Reasons why your baby isn’t feeding
I’ve often wondered why babies cry and what would be helpful tips to those of you who might be struggling RIGHT NOW with an unsettled, crying baby plus feeding difficulties. If your baby isn’t feeding or is really unsettled, it can be so stressful, tiring and emotionally exhausting trying to figure out how to help your lovely new bundle of joy.
Interestingly, I happened to hear recently about a great new initiative near Godalming, Surrey (see www.soothingbabyclinic.com) which has started a new service offering a screening service for young infants which is run by a Paediatric Chiropractor and a Health visitor. It is really fabulous to see a new initiative like this, one that is designed to provide support using an integrated health model. I followed them up and asked “okay, ladies, what are some top tips and experience you can pass on to help parents whose baby isn’t feeding”
Their response was really illuminating and went something like this….
Get your babies checked for any tongue-tie restrictions
A staggering 83% of the babies they have recently seen with feeding and persistent crying, colic and discomfort have had a tongue-tie.
A tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition that is present at birth that can restrict the tongue’s range of movements. This is thought to be a result of both genetic and environmental factors. The lingual frenulum is normal anatomy and usually separates before birth allowing the tongue to move freely. With a tongue-tie, an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) can tether the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. However, if the membrane is attached further back the tongue may look normal. This may interfere with feeding. If a baby is unable to move its tongue into the right position, they might chew instead of suck on the end of the nipple, causing pain for the mother and affecting the baby’s ability to get breastmilk. In bottle fed babies they may be slow to feed or dribble milk during a feed. Read more in the recent BBC news article
Tongue-tie can impact on the baby’s oral development
…including the way they can eat, speak and swallow. Research suggests that approximately 1 in 10 babies may be born with some membrane under the tongue, but only half display reduced function making breast or bottle feeding difficult.
If your baby isn’t feeding it could be due to a tongue-tie that needs further assessment and a potential division of tongue-tie. It is thought that approximately 1 in 20 babies may need a division of their tongue-tie.
So, there you have it, if your baby isn’t feeding because they are struggling to latch or feed, getting grumpy, windy or colicky. If you are getting sore or flattened nipples after feeding – the root cause might just be an undiagnosed tongue-tie. Tongue-tie can be easily fixed by a trained professional. It is a quick and simple procedure and only causes temporary discomfort for your baby.
The Soothing Baby Clinic is there to help you and they look forward to welcoming you and your baby.
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Useful resources:27 May 2021