Infant Torticollis:
by Lori J. Isenstadt IBCLC

1.  Literally means ” twisted neck” in Latin. This is fairly common and does not always mean there is any other underlying medical issue.

2.  In newborns this can happen due to abnormal positioning in the womb, or from the use of vacuum extractor or forceps during the birth process.

3.  Some babies who are tongue and/or lip tied also have torticollis. This may cause a tilted lower jaw line

4.  This is relatively common and boys and girls are equally likely to develop this.

5.  While this might get better on its own, it is highly suggested to be pro-active and seek therapy to correct the torticollis.

6.  This can interfere with breastfeeding as the baby might show a preference of one breast over the other, or perhaps a refusal of one breast. Less time spent on one breast consistently, tends to lower supply

7.  Babies nursing  poorly can greatly affect their milk transfer and moms overall milk production. The more your baby nurses effectively, the more your supply will increase.  The less frequently and effectively they nurse, the  more likely you are to suffer from low supply.

8.  Your baby may not be able to achieve an optimal latch with torticollis and this will cause painful breastfeeding.

9.  This twisted muscle on one or both sides of the neck, typically responds quite well to occupational, physical and/or cranial sacral therapy.

10.  Torticollis is evaluated and treated by professionals.  It is best to not guess if your baby has this condition just because you are having breastfeeding problems.  The issue could be torticollis or there could be another issue that goes undiagnosed unless evaluated by experts.

11.  The first step to help resolve breastfeeding issues is to seek the help of a trained specialist.  Call your local IBCLC and make an appointment for proper help.