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Dynamic Chiropractic – August 13, 1993, Vol. 11, Issue 17

Birth-Induced TMJ Syndrome Is Most Common Cause of Breastfeeding Difficulties

By Victoria Arcadi
Abstract: Over 2,500 out of approximately 3,000 newborn infants, ranging in age from one hour to 21 days old, have been treated for breastfeeding difficulties over a seven-year period with chiropractic spinal adjustments and cranial and TMJ procedures.

The newborns were all delivered without drugs by a midwife either at the Gentle Birth Center (a free-standing birth center) or at home. The babies were all very healthy at birth, and the majority were seen by the pediatrician within a 24-hour period following birth.

Birth trauma seems to occur in all babies, especially to the cranium. All the babies were unable to breastfeed with ease utilizing proper technique. All babies treated exhibited a unilateral or bilateral TMJ syndrome as the primary cause.

In all cases, AK cranial and TMJ procedures, and/or Upledger cranial procedures, eliminated or greatly improved infant breastfeeding performance after only one adjustment, in 90 percent of newborns seen within 21 days after birth. The newborn is usually seen once a week for 2-4 visits. From clinical experience, the most dramatic and powerful single adjustment with a 99.9 percent success rate in eliminating and/or preventing breastfeeding difficulties occurs when the newborn is adjusted several minutes to 48 hours after birth. The sooner the baby receives chiropractic spinal, cranial, and TMJ adjustments, the better the outcome.

Other common TMJ symptoms besides biting the nipple and failure to latch on the areola entirely are choking, gagging, and frequently pulling off the breast, short feeding times, with desire to suck on the breast all the time, excessive crying relieved by putting the baby on the breast, accompanied by restlessness and frustration making breastfeeding difficult, low weight gain, and painful nipples. A good case history must be thorough especially for a first-time mother. All typical symptoms will appear "normal" to a new mother.

La Leche League of Los Angeles is now confirming the cause of most breastfeeding difficulties to be related to TMJ imbalances, and chiropractic care is recommended by more and more La Leche League practitioners to alleviate TMJ and cranial imbalances safely in newborns and infants, and restore normal function.

The birth process is very traumatic, and in all babies causes cranial and spinal distortion and subluxations. Chiropractic took up the lost technique practiced 200 years ago by midwives who never left a home birth without realigning the spinal column, moving the cranial bones to normal, and making sure the baby could suck on the breast. Other ethnic cultures are still practicing cranial and spinal techniques such as the partidos (midwives) in Mexico.

The information shared here is based on conclusions resulting from a seven-year period of clinical cases and results, practicing as the staff chiropractor with two midwives who each have 20 years experience. With their trust and confidence in chiropractic care, we have enhanced the health of babies and pregnancy outcomes with chiropractic care.

Victoria Arcadia, DC
Sherman Oaks, California

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