Skip to content

Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges: Tips From an Osteopath

Overcoming breastfeeding challenges

Breastfeeding is a natural and highly beneficial way to feed and nourish your baby. It is also a time of intimate bonding between the mother and her child that many mothers cherish. These moments are precious, intimate and unique. 

But, for some mothers, breastfeeding is a challenging and stressful experience. Some new mums encounter obstacles that prevent a smooth and comfortable breastfeeding journey. If this is the case and your breastfeeding is not going well, it can be a time of frustration, distress and disappointment. 

There are many factors that impede or impact a mother’s capacity to breastfeed their baby. The good news is with the right support, some of these breastfeeding challenges can be overcome. Did you know that an osteopath can help in the treatment and management of common breastfeeding challenges for both mum and baby?

Osteopath Natasha Dalton, shares come common breastfeeding issues she sees in the clinic and how osteopathy may be helpful in improving your feeding journey.

As a mother, I understand the joys, pressures and challenges that breastfeeding mothers face. With my firstborn son, I struggled with mastitis, attachment difficulties and a very colicky baby. I remember feeling disheartened, worried and exhausted. However, with the right help and support my obstacles were overcome & was able to enjoy the experience of breastfeeding. 

Common breastfeeding challenges in babies 

Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges-babies

Difficulty latching

Restrictions in your baby’s spine, neck and jaw can impede or impact their ability to latch onto your breast correctly.

These restrictions are often caused by the natural forces on your baby during birth. This can contribute to your baby not getting enough milk as they often tire quickly, and are irritable or restless during feeds.

An osteopath can help by releasing any restrictions in your baby’s spine, neck and jaw to optimise proper attachment to your breast. Working with a lactation consultant such as Susanne Burnt from Geelong Breastfeeding and Sleep Support can also be beneficial.

Reflux and colic pain

Reflux and colic pain can affect how your baby feeds. Restrictions in the neck, spine, ribs, diaphragm and sacrum can affect the functioning of your baby’s gut resulting in digestive disturbances.

An osteopath can assess and treat any musculoskeletal cause of your baby’s digestive symptoms. Most babies respond well with relief from digestive pain and discomfort. If musculoskeletal issues aren’t the cause of your baby’s reflux and colic pain, we recommend you work with a qualified nutritionist or naturopath to assess their gut health and your own diet. We recommend the team at Nutrition For Kids

Is your baby experiencing these symptoms? Book an appointment with paediatric-trained osteopath Natasha today.

Common breastfeeding challenges in mum 

Breastfeeding Position 

Difficulty finding a comfortable position during breastfeeding is common. In order to sit comfortably to breastfeed there needs to be a full pain-free range of motion in your upper spine, neck, chest and shoulders. An Osteopath can help by releasing any restrictions in these areas, allowing you to sit comfortably whilst feeding. 


Mastitis can occur when inflammation of your milk ducts develops and they become blocked. An Osteopath can help by releasing any restrictions in your upper spine, chest, axillary region and breast. This will help to restore fluid and lymphatic flow to your breast and assist recovery and help prevent reoccurrence.   

Stress and Anxiety

If you’re experiencing breastfeeding challenges, chances are you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Osteopathic treatment can help to calm your nervous system, improve your quality of sleep and balance your hormones – benefits many new mothers often aren’t aware of. 

If you’re starting your breastfeeding journey, struggling to breastfeed well and consistently or have a restless baby, perhaps it’s time to get the support you deserve. Natasha is very passionate about supporting mums and babies and could be the ideal fit in your support network.

You can book an appointment with Natasha in our Ocean Grove clinic here.