Mothers & Mothering

“Breast Feeding, Bonding and Myofunctional Therapy”

By John Diamond, M.D.

Katherine was breast feeding her first baby, Alice, who was just a month old. We discovered that the baby was disappointed (stomach meridian). I see so many people who are disappointed, and this may be where it begins, back at the first few weeks of life and back to breast feeding.

In his book, Myofunctional Therapy in Dental Practice [Bartel Dental Book Company, New York, 1971], Daniel Garliner cites Richard Applebaum’s paper on breast feeding—a paper of unlimited significance. Applebaum gives very explicit instructions on how the baby should be supported while at the breast in order to ensure the best sucking.

I placed a large pillow under Katherine’s arms as Applebaum suggests, but the disappointment was still operant. Then I readjusted the angle that Alice made with her mother, trying to copy exactly the photographs that Applebaum supplied. With this, not only was Alice no longer disappointed, but her Life Energy was at the highest level.

Katherine remarked that she could feel a great difference. Alice’s sucking was so much stronger than it had ever been before. It was a new and completely different sensation. Furthermore, Alice had ceased to whimper as she had done during nearly all of her previous feeds. Perhaps for the first time in her life there was Absolute Love.

Some time later, Katherine told me that there had been a profound change in Alice since she had been feeding her in the correct position. Katherine was now so used to Alice’s stronger sucking that if it was not quite right she knew exactly how to adjust her position in order to correct it. Alice had stopped whimpering completely, and she was no longer vomiting. Perhaps the greatest change, however, was how much more content and happy Alice seemed when she was awake, and how much more deeply and peacefully she slept.

The change that I saw reflected the bond had grown between them. Earlier, Alice had seemed somewhat awkward in Katherine’s arms, as if they were not really molding to each other, but now the bond between them was so close that they seemed as one.