Sometimes babies have trouble breastfeeding. Rolfing can help newborn babies to develop a good latch, effective sucking and swallowing skills.
Successful breastfeeding requires babies to:
- Open their mouths wide
- Develop good lip closure around the nipple
- Develop adequate tongue movement
- Coordinate tongue, lip and cheek movements for sucking
- Have healthy reflexes – rooting, sucking and swallowing
- Have a flexible palate
- Have supple neck and spine
Sometimes babies are born with challenges that affect their muscle tone, sensory responses, reflexes and structure. Congenital and traumatic problems including Down’s Syndrome and cerebral palsy can create breastfeeding issues. Often though, more subtle challenges arise during gestation or delivery. The baby’s head shape and overall structural pattern may relate directly to the challenges of labor and delivery.
The infant’s structure is very soft. The fascial tissues that help to define the baby’s structure are highly elastic. Bones are largely cartilaginous at birth. Rolfing makes good use of the baby’s openness and ability to change. Rolfers identify areas in the back, neck or jaw that are not moving well. They identify asymmetries in the head or torso. With an extremely small amount of pressure the Rolfer can the make the necessary space in the system for positive changes to occur.
Rolfing can help the baby throughout their phases of development and in fact, throughout the child’s lifetime. Rolfing can help to normalize muscle tone, improve mobility and balance structure. By removing the stresses from the structure the nervous system can come in to balance and heal. Rolfing is wonderful tool to improve baby’s success in nursing.
Featured Image Credit: A mother & her baby together | www.pharmacy.arizona.edu