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Difficulties Breastfeeding Helped with Chiropractic Care

Breastfeeding – Facts

Breastfeeding is the recommended source of nutrition for infants, as it aids in promoting infant growth, development, and immunity.  Some mothers breastfeed up to two years.

About 80% of mothers in the United States breastfeed.  These rates are lowest in those less than 25 years old, unmarried, non-Hispanic black, less than high school education, and smoker.  The gap is continually closing as awareness increases.

Breastfeeding provides short term and long term benefits for both mom and baby, such as gut function development, building immunity and improving overall well-being.

Breastfeeding requires the infant to suck, swallow, and breathe, which takes a lot of nerves, bones, and muscles.   The infant’s ability to breastfeed successfully can be disturbed if there is an imbalance or structural shifts in the spine, which can alter the infant’s sucking pattern leading to  a latch problem.

Such imbalances or structural spinal shifts can result in painful breastfeeding, nipple pain, breast enlargement, and inadequate milk supply.  It is important to address these issues as soon as possible as this can lead to stopping breastfeeding prematurely.

The nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine and skull can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. Chiropractic care aims to remove the structural shifts which leads to improved function including breastfeeding.

Case Study – Infant with Birth Trauma Helped by Chiropractic

The 6-hour-old neonate in this study was suffering from a misshapen head, swelling and bruising at the base of the skull. His upper body was in a tight forward bending posture and resistant to straightening. He had decreased range of motion in the neck in addition to a tongue tie and lip tie. Breastfeeding was painful and difficult and he cried in pain.

The chiropractor examined the agitated infant and found structural shifts in his upper neck and skull. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Immediately following a chiropractic adjustment, he experienced improvement in breastfeeding by being able to nurse on both sides equally, his range of motion improved, and his muscles in the upper neck and back began to relax. The swelling at the base of the skull improved as well.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in infants with birth trauma difficulty latching.

Reference

Resolution of Breastfeeding Difficulties Following Chiropractic in a Neonate with Birth Trauma, Plagiocephaly & Edema from an Asynclitic Presentation:  A Case Report.  Kristen Hosaka DC & Joel Alcantara DC.  Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, Chiropractic ~ Volume, 2019.

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