Assessment of the Efficacy of An Osteopathic Treatment in Infants with Biomechanical Impairments to Suckling.

Affiliation

Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé, Université de Sherbrooke; [Email]

Abstract

Breastfeeding can be challenging for mother-infant dyads experiencing biomechanical suckling difficulties. Although lactation consultants (LCs) all over the world have increased their skills in this field and can provide support to help position the infant at the breast, the impact of their intervention might be limited in the presence of stiff structures in the infants. Here we present a protocol for a randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of osteopathic treatment, coupled with lactation consultation, for infants' biomechanical suckling difficulties. It proposes a set-up and a sequence of actions to ensure an optimal context for treatment, as well as a blinding of parents and LCs to the intervention. Data such as the infant's latch ability measured with the LATCH Assessment Tool, the mother's nipple pain with a visual analog scale (VAS), and the mother's perceptions are collected by LCs four times over a 10-day period. Osteopathic lesions are documented by the osteopath, using a standardized assessment grid. Structures of interest are coherent with the anatomical zones involved in latching onto the breast. This protocol also proposes a strategy to document systematically an osteopathic profile of infants with biomechanical suckling difficulties in their first weeks of life. The implementation of this protocol confirms its feasibility for osteopathic assessment and treatment and paves the way for future trials to further explore the efficacy of osteopathic techniques for infants with biomechanical suckling difficulties.

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