A case study research paper was published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics documenting the improvement with chiropractic care of a seven-week-old infant with difficulty breastfeeding.
In this case, a seven-week-old infant girl was brought to the chiropractor with what her mother described as tummy pain. It was noted that the infant was in distress, did not want to sleep on her back, was drawing her knees up to her chest, vomited after feedings, and had unusual stools. She was also having recent trouble breastfeeding after having no problems doing so since birth. She would only feed on her mother's left breast and had great difficulty trying to feed on her mother's right side.
The chiropractic examination indicated the child was in significant distress and pain. The infant showed a significant restriction in movement in the neck which could partially explain her inability to breastfeed on one side. It was determined that subluxations were present at the base of the skull and upper neck area. Subluxations in this area can affect the nervous system in many ways including the ability of the child to move her head properly and therefore breastfeed.
Care was initiated for correction of the subluxations and restoration of proper movement of the infant's neck. After one week, it was noted that the child could move her head better and was able to breastfeed more normally. Her initial stool after her first adjustment was normal. Over the next few weeks, her other symptoms decreased and eventually cleared.
The authors reported, "A follow-up chiropractic progress examination was performed when the infant was 6 ½ months. During this examination the infant was found to be happy, symptom free and developing well."
In their conclusion the authors wrote, "Craniocervical subluxations are often identified in infants as a result of the birth process. In this case, chiropractic care restored optimal cervical range of motion and cranial alignment. Consequently, the infant no longer showed a preference to feed on the left breast. This demonstrates how chiropractic treatment may be beneficial in correcting breastfeeding difficulties that have a biomechanical cause."