Infant Cranial

How Cranial Adjusting Helps with a Failure to Latch Baby

Failure to latch is a very frustrating and an all too common condition of today’s modern new mother. It is frustrating because the mother knows the baby needs her milk but she is unable to give it to the child. The mother feels terribly inadequate and feels that there is something drastically wrong with her. This is not the case, there is always a reason. You just need to find it.


There are several reasons why babies fail to latch. Let’s list some of them.

  • Tongue – The tongue does not move properly
  • Lips – The lips do not close effectively.
  • Suction – The diaphragm is responsible for creating suction. If there is a diaphragm problem, then suction can be an issue.
  • TMJ – The baby cannot open the mouth wide enough to accommodate the nipple due to TMJ problems.
  • Hard Palate – The hard palate is very high and narrow and the baby’s tongue does not fill the cavity, resulting in poor suction.
  • Blood type food incompatibility – The food the mother is eating is not compatible with the baby’s blood type and therefore the baby rejects it.
  • Blocked ducts -- If the mother is eating incompatible foods for her blood type, excess mucous will form and can block the ducts. For example, an O type mother who is eating wheat and drinking cow’s milk will have a high level of mucous formed in her body that can accumulate in the ducts.
  • Toxicity – The mother is toxic and the baby does not want her milk.
  • Hydration Levels – The mother is dehydrated and milk production is down.
  • Neck problems – If the baby’s neck is out of place, these problems are exaggerated by certain positions of breast feeding, making it uncomfortable to feed.
  • Drugs – Effects of drugs from birth and or drugs the mother is taking can make the baby lethargic and unresponsive.
  • Improper feeding position – Not having the baby in proper position for feeding can be a reason for a poor latch. The baby’s neck must be extended, allowing the baby to tip their head back, opening the throat, allowing the milk to flow unobstructed. Opening w-i-d-e may be a problem for some babies who have a TMJ occlusion that interferes with the ability to open to the extent necessary to accommodate the full nipple. The nipple needs to get to the roof of baby’s mouth and if it only gets to the baby’s gum line then latching is incomplete. This will cause soreness for the mother and the baby is not able to get enough milk.


Breakthrough Discovery – Misaligned Cranial Bones
Most of the babies that are brought to our clinic with Failure to Latch have misshapen heads from the birth process. When the skull is out of place it interferes with the ability of the brain to function. If the misalignment in the skull affects the areas of the body associated with breast feeding (lips, tongue, TMJ, swallowing, and the diaphragm) then this can be the cause of the failure to latch.


How Does the Baby’s Head and Neck Get Misaligned?

There are many incidents that can cause misalignment. Here are a few:

Accidents to the mother’s stomach prior to birth

  • Difficult birth
  • Breach birth
  • Forceps
  • Vacuum extraction
  • Excessive manual extraction
  • C-Section
  • Baby falling off change table or bed

The Significance of a Misaligned (Subluxated) Skull

There is a space between the brain and the skull called the arachnoid space. This space contains the blood vessels to and from the brain and the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The blood vessels get the oxygen rich blood to the brain and take away the carbon dioxide.

The CSF contains the nutrients for the brain, the neurotransmitters and the glyconutrients that nourish the brain are necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses from cell to cell.

When the arachnoid space becomes compromised from misaligned bones in the skull, this space also becomes smaller and interferes with blood supply and CSF flow.

Consequently, the part of the brain associated with the decreased blood and CSF supply will not work as well, and if there is enough misalignment, the decreased space can actually encroach on the brain, further diminishing its ability to function. This decreases the blood supply, the CSF flow and can compress the brain.

Therefore, when examining babies for failure to latch, it is important to ask about injuries to the side of the head and to examine for misalignments in this area.

How Can Cranial Adjusting Help with a Failure to Latch Baby?
Correcting the misaligned bones in the skull, especially the ones that are associated with the tongue, TMJ and swallowing will increase the blood supply, CSF flow and can also take direct pressure off the brain. This will get more oxygen to the brain, which will also increase neurotransmitters and glyconutrients, which improves cell to cell communications. Correcting cranial misalignments will allow the nerve impulses to flow freely and the brain to function even better.

How Long Does It Take to Get Results with Cranial Adjusting?
Each child and mother responds to the cranial adjustments differently. Some babies respond immediately; while others take a while for the nerves to respond to the increase in blood supply and improved CSF flow.

If the interference to the brain is extensive, it can take a month or longer for the nerves and brain to start to respond.

One of the most common problems that interfere with the success of the treatment is the ability of the mother to follow through long enough to get the desired results. Persistence is the key to success.

The Good News Is the Baby Can Grow New Nerves
There is a new branch of scientific discovery called neurogenesis. This is the creation of new brain cells. Another discovery is that adjacent brain tissue can take over the functions of damaged brain tissue. This is called neuroplasticity. Because this can happen at any age, you can teach an old dog a new trick. But more important to the mother at this stage is that it applies to the new born child.

You Can Teach This New Child a New Skill

Understanding neurogenesis and neuroplasticity encourages these mothers to keep working with the baby, to do the techniques demonstrated by the breastfeeding coaches, and to have the baby’s head adjusted by a chiropractor who does cranial adjusting. There are nutrient supplements that can also be administered both to the mother and the child to help with cell-to-cell communication.

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