Breastfeeding Difficulties

Case Studies

Resolution of suckling intolerance in 6 month old chiropractic patient.

OBJECTIVE: To discuss the management and resolution of suckling intolerance in a 6-month-old infant. CLINICAL FEATURES: A 6-month-old boy with a 4(1/2)-month history of aversion to suckling was evaluated in a chiropractic office. Static and motion palpation and observation detected an abnormal inward dishing at the occipitoparietal junction, as well as upper cervical (C1-C2) asymmetry and fixation. These indicated the presence of cranial and upper cervical subluxations. INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient was treated 5 times through use of cranial adjusting; 4 of these visits included atlas (C1) adjustment. The suckling intolerance resolved immediately after the first office visit and did not return. CONCLUSION: It is possible that in the infant, a relationship between mechanical abnormalities of the cervicocranial junction and suckling dysfunction exists; further research in this area could be beneficial. Possible physiological etiologies of painful suckling are presented.

Holtrop DP. R J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000 Nov-Dec;23(9):615-8 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut

PMID: 11145802 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] 

Chiropractic care for infants with dysfunctional nursing: a case series.
Two infants with dysfunctional nursing were able to breastfeed after receiving chiropractic care. In this article, the physiological mechanisms are presented on how chiropractic care may restore normal suckling.

First infant: 8-week-old girl unable to maintain suction while breastfeeding since birth.
The mother said the child “broke suction with every suck,” regurgitated excessively and
exhibited extremely fussy behavior, “especially in the evenings.” After two weeks of care
the regurgitation and fussiness ceased and child was sleeping better. Follow-up telephone
call at 9½ months of age revealed no return of symptoms.

Second infant: a 4-week-old boy who had been unable to suckle effectively since birth. He was diagnosed with spinal and cranial subluxations. He suckled immediately following his first adjustment (consisting of diversified spinal adjusting and cranioSacral therapy). He received four adjustments in 21 days.

Hewitt, EG,Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1999.

Infants who have trouble suckling may benefit from chiropractic care.

6-month-old boy had experienced an aversion to suckling for 4.5 months. Physical examination revealed cranial and upper cervical vertebral subluxations. The patients’ aversion to suckling immediately resolved after receiving his first chiropractic adjustments (to the occiput and atlas), and did not reappear.

From the Author, “It is possible that in the infant, a relationship between mechanical abnormalities of the cervicocranial junction and suckling dysfunction exists. Further research in this area could be beneficial.”

Chiropractic management of an infant experiencing breastfeeding difficulties and colic: a case study.

A 15 day old emaciated Hispanic male infant experiencing inability to breastfeed and colic since birth, crying constantly, “shaking, screaming, rash, and vomiting during and after feeding.” The baby also had “increased distress” 30 minutes after feeding and had excessive abdominal and bowel gas since birth. The mother reported the infant was given a Hepatitis B vaccination within hours after birth.

Chiropractic Adjustment: Adjustment was followed by significant reduction of crying, screaming and shaking. The mother commented on the “quietness” of the child. On the second visit, two days later the mother commented, “This is a completely different baby.”
The vomiting before and after feeding had ceased. Another adjustment was given.
By the third visit, a “significant decrease of symptoms” was reported and complete remis-sion of abdominal findings. Baby had been successfully breastfeeding since last visit. No adjustment was given. By the fourth visit 3 days later, the baby had been symptom free for 5 days at which time he received another Hepatitis B shot with the return of all symptoms to a severe degree. Adjustment was given but there was no reduction of symptoms. The patient was adjusted three more times over the next week with minimal reduction in symptoms. By the eighth visit, eight days after receiving the vaccination the child began to show marked improvement and by the 11 th visit, no symptoms were noticed and no adjustment was given.

Sheader, WE, Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1999.

Dr. Koren comments: the high-pitched screaming the child exhibited is a neurologic cry (cri-encephalique) which is due to irritation of the central nervous system. Children with neurologic damage should not be vaccinated.

Case study: infant’s inability to breast-feed.

The inability to breast-feed due to pain caused by atlas subluxation and TMJ dysfunction.
This three-week-old girl had colic, flatulence and outbursts of crying from 9 PM to 1 AM
since birth, 19 days prior. Upon examination had inversion and pronation of left foot, left
ear was folded, left cervical lateral flexion posture, rooting was poor and facial asymmetry and right lateral mandible.
Chiropractic care and CranioSacral therapy was begun.
“We suspected that his posture in utero was the primary contributing factor to child’s physical asymmetry and subluxation pattern. By forth week of adjustments baby began to breast-feed from both breasts.”

Krauss, L. Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 1 No. 3 Dec. 1994.

Birth induced TMJ dysfunction: the most common cause of breastfeeding difficulties.

From the abstract: In a clinical setting, 1,000 newborns were observed and treated (ages
one hour to 21 days), for failure and/or difficulty with breast feeding. In 800 or 80%, birth induced Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction was found to be the cause. In all cases, the babies were treated with chiropractic cranial and spinal adjustments, with excellent results in 99% of the cases. This paper discusses the basic clinical findings, related newborn discomforts, and associated symptomatology involving other symptoms.
The above babies were all born with a lay midwife and without drugs in a calm, warm,
peaceful setting. All babies were born vaginally. All babies were examined and in all cases a cranial distortion was present due to the birth process and trauma which produced a TMJ dysfunction, interruption proper suckling mechanics by causing severe headaches and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Arcadi, VC, Sherman Oaks, CA, Proceedings of the National Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics. Oct, 1993 Palm Springs, CA. Pub. International Chiropractors Assoc., Arlington, VA.

Additional article on birth induced TMJ

Newborn with atlas subluxation/absent rooting reflex from Case reports in chiropractic pediatrics (case #4).

This is the story of a two day old newborn female showing lethargy and a yellowish skin
color present since birth and an inability to nurse; the baby seemed unable to “latch on.”
A medical doctor said the baby was probably hypothyroid and should be hospitalized.
The atlas was adjusted for a left lateral listing. Immediately thereafter, the baby exhibited a strong bilateral rooting reflex. The baby began to nurse right away. The jaundice quickly cleared. The mother continued to nurse her child for two years.

Esch, S. ACA J of Chiropractic December 1988.

Failure to Nurse A Case Study.

A 3 month old female infant was refusing to breastfeed for several days. A few days prior, her head had been whipped backward while being picked up by her older brother. Upon examination, subluxation was found at the levels of Occiput, C2 and C3. After one adjustment the infant began nursing, but only on one side. She was nursing normally on both sides after the second adjustment the following day. She continued for 6-8 more visits and is now receiving wellness care.

Crystal, Rejeana. ICPA Newsletter Sept/Oct 1997