Literally, liquid gold.
We are going to discuss how we can help both mom, with supply, and baby, with latching/feeding/digesting.
Let’s start with an overview first, shall we?
Breast milk provides ideal nutrition for your growing baby. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat – all things a baby needs in ample supply. Mom also passes antibodies to the baby through her milk. These can be antibodies of something mom’s immune system has already handled, or can be something baby needs at the moment.
Every time a baby latches on, its saliva sends a whole bunch of signals back to mom’s body telling mom what baby needs. If you look at breast milk on a normal day vs a day where the baby might be fighting something, it looks like a completely different thing.
Breastfeeding can lower a baby’s chances of developing asthma and/or allergies. It can help them have less ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the US fails to take full advantage of all of these benefits. Most babies are only breastfed on average for the first 6 months of their lives before they are transitioned to formula and other foods. And this is virtually never the fault of mom or baby.
It is recommended babies be breastfed for at least the first full year in the US. The WHO and UNICEF both recommend breastfeeding be kept up, with other foods, for the first two years of a baby’s life. There are a multitude of reasons why feeding may stop early, but that’s another conversation.
If there’s benefits for the baby, there also has to be benefits for mom too. It helps mom burn extra calories and return to pre pregnancy weight faster. It can help the uterus return to its pre pregnancy size. It may also lower mom’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Most importantly though, the skin to skin and eye contact between baby and mom floods mom with oxytocin – the LOVE drug.
In our world, success equals efficiency, comfort, and connection. This means mom has a great supply, and the baby can latch on both sides.
A single IV during labor can unfortunately crush mom’s supply because it floods her with fluids. The body then thinks that it does not need to produce anything, so it can prematurely shut off/halt production. On the other end, the baby unfortunately gets pulled/twisted/yanked from mom, which can put a ton of pressure on the baby’s neck…particularly C1 and C2.
Ideally, through all of pregnancy and during breastfeeding, mom is eating a diet rich in animal protein and fat. This isn’t to say mom and baby can’t thrive on a plant based diet, but she may have more challenges. From my personal experience in moms I’ve seen in practice, moms that eat a diet high in protein and fat from animal sources like steak, salmon, and raw milk typically fare better when it comes to supply. Mom should also be drinking water like it’s her job. Hydration is key during this time. I’d recommend adding an electrolyte powder like LMNT to ensure proper hydration.
Also in a perfect world, mom has been getting adjusted during her pregnancy to make sure that she is not only ready for labor, but to ensure that her nervous system is functioning at its highest capability. This allows proper nerve function to flow through everything that is connected with breastfeeding. It also helps balance mom’s nervous system between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches so that she is not stuck on the gas pedal in a sympathetic state. In that state, it will be harder for her system to relax and provide for the infant (remember oxytocin?).
As part of our pregnancy plans for patients, we include 6 months of postpartum care. We are the only office I know that does this, and the only office I’ve ever worked in that has done this. Not every mom sticks through postpartum care, but the ones who do reap the benefits of a more balanced nervous system in a time when the craziness of life can get the worst of us. We see a decrease in everything postpartum related (pain, pelvic floor issues, depression, etc.), along with faster recovery and better milk supply.
When a baby is yanked from mom, it can put a ton of stress on its upper cervical spine. It can basically lock C1 and C2 into place, thereby decreasing the baby’s ability to rotate. If the baby has issues rotating, he won’t be able to feed properly. This may manifest as only being able to feed on one side, only able to feed in certain positions, or having a latch that does not quite work how it should.
This situation is stressful on BOTH mom and baby.
In our world, this can lead to a host of problems for babies.
Not only is our upper cervical spine involved in rotation, but it is also involved in upper digestion. If a baby is having trouble getting the food in, they may also have trouble keeping food down. Typically, we will see a baby who has trouble latching turn into a baby with reflux and consistent vomiting. This puts the baby on a negative path for growth and development. In the western medical world, this is typically where we will see babies get prescribed medicines they do not need.
At Future Generations, we simply restore normal function to the baby’s upper cervical spine, an area of the spine that controls so much of baby’s ability to self-regulate, to set them up for success.
Having the right team around you during this phase of life is super important. In our world, you’d want a neurologically focused, naturally minded, prenatal and pediatric chiropractor to handle these situations. By setting up mom and baby for a smooth transition from prenatal to postpartum, and ensuring the baby’s nervous system is functioning optimally, this commonly stressful time can be exactly the opposite.
Let us know how we can help you!