Recent research reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic on an infant with difficulty latching to breastfeed reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in helping infants and mothers with breastfeeding challenges. The literature included supports the role of chiropractic in mothers suffering from this health challenge and calls for more research in this area.

“Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the various health challenges that newborns experience” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study.

McCoy added “In the case report presented, the mother was experiencing pain and discomfort during breastfeeding that improved following chiropractic care for her infant because of the nature of the nervous system and its relationship to the spine.”

According to researchers, the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic improves nerve supply and function.

The 9-day-old infant reported on in the research had a traumatic birth, had to spend several days in the hospital and had difficulties latching during breastfeeding.  She was not gaining weight properly due to having difficulty breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding was also painful for her mother, who ultimately used a nipple shield for the pain and discomfort.

The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in the infant’s skull, neck, and sacrum.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. Following chiropractic care, she was immediately able to breastfeed successfully with no pain or discomfort and she began gaining weight as normal.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

To learn more about this research and maternal and infant health, visit Vertebral Subluxation Research.