Osteopathic care for breastfed infants: A critical examination of practice

  • Engel, Roger (Primary Chief Investigator)
  • Grace, Sandra (Associate Investigator)
  • Todd, David (Associate Investigator)
  • Greenwood, Kirsty (Student)

    Project: Research

    Project Details


    Many women struggle to breastfeed their babies and often seek help from osteopaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies to 6 months of age and that it continue alongside suitable foods for up to 2 years and beyond. Breastfeeding statistics in Australia do not reflect this. While 96% of Australian mothers initiate breastfeeding, only 39% exclusively breastfed to 3 months with less than one quarter (15%) breastfeeding to 5 months. There are a range of reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding. They include physical, emotional and financial reasons. This study will investigate two aspects related to breastfeeding: the relationship between physical strains related to birth and sucking dysfunction in infants who are having difficulty breastfeeding; and mother’s comfort levels during breastfeeding. The study is designed as a retrospective clinical audit of mothers and their infant who attended an Australian osteopathic clinic. The results of this study will inform the design of a planned hospital-based trial of osteopathic treatment for infants with breastfeeding difficulties.

    Key findings

    Correlation between strain patterns related to birth and difficulty breastfeeding.
    Effective start/end date1/01/2131/12/21