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  • drkirstenmackey

Gentle and Effective Approaches to Infant Issues

Osteopathic Manual Medicine (O.M.M) is a form of body work performed by physicians that integrates and applies understanding of anatomy, physics, and medical science to treat injuries and disease. With a very low risk profile, O.M.M. is a worthwhile option to try prior to more invasive procedures and therapies. Through subtle interactions with the body and cranial structures, Osteopathy has been shown to resolve many issues that can be difficult to treat with standard medical approaches. Below are some common newborn and toddler issues with strong outcomes in my O.M.M. practice.

Breastfeeding Issues: Latch, Suck, Swallow

The ability to successfully breastfeed is multifactorial; a commonly overlooked and treatable cause is due to compression from birth, which can cause dysfunction of the neuromuscular structures as well as the tongue and throat. Osteopathic treatment restores normal function of these structures, which often resolves most swallowing and latch issues (1).


It is rare for a infant to overproduce stomach acids, yet the standard of care treats infants with acid blockers instead of addressing the root cause of the issue. Common underlying causes include vagus nerve dysfunction and diaphragm restriction. Through osteopathic treatment of these areas, we can correct acid flow downwards toward the GI tract (2).

Colic/Fussiness/Sleep Issues

Optimizing cranial motion can solve most issues of infancy including colic, fussiness and irregular sleep. Intracranial strains cause a cascade of compensatory patterns throughout the body as the child grows. This creates discomfort and, at times, suboptimal organ function. Through normalizing the communication between the cranium and digestive structures and organs, osteopathy can help relieve colic and other issues (3).


Journal of Human Lactation Feb 2017; 33 (1): 165-172Gemelli, Mauro & Ulbricht, Leandra & Romaneli, Eduardo. (2014)

3. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006 May;12(2):83-90

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