeeding.
We live in a culture that bombards women with crazy messages that our bodies are not adequate. It's easy to see how we can feel like it's our fault or that we need to try harder (we don't) or toughen up (you don't because nipples don't grow callouses). Your body made your baby! It's pretty amazing.
It gets even more confusing when people say the following:
it's normal (it's not).
they will grow out of it (they won't, they will avoid it).
it's just a stage (it's not).
I have a theory that when other people say it's normal it's often because they don't know another solution even exists. You and your baby don't need to suffer. It's a sign that your baby needs help.
Just like you need help with the tension in your body, so does your baby. Your baby needs help from a professional therapist who is skilled with her hands in the way that helps babies (because babies have unique needs that are very different than adults).
*Nipple creams, nipple shields, special holds, props, pillows, reflux meds, elevated sleeping surfaces and avoiding certain positions are important short term solutions to give you some relief while you figure out the true cause of the problem. Plan to use them for a short period of time and phase them out as you get the help that you and your baby needs.