Breastfeeding and How Osteopathy Can Help

Lactose intolerance is poorly understood in the Australian community. There are lots of myths and misunderstandings about it, especially when it comes to babies. Contrary to what you may hear:

  • There will not be less lactose in the breastmilk if the mother stops eating dairy products.
  • There is no relationship between lactose intolerance in adult family members, including in the mother, and in babies. They are different types of lactose intolerance.
  • A baby with symptoms of lactose intolerance should not be taken off the breast and fed on soy-based or special lactose-free infant formula.
  • Lactose intolerance is very different to intolerance or allergy to cows' milk protein.

As explained above, there are several types of lactose intolerance, but it is very rare for a baby to have to stop breastfeeding because of this condition. Except for the extremely rare primary type, there is always a cause behind lactose intolerance in babies. Getting to the cause and fixing that is the key to resolving the baby's symptoms. More info HERE

What is tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie occurs when the thin piece of skin under the baby's tongue (the lingual frenulum) restricts the movement of the tongue. In some cases the tongue is not free or mobile enough for the baby to attach properly to the breast. Tongue-tie occurs in 4-11% of newborns and is more common in males.

Some babies with tongue-tie are able to attach to the breast and suck well. However, many have breastfeeding problems, such as nipple damage, poor milk transfer and low weight gains in the baby, and recurrent blocked ducts or mastitis due to ineffective milk removal.

If it is deemed that a tongue-tie is interfering with breastfeeding, then release of the tight frenulum can improve the baby's ability to breastfeed.

Snipping a tight frenulum in young babies is a simple procedure that takes only a second or two. No anaesthetic is needed. The baby usually breastfeeds straight after the procedure.

Cranial osteopathy may be beneficial in treating babies who have had the surgical or laser tongue tie release or frenectomy. We advise to see your osteopath as soon as poosible after the procedure as the treatment aims to:

  • help to re-establish a proper suction and tongue motion
  • encourage the baby to open the mouth adequately to create an effective latch and swallow
  • relax the throat
  • release and balance the strains and tension in the babies head, face and neck
  • relax the baby's nervous system