On June 17, 2019, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study documenting the resolutions with chiropractic of a number of issues that resulted in an infant’s inability to breastfeed. The advantages of breastfeeding to both the baby and the mother have been well documented and are generally accepted as the best course of feeding for infants in the first months of life.
The study begins by noting the importance of breastfeeding by stating, “The World Health Organization recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed infants for the first six months of the child’s life to help them achieve optimal growth, health, and development.”
In this case, a 4-day-old infant boy was brought to the chiropractor by his grandmother and mother. It was reported that the baby’s mother was concerned that her son was unable to latch onto her breast to feed, even with the assistance of a nipple shield. The history revealed that the boy was born vaginally at 38 weeks and 5 days gestation after a 24-hour labor. The birth was induced at the hospital 9 days early due to an amniotic fluid leak and the presence of a Strep B positive test.
Immediately after the birth, a lactation consultant was brought in to attempt to get the infant latch on to mother’s breast within the first hour of birth. These attempts were unsuccessful. Over the next several days, the mother and the lactation consultant were unable to get the infant boy to latch onto his mother’s breast to properly feed.
When the infant was brought to the chiropractor four days after his birth, a chiropractic evaluation was performed to determine if subluxations were present. With the consent of the mother, age appropriate specific adjustments were started to address the subluxations that were determined to be present.
The study records that immediately after the first adjustment, the infant appeared relaxed and asleep. Two days after the first adjustment, the mother returned with her infant son and reported that since the first adjustment, her son had exclusively nursed on the mother’s breast using a nipple shield for the first time. She also noted that her baby had a better range of neck motion and was able to turn his head better than before in both directions.
Upon returning to the chiropractor seven days later, the mother reported that her son was exclusively feeding from her breast with the aid of a nipple shield. Upon returning 14 days after starting chiropractic, the mother stated that there was complete resolution of all presenting complaints, and her son was able to latch onto either breast with no discomfort for the mother or baby.