Difficulty with latching or sucking

One of the most important parts of breastfeeding is having your baby latched on correctly. Babies are born knowing how to latch on and suckle correctly, but with more than 40 muscles to control the lips, tongue, jaw, cheeks and soft palate; anything affecting these will have an impact on how well your baby will feed.


Compression of the back of the head or jaw during birth or from the use of forceps may affect the nerves or muscles to the tongue and mouth causing difficulty with latching or sucking.

What to look out for during feeding:

  • Your baby may not open its mouth wide enough.
  • Your baby may not turn to one breast.
  • You may experience sore or cracked nipples.

To prevent feeding difficulties and to avoid frustration, these problems should be addressed as soon as possible; it is ideal to see an osteopath before your baby is a week old.

Osteopathic treatment will usually focus on the back of the head, neck, jaw and hyoid bone.

You can also get the advice of a lactation consultant at this time and take a look at our feeding posture post to make sure you are relaxed whilst your baby is feeding.

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