Contribution of chiropractic therapy to resolving suboptimal breastfeeding: a case series of 114 infants

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009 Oct;32(8):670-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2009.08.023.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the circumstances, clinical features, role, and results of chiropractic management of infants who were referred to a chiropractic clinic for failure to adequately feed at the breast.

Methods: Clinical case series of 114 infant cases of hospital-diagnosed or lactation consultant diagnosed feeding problems that were treated with chiropractic therapy in addition to routine care and followed to short-term result.

Results: The most common age of referral was 1 week (mean, 3 weeks; range, 2 days-12 weeks), and the most common physical findings were cervical posterior joint dysfunction (89%), temporomandibular joint imbalance (36%), and inadequate suck reflex (34%). Treatment was chiropractic therapy in addition to any support given elsewhere. All children showed some improvement with 78% (N = 89) being able to exclusively breast feed after 2 to 5 treatments within a 2-week time period.

Conclusion: Cooperative multidisciplinary care to support breastfeeding was demonstrated in this population. Chiropractic treatment may be a useful adjunct to routine care given by other professionals in cases of diagnosed breastfeeding problems with a biomechanical component.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Infant Welfare
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic / methods*
  • Sucking Behavior*
  • Treatment Outcome