Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Breastfeeding Difficulties and Chiropractic

Modern birthing procedures, even those with 
seemingly minimal intervention, are known to cause 
trauma and stress to the infant’s cranium and spine. 
In a leading pediatric textbook on manual therapy 
for children, one author tells us, “When considering 
injuries and dysfunctions of the spine and its 
associated structures, the significance of birth 
trauma is often underestimated, and the resulting 
symptoms frequently misinterpreted.” 

In the case of breastfeeding difficulty, as with many 
childhood disorders, the cause of the problem often 
traces back to undetected biomechanical injuries to 
the spine and cranium at birth. The failure to 
recognize these biomechanical injuries and their 
relationship to difficulty in breastfeeding leads to 
incorrect conclusions and therefore, inadequate 
recommendations and treatments. Without real 
solutions, mothers become discouraged, successful 
breastfeeding is not achieved, and women stop 
trying out of frustration. 

Breastfeeding is by far the best choice for infant 
feeding for numerous reasons. Significant research 
shows that, from a nutritional, immunological, 
digestive, neurological, developmental, mental, 
psychological, and emotional standpoint, there is no 
replacement. Today, more and more women are 
choosing the healthy, natural benefits of 
breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding is the 
optimal feeding mode for an infant’s first 6 months 
of life. Many women initially plan to breastfeed for 
that length of time, yet fall short because of 
difficulties that seem to have no solution. Many of 
the care-providers they consult are unaware of the 
biomechanical disorders in the infant’s spines and 
craniums that cause the difficulty in breastfeeding. 
This lack of knowledge leads to ineffective 
recommendations with unsatisfactory results. In 
these instances, it is imperative that parents seek 
family chiropractors who offer mothers and infants 
the care appropriate to their needs. 

In 24 years of practice, it has been my experience 
that when infants presented in our office with any of 
the indicated difficulties (see below), once 
evaluated and adjusted accordingly, they 
responded favorably with chiropractic care. Normal 
function in the infant was restored and 
breastfeeding continued without further 
complications and hindrances. Among other 
numerous benefits of chiropractic care for infants, 
the ability to successfully breastfeed has lifelong 
consequences for the baby’s future health potential. 
Including chiropractic care for your newborn may 
very well be one of the most important choices you 
make in support of the family wellness lifestyle. 

Some of the most common indicators of 
difficulty with breastfeeding are: 

 Babies who cannot latch firmly 
 Babies who can latch and not sustain sucking 
 Babies who are unable to smoothly coordinate 
suckling, swallowing, and breathing 
 Babies who can feed in only one position 
 Babies who seem dissatisfied when nursing or 
who remain fussy and distressed throughout 
the day 
 Babies who chew and damage the mother’s 
 Babies who may not feed any better from other 
 Babies who have the need to suck 24/7 
Read more in Pathways Issue 11: 

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