Feeding Difficulties

Cotlew St. Osteopathy – fostering healthy beginnings.

The early stages of an infant’s life are dominated by feeding experiences. For many parents, the experience of feeding their newborn or infant can become a source of concern and frustration when faced with difficulties.

Feeding difficulties in the first 1000 days can look very different depending on how far along the timeline you are. Newborns can present breastfeeding and bottle-feeding challenges from day 1. Some infants may have had a good start and then hit a speed hump at 3-4 months, where suddenly things might change and go downhill. Some children have difficulty with the introduction of solids, spitting food instead of swallowing. All of these scenarios should consider oral function at its core.

At Cotlew St. Osteopathy a history and assessment of the infant will consider oral motor issues, latch problems, tongue tie, reflux, sensory sensitivities, and musculoskeletal imbalances, when considering feeding difficulties. You may think: How can my baby have such imbalances? Well, some of these imbalances may occur during the birth process, particularly if instruments such as forceps were used, or it was a prolonged labour. There are a lot of compressive forces that happen during childbirth and some babies need a little bit of help adjusting afterwards.

Underlying some feeding challenges is also the complex arena of allergies, including IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated allergies. These babies often have other symptoms of hives, swelling, gut irritation, vomiting, changes to their stool and or eczema. Having an allergy or food intolerance complicates the feeding picture, as the infant can have food or milk aversions to the substance given. This may also lead to fussy or picky eaters in later years.

Victoria at Cotlew St. Osteopathy considers all these factors when making a detailed assessment. Her treatment often involves hands on techniques to release tensions and restrictions in the jaw, neck, mouth, and diaphragm. By balancing these structures, giving advice and exercises, optimal oral function can be achieved, leading to better feeding outcomes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Signs may include difficulty latching, frequent pulling away during feeding, prolonged feeding times, falling asleep during a feed (before finishing), arching their back or discomfort during feeding, and excessive crying during a feed or after feeding. As a mother breastfeeding, you may feel, pinching of the nipples, painful cracked nipples, or breasts not draining adequately. Parents giving a bottle to babies may notice milk spilling out of their mouth, difficulty with sucking a teat, choking and general fuss-cry behaviour.

If feeding difficulties persist, result in weight loss or failure to thrive, or cause significant stress on the baby or parents, then seeking professional assistance is advisable. Early intervention can be beneficial.

Parents should seek advice from a Lactation consultant if they are concerned with feeding. Victoria at Cotlew St. Osteopathy works closely with numerous lactation consultants, midwives, child health nurses and doctors that have interests in infant care. Referrals and open communication are commonplace to address feeding issues in a timely manner.

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Cotlew St. Osteopathy is dedicated to supporting families through the challenges of newborn, infant and childhood feeding difficulties.

Our wholistic approach aims to foster comfortable feeding experiences for you and your little one. If you have concerns about feeding, whether it be breast, bottle, or solids, reach out to Cotlew St. Osteopathy and let us guide your infant to a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Schedule a consultation with Victoria today and witness the difference.