Infant Chiropractic Care Can Help Babies Breastfeed Better: Chiropractic Case Report


The list of things that we assist with as a family, pregnancy, pediatric and infant chiropractor in Southwest Florida is always growing as we explore more and more stories from families that validate what we already know to be true – chiropractic care helps the body function better. However, when science acknowledges human stories that we’re constantly seeing, we view it as a HUGE win. In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we want to show you a case report where infant chiropractic care helped a breastfeeding mom from J Chiropr Med – “Chiropractic Management of Breastfeeding Difficulties: a case report.” 

Blog, breastfeeding, infant chiropractic care, Research
Photo Credit: Allison Union Photography

An 8 Day Old Baby was Unable to Breastfeed for 4 days.

A big stressor for new moms is breastfeeding, particularly in the first few weeks of that baby’s life for a new mother. Questions like “Is my baby getting enough milk?”, “Is my baby gaining enough weight?”, and “Am I doing this right?” are questions that pass through the minds of new moms almost constantly. Add that to engorgement, clogged ducts, and maybe even having to pump to return to work – the number of obstacles that are in front of breastfeeding mothers are significant. In fact, one study found that in the 2500 women included in the study, women who had a negative experience of breastfeeding were more likely to have symptoms of postpartum depression. 

What most moms (and even sometimes the pediatricians and nurses that serve them) don’t realize is that birth injuries are all too common in newborns. Their bones are made to shift through the birth canal during birth, but that doesn’t mean subluxations don’t occur. In fact, very often in our offices we encounter birth injuries or subluxations that are inhibiting proper latch, depth of latch and a little one’s ability to latch at all. This is an important case report for this reason. Because the first few days of breastfeeding are the most important, it’s critical that a newborn be seen as soon as possible after birth. 

A baby not breastfeeding for 4 days can inhibit a mom’s ability to feel comfortable in her ability to nourish her child and could even jeopardize her ability to breastfeed at all.

What was found?

It was found that the baby had cervical, cranial and sacral restrictions. A chiropractor diagnosed cranialcervical syndrome, which is often caused by injuries pertaining to the neck in birth. As you can probably imagine, not every baby comes out very easily in the birth process. Babies can be in poor position, breach, get stuck or any other number of issues can occur. This is something that pregnancy chiropractic can assist with, but that doesn’t always mean it entirely prevents birth injuries and subluxations. These are many other situations that very often result in birth injuries and inhibit a baby’s ability to latch. 

Chiropractic to the Rescue

According to the J Chiropr Med case report, “Following history and examination, the infant received gentle chiropractic manipulation based on clinical findings. Immediate improvement and resolution of the nursing problems were observed after 3 treatments over 14 days.” 

Chiropractic to the rescue! This is one example of many, many scenarios that we encounter in our office with regular infant chiropractic adjustments improving the breastfeeding relationship between momma and baby. In many instances, infant chiropractic care can ensure that moms can continue to breastfeed! This is huge for a new mom’s mental health as another study found that women that struggled to breastfeed in the first 8 weeks of their baby being born were more likely to have depressive symptoms.

Related: Statistics and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

How else can infant chiropractic help my baby?

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Growth
  • Poop

Patients that have had success:

By no means is the case report discussed above the only instance of this occurring, in fact, one of our moms even wrote a testimonial discussing how her little one’s latch improved after just a few chiropractic visits and a referral from a pediatric dentist:

“A while after my little one was born, he started developing latch issues due to a recessed jaw, and I was advised by my LC and pediatric dentist to think about chiropractic care. I had never been worked on by a chiropractor let alone having my fresh, squishy 1-month baby. Both doctors have the most amazing and soft touch for all these little ones. I started seeing improvements after the first few visits. Not only do they help my sweet boy feel better, but they listen to me, my thoughts and concerns as well. Being a new mommy is hard – putting your child into the care of someone else’s hands is hard – but I trust these hands more than I can express. I am so thankful to have found this amazing team.” – Cheryl 

The success of the breastfeeding relationship has so many intricate factors associated with it. While we all know that CDC doesn’t get everything right, even they see the problems with lack of support and education in the first few days of a baby’s life being critical to the success of breastfeeding.

The CDCs breastfeeding report card from 2020 has this to say about the statistics for breastfeeding throughout the country: 

“Evidence-based hospital practices are important for establishing breastfeeding. Individualized support in the first few hours and days is critical to help mothers meet their breastfeeding goals. Although most infants born in 2017 started breastfeeding (84.1%), only 58.3% of infants were breastfeeding at 6 months (Table 1). The percentage of breastfed infants supplemented with infant formula before 2 days of age was 19.2% among infants born in 2017, an increase from 16.9% among infants born in 2016. Comprehensive hospital practices and policies that support breastfeeding have been shown to reduce medically unnecessary formula supplementation, reduce disparities in breastfeeding, and help give infants the best start in life.”

This research suggests that providers should be on the same page and we should increase the amount of awareness associated with infant chiropractic care and the many ways it supports the breastfeeding relationship between new moms and their babies. 

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