I got a massage this afternoon. I told the massage therapist that my shoulder and neck felt “stuck” and there were certain every day activities that I couldn’t do comfortably because the movement in my shoulder was restricted. After an hour of skilled touch, I could move again–without pain.
Sometimes babies are “stuck.” Developing in a small space, the baby may grow with a shoulder pushed up against her jaw. Or with her head turned to one side. When that baby is born, she may continue to tilt her head to one side, or her jaw may look asymmetrical. I pay attention to this because all that muscle tension and asymmetry can interfere with normal infant feeding.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Leah. A beautiful 2- month-old baby whose tight jaw was causing her mother to have extremely sore nipples. A thorough evaluation showed me that this baby’s structural issues were contributing significantly to the breastfeeding problems.
Leah’s parents generously gave me permission to photograph her in order to show you what a difference bodywork can make!
Baby Leah before treatment. Notice the angle of her head and the asymmetry of her jaw. You can also see how her body twists and her right shoulder is kind of scrunched up into her jaw. One eye looks a bit more “open” than the other.
After asking permission, Michael began the treatment. This is Leah receiving very gentle, relaxing treatment. Baby is comfortable in mom’s lap.
Here is Leah after about 10-15 minutes of treatment. She can now hold her head in midline and her body is straighter. Notice the difference in her eyes!
Body work for babies is very different than for adults. It is gentle and respects the baby’s comfort level. Michael Hahn (whose magic hands are shown in the photo above) contributed a post for my website so you can read about it in detail.
Leah’s mom reports big changes after the bodywork. Her nipples are healing and feeling better every day. Leah also seems more comfortable during breastfeeding. If your baby is having trouble breastfeeding, or if you have persistent sore nipples, please see a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). In addition to her help, she may recommend a bodyworker who specializes in infants. It may be just the help that you and your baby need!