Paula Anderson, R.D.H.
Why Nursing Your Child Might Be Painful
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Myofunctional Issues affect many of us, from difficulty staying oxygenated to leaving your mouth wide open. It can be rewarding and beneficial to take on a therapy program.
But what happens when it's not YOU who has the myofunctional disorder, but you can still feel the struggle? Well for many moms this is exactly what they experience when their babies have a tongue tie.
Instead of the discomfort that affects our jaws and throats and nasal passages, for nursing mothers, this discomfort comes in a totally new way.
So let's talk about how to identify if your child has a tongue tie and what you can do about it to correct your discomfort and your child’s Tongue ties, also known as Ankyloglossia, are identified by airway dentists and doctors by looking at the lingual frenulum at the base of the tongue. But moms, who often have superpowers, don’t need years of medical school to ID these tongue ties. Instead as a nursing mother you will feel multiple of the following when nursing.
Pain (moderate to severe) if your child begins to latch or get suction.
Nipple Thrush (Mastitis).
Cracked, bleeding, or flattened nipples.
Well that doesn’t sound pleasant at all for mothers, how will it affect your baby though?
Great question!! Babies with myofunctional disorders or tongue ties will often experience the following:
Gumming the nipple
Falling asleep instead of nursing
Inability to latch on or gain suction
Additionally even if your child is bottle fed you can still ID these warning signs about myofunctional disorders:
Poor Weight Gain
Frequent Ear Infections
Low Energy or Prolonged sleep
Inability to keep a pacifier in their mouth.
Okay, so now that you know how to identify these issues, what about actually correcting them. So first let's talk about the DIY steps you can take. After myofunctional disorders are formed from repetition and become habits so if they are corrected early enough these steps could be your answer.
Encourage your baby to nasal breathe
Eliminate or minimize the amount of time your baby spends sucking digits (fingers)
Avoid bottle feeding and extended time with a pacifier
If, though these steps don’t mitigate your situation it may be necessary to seek professional help. Research shows that breastfeeding is best for babies. If you breastfeed, finding a lactation consultant near you is a great next step. I recommend seeking out a Lactation Consultant who is certified through an organization such as the IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. After all mom’s it shouldn’t be painful and you deserve to enjoy your child’s developmental years.
And this is where habit retraining comes in. Myofunctional Therapy is effective and recommended for children 2 years old and up. It is important to correct these issues at your age and prevent your baby from having lifelong developmental issues due to these habits.
At Myomatters I work closely with airway specialists, dentists, and other professionals to make sure your child gets the premium care and attention they deserve.
If you or your child are suffering and fit these symptoms. Don’t hesitate to reach out and send me a message so we can get you and your child to peak health. We want to help you build the closest relationship with your child without the pain of nursing through a myofunctional disorder.