Chiropractic care is an alternative therapy to traditional medicine that uses hands-on spinal techniques to align your body. There are many things that can aid to increase your breast milk supply. One such piece of the puzzle is chiropractic care.
How Does Chiropractic Care Work?
Chiropractic is based on the concept that the brain and spinal cord together form the central nervous system. The central nervous system controls and coordinates every function in your body, including milk production.
The brain sends signals to the spinal cord. Then, the spinal cord sends signals to the rest of the body, through nerves. Surrounding your spinal cord is your spinal column. It consists of 24 individual moveable bones. Those bones build a protective cocoon around your fragile spinal cord. When one of those bones is not moving as it should, it can affect the amount of energy that the nerve which branches out from that segment can carry.
This works much like a dimmer switch on a light bulb. The nerve will function, but not as “bright as it should be.” When your vertebrae are moving as they should, it removes that nerve interference.
The body is intelligently designed in the aspect that the nerves take the shortest distance to their effector organ. For example, the nerves for your neck and upper back are the ones that go down your arm. The nerves in your lower back, go to your legs. They take the shortest distance.
Benefits of Chiropractic Adjustments
Chiropractic care has many benefits in helping you and your baby, before and after birth, including increasing milk supply.
- Balances the nervous system
- Restores function to your nerves
- Relaxation by reducing body tension
- Increases milk flow after physical stresses or trauma
Finding the Right Chiropractor
All chiropractors should be able to restore movement to the spinal segments, which increases function. Chiropractic treatment can restore nerve communication in areas that may be reduced due to physical trauma or stress. This is an especially helpful tool to consider if you don’t have any other reason to be experiencing low milk supply and you’ve had nerve pain or numbness in pregnancy or childbirth.
Chiropractic Care in Action
Here is an example of how a chiropractic adjustment helped a mama and baby. This excerpt is taken from the book Making More Milk.
A lactation consultant worked with a nursing parent who had nursed several children without problems. Supply was sluggish from the start, making the consultant wonder if the parent’s age was a factor, but the baby also had a poor suck that could contribute to the problem. When milk production did not improve with expressing and galactagogues (food that increases milk production), they decided to have the baby evaluated by a local chiropractor experienced with babies. During that appointment, the mom was asked how she was feeling and she mentioned having some back pain since the pregnancy, so she was treated, too. Shortly thereafter, milk production began to rebound and normalize.
Other Complementary and Alternative Therapies
There are other therapies that can help to increase your breast milk supply.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Breast Massage
All of these options are viable in pregnancy and postpartum to help in the healing process and target specific areas of concern such as increasing breast milk supply. If milk supply is a concern for you, and you’ve had a proper lactation assessment already, you may try exploring these other complementary therapies to increase your milk supply.