I help breastfeeding moms who have problems with their baby's latch and nursing.
Does this sound like your baby when nursing?
You can't get a deep latch because you can't get your baby to open her mouth wide enough.
It feels like she is chewing and chomping more than she is sucking.
You see milk leaking from her lips or it comes out of her nose. You hear clicking, or air leaking. She spits up and is gassy.
Your baby feels stiff and tense. She arches her back, pushes you away, coughs, chokes and pops on and off. Nursing is stressful for you both.
Her mouth feels like it's made of sandpaper, shards of glass, or tiny baby sharks.
Does this sound like you?
You constantly worry that your baby isn't getting enough to eat.
You are heartbroken that breastfeeding isn't going like you imagined. You feel like a failure as a mom.
You cringe at every feed and dread breastfeeding. Your nipples hurt. The pain makes you want to scream, cry and curl your toes.
You need a break. You nurse and comfort your baby all day and all night. You feel trapped under your baby. You want your body back.
What's possible for you to have
Feeling relaxed and comfortable while nursing.
A baby that melts into your arms and falls asleep with a full belly (sleeping more deeply & for longer).
An incredible sense of relief from stress and pain (both physically and emotionally). No more worrying if she is getting enough or if you are enough.
Feeling deeply bonded with your baby.
What's ALSO possible for you
Feeling more confident as a mom (and feeling comfortable leaving your house).
A lot less laundry to do without all that spit up.
Having more time and space for yourself in between feeds as your baby gets better using her body to breastfeed more effectively.
Here is how we get you there...
We release the tension in your baby's body.
The solution isn't in your body. It's in your baby's body. This is the most commonly overlooked solution to latch and nursing problems.
Too much tension in your baby's mouth, head, neck and shoulders make it difficult for her to latch and nurse well (and can cause you both pain). When your baby has a tight (or clenched) jaw, for example, you can't open her mouth all the way. Her tight jaw causes a shallow latch that pinches you. At this point your baby is likely chomping and chewing more than she is sucking. Chomping causes your baby to swallow air with her milk which ends up as painful gas in your baby's belly or she spits it up all over you (because the air has to come out either up or down). Think of all these behavours as a sign that your baby needs help.
Where does this tension come from?
Almost all babies are born with tension in their little bodies. It comes from being curled up in a tight, little ball, inside a small space, while growing for 9 months. If you had twins, your baby had another baby laying on or pressed up against her the entire time.
Your baby's body shaped around your body.
Her soft body may have been squished against your hard bony hips, pelvis or ribs while she grew inside of you. She also had her head and neck held in one position for days, weeks or months. Imagine how you would feel if you did that. It's like how you might feel if you slept funny and you woke up with your neck feeling kinked and in pain.
Forces at birth can also add a layer of strain.
If a vacuum or forceps were used to pull our baby's head out during your baby's birth additional twisting and pulling was likely added their body. Or if your labour was long and your baby's head was pressing down on your cervix for a long time that can compress her neck.
All together this can cause the insides of her baby's body to feel out of place, pulled, twisted or compressed. One of the reasons your baby cries or doesn't like to be in certain positions is because she doesn't feel good in her body.
But not too worry if this is you and your baby. Tension can be corrected in a gentle and relaxing way.
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.