When Baby Prefers to Breastfeed on One Side
Minot Chiropractor, Dr. Becky Perry-Domres, explains what can be happening when a baby refuses to nurse on one side.
First it is important to know a couple thing that you as mom have going on and how you can help before we look at baby.
Moms will tend to have a preference of which side they feed their babies and consciously or subconsciously tend to offer that side more frequently or start with that side more often. Things such as your comfort tend to play a role. Do you sit on the same side of couch and have a rest one side as opposed to the other? Do you enjoy checking your phone during feedings and therefor put baby on your non dominate side more often? Do you have other little ones running around and need your spare dominate hand to make a meal while feeding you baby. I’ve been there. Try to take moments to see how often you are doing this and be aware of switching sides. I am not a breasting expert and we have a couple amazing resources in Minot, ND for lactation consultants. Capri of MyLacta is great resources. You can also find help in this breastfeeding group, Bosom Buddies of Minot.
As far as the baby is concerned. Here are a couple signs to look for:
Baby is all of a sudden not wanting one side. This is the baby that has always gone from breast to breast with no issues of fussing or wanting one more than the other. This is typically an indicator of an ear infection pending there was go trauma to the baby. It could also be that you have an infection or mastitis and the milk tastes different to baby.
If baby is refusing one side, they push away from the breast, they cry or arch their back when they are at the breast and this is or has been on going issue we are looking at something more structural. There was potential a birth injury that went unnoticed with coming out of the birth canal or pulling out via c-section or vacuum.
If the later is happening. When the baby has always preferred one side to the other Follow this guide:
Place the baby on their back. Does the baby immediately put their head to one side? If so, move there head to the opposite side. Does the baby go back to the side they first went to?
If you answered yes, there is a structural abnormality going on called torticollis. Now, there are several degrees of torticollis so don’t google torticollis and get nervous. The best time to treat it is when baby is young and everything is still developing. If torticollis goes untreated and the muscles develop in that way asymmetry in the face and neck start to happen leading to further problems down the road. So, while you can move positions to make baby more comfortable and less fussy, if this is the reason it is happening it is best to get the baby treated and correct the problem.
At Premier Chiropractic I treat only babies, kid and pregnant moms so this is something I see often. I have a very specific technique I use to help increase the baby range of motion allowing them to move the next on their own. I also give mom and dad at home things to do to help aid in the treatments. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me by giving our office a call at 701.838.0090. We look forward to seeing you.