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The Social Nervous System and its impact on early bonding and attachment

by Michelle Emanuel, OTR/L, IBCLC, CST, NBCR
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP
  • Handout: Yes

The Social Nervous System, comprised mainly of cranial nerves 5, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12, is a newborn baby’s special skill and ability. The combination of using face, jaw, tongue and throat muscles along with head turning to mother or father’s voice have profound influence on how baby is able to bond, attach and especially breastfeed. Babies are born with sophisticated abilities to socially engage, and when we don’t see this happening easily for babies, we want to have a way to address this. Professionals will be provided with simple and easy ways to evaluate this system and provide parent support and education for how to maximize full function. The connection between the function of this system and baby’s health will be explored in this one hour talk. Michelle will also blend the neuroscience of touch and the benefits for bonding, attachment, breastfeeding and thriving in our hectic, fast paced world.

Learning Objectives:

Objectives 1: Learner will describe the Social Nervous System as it relates to moms and babies
Objective 2: Learner will verbalize 2 observations and techniques to optimize social engagement
Objective 3: Learner will list the 6 cranial nerves of the social nervous system