Presentation Information

Allyson Wessells

Neuroanatomy and Biomechanics: Breastfeeding as a First Movement Milestone

  • Speaker: Allyson Wessells , PT, MPT, IBCLC
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits:
Abstract:

Knowledge of neuroanatomy, reflexes, and biomechanics as related to breastfeeding/chestfeeding is essential to IBCLC competency. This presentation will define breastfeeding/chestfeeding in terms of posture, movement, and reflexive function. Examples of neuromuscular dysfunction that impair breastfeeding will be provided. Strategies for treating neuromuscular dysfunction that impedes movement essential to breastfeeding/chestfeeding success will be reviewed along with new research on how participation in infant movement group classes facilitated maternal confidence in breastfeeding/chestfeeding. Presented by an IBCLC who is also a physical therapist, this presentation explores how breastfeeding/chestfeeding should be considered a first movement milestone fostered through interactive tummy time at the most basic and often effective level, and in need of more definition as such across the healthcare continuum. While alerting other healthcare professionals to this definition can help improve support for it, IBCLCs should be the clinical expert in its assessment and treatment as a foundation to collaboratively solving more complex movement impairments that challenge breastfeeding success.