Tight jaw breastfeeding

by Colleen
(United States)

Do you have any suggestions to help with an 8 week old that still has a very tight jaw? I have a strong let down, so I usually hand express a little before feeding...and I also recline during feedings to help with the strong flow.

I notice that no matter what I do my baby still makes that clicking sound and also has a very tight jaw. It often feels like she's chomping down on the nipple.

I've tried making her relatch many times, tried having her suck on my finger before feedings, and have seen a lactation consultant a number of times. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

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May 12, 2011
Fixing a tight jaw for breastfeeding
by: Tracy

Hi Colleen

Apparently long labors sometimes lead to a stressed-out baby with tight jaw muscles. Did you have a long birth by any chance?

Most babies with this problem will outgrow it within a few weeks, so just stick it out...it will be so worth it in the end.

Some things that you might want to try...

- Take baby to a cranio-sacral therapist. I've heard many moms have success with this even after just one session.
- Have you tried using a SNS? This will help baby associate the breast with food.
Here is more advice on using a SNS.
- You can massage baby's large mandible muscles (the knotty muscles in the middle of the lower jaw)Gentle circular movements will help relax the jaw.

Whatever you do, don't use a nipple shield, this could lead to low milk supply and hardly ever helps for this type of breastfeeding problem...although many might suggest that you try this.

Hope this helps, please keep me posted.

Kind regards

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