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The Intricate Connection Between Birth & Baby Feeding

 Kellie Eason, IBCLC. BHSc. (Nursing), Post. Grad. Dip in Midwifery

 MILK...early parenting support

Trigeminal, Facial, Vagus and Hypoglossal Cranial Nerves
Cranial nerves impacting baby feeding

Did you know that breastfeeding alone, requires the coordination of approximately 30 muscles and nerves?

Here are some of the major cranial nerves which stimulate your baby’s feeding & digestive system.

  • Trigeminal Nerve CN 3 - activates the upper & lower jaw, soft palate, sucking & chewing muscles

  • Vagus CN X & Hypoglossal Nerves CN X11 - activates stomach function, stress response, tongue movements and taste sensation, jaw, throat and soft palate function

  • Facial Nerve CN VII - activates jaw, cheek & lip movements

Let's Explore the connection Between Baby Feeding and Birth

During birth, your baby's head undergoes compression against the cervix and perineum, or may have pulling forces applied by forceps or vacuum. These forces will naturally compress your baby's body and spine into the base of the skull which is where the cranial nerves exit.

If there is increased tension and compression of the connective tissue encasing cranial nerves, this inhibits nerve transmission to baby's oral motor function ultimately leading to infant suck, swallowing & digestive dysfunction.

So if feeding is tricky for you, don’t despair, work with us to get your tricky feeding sorted.

At MILK early parenting support, this is our point of difference!

We have advanced expertise in Paediatric Oral Myofunctional Therapy and Bodywork. We are trained to assess & manage oral motor dysfunction in infants causing breast, bottle, latch and digestive difficulties.

We commonly support mothers & babies with issues such as:

  • Sleepy feeders

  • Non-stop feeders

  • Lip & tongue tie

  • Flicking bottle teat with tongue/teat latch difficulty

  • Gagging

  • Gulping

  • Coughing

  • Fussy feeding

  • Digestive wind discomfort

  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux

  • Food intolerances

  • Milk spillage

  • Not opening mouth wide

  • Biting /pinching type latch

  • Weak latch

  • Strong latch

  • Difficulty feeding on both sides of the body

  • Bottle refusal

  • Breast refusal

  • Slow weight gains

  • Sleep & settling issues

Providing More Than Just Standard Care: Addressing Root Causes with Proven Results.

We don't settle for providing basic standard care. We take the time to identify the root cause of your feeding concerns and tackle the issue head-on with proven results.


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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

At MILK early parenting support, I strive to be your go-to source for all your parenting needs – from pre-birth to post-birth. I'm a passionate and experienced International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). I love empowering expectant and new parents with all the knowledge and support they need to make the right decisions for their family.

Whether it’s helping you find the best feeding and sleeping strategies, or ensuring that your baby is getting the nutrition they need for optimal growth, I'm here to make sure that you and your baby get the best start in life.

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