“Miracle Melt-Down” A Mom’s Journey from Nursing Chaos to Chiro Calm

Chiropractic Care  |  Pre-Post Natal & Child

The Back Story

Our son, Nicolas, was born in late October 2023. The first few days were great, exhausting, but great. Once my milk came in though, things went downhill quickly. He slurped, clicked, and gulped his way through every feeding. We tried going strictly bottle-fed, we tried switching the nipple sizes around, and finally, we changed to exclusively breastfeeding. He still struggled and every evening all hell broke loose. He would inconsolably scream from 6 until 10 pm. He would finally fall asleep, but only on my chest, and then would start up again around 2 and either scream, or grunt, strain, and wiggle until 6-7 am. We couldn’t keep going like this, I had been unable to create any bond with him and felt horrible that we couldn’t ease whatever was going on with him. This went well beyond the normal newborn and infant “witching hour”. I casually mentioned the clicking to my best friend, who just so happens to be a lactation consultant as well, and she suggested we get him evaluated for a tongue tie. Now, this is not our first go-around, we have a 2.5-year-old as well. I should have remembered that clicking when feeding can mean a tongue tie, but in the fog of those newborn days, it just didn’t dawn on me to have him checked. I didn’t have any pain while nursing, he was gaining weight quickly, and I had a strong supply and let down. Unfortunately, because of this, neither the lactation consultants at the hospital nor our pediatrician examined his mouth for a tongue tie. 

The Problem: The Tongue Tie

At 5.5 weeks, we took him to the dentist for an evaluation. He was diagnosed with a grade 4, double lip tie, and a grade 2-3 tongue tie. Convinced that his colicky behavior was caused by excess gas due to a bad latch, we had both ties revised that same day. We were hopeful this would solve his discomfort and we could move past this terrible phase and start bonding and enjoying our newborn (he is very cute after all!) Unfortunately, a week later, there was still no improvement, so we took him to meet with a lactation consultant. 

At 6.5 weeks, the lactation consultant gave us oral stretches and exercises to perform 4-6 times per day to help fix his latch. She also noticed he had cheek ties, but this was not mentioned at the dentist, so I don’t know if they were too mild to revise or if they went unnoticed. She questioned if his shoulders were always so tight and held high up against his head like they were while we were nursing. I replied that they always are, and he is very tight all over and never seems to relax. I told her we had taken him to the chiropractor twice so far, hoping to help relax him some, but that hadn’t helped so far.  She suggested we continue to see the chiropractor for bodywork. Queue my call to Dr. Teri pleading for help! 

Tight & Tense to Relaxed & Rested: Our Infant’s Chiropractic Transformation

At 8 weeks old, we handed Dr. Teri our son, hoping for the best but not expecting the miracle we witnessed. Before being worked on by Dr. Teri, we could not pry open Nicolas’ hands. He had cut himself with his nails because his hands were always clutched so tightly. His body was so constantly rigid, I could barely clean under his neck, arms, and legs. He would push off with his legs and look as though he was doing standing planks. He was also holding his head up during tummy time for extended periods. Some may look at this as him being “strong” or “physically advanced”, but he was not, he was just so tight his body was not allowing him to relax. Dr. Teri worked on our son for roughly 5 hours over two sessions in three days. After the first session, when she handed Nicolas back to us, the only way I can accurately describe him is “melty”. His colicky behavior was completely gone. He is still a baby, so he still has typical baby fussiness, but the horrible screaming and grunting are gone! She, without a doubt, fixed our son. He is now happy, relaxed, and smiling. He sleeps soundly, completely stretched out and comfortable instead of spending all night tightly wound, grunting, and crying. I don’t doubt that the tongue and lip tie revisions and oral exercises helped reduce some gas intake, but Dr. Teri is key to his remarkable improvement. I cannot thank her enough for the work she did with our son. She not only provided him with relief, but she saved me from going on PPD medication. We so desperately wanted our son; he is our Triple Rainbow Baby, and it was excruciating to not be able to help with his pain and discomfort.

If I could give one piece of advice to any family experiencing a colicky baby, please take them for a tongue tie consultation, working a lactation consultant, and take them for bodywork, craniosacral work, and or myofascial release work. I firmly believe this could end colicky behavior in most if not all, newborns and infants.