Feeding difficulties can have many different reasons and it can take a team of specialists to help unravel their complex nature. One area worth exploring is how muscles and joints can impact a baby’s ability to get in to a good position to feed.
Many of the muscles attaching to the tongue attach to other bony parts and tension in these muscles may impact how the tongue moves. If the tongue isn’t moving well then this can lead to feeding difficulties.
Tightness in neck muscles may lead to your baby having difficulty tilting their head back fully. This may prevent the jaw opening wide and stop the mandible and tongue coming forward as far as they might. This may result in a shallow and sometimes painful or inefficient latch.
Conditions such as torticollis – where one muscle is shortened leading to a preference to look one way – can cause difficulty feeding on one side. This may lead to painful or a shallow latch on one breast or the need to hold in cradle hold-one side and under-arm on the other.
If you’re struggling with feeding, look for a breastfeeding professional who will look at the whole picture of you and your baby.
A quick snip isn’t always the answer.