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Breastfeeding and Cranial Nerve Dysfunction – the what, who and why of Cranial Nerve Dysfunction in the newborn to precrawling baby

by Michelle Emanuel, OTR/L, IBCLC, CST, NBCR
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP
  • Learning Format: webinar
  • Handout: Yes
  • Origin:

Cranial Nerve Dsyfunction, CND, is a term used to describe a disruption, dysregulation or dysfunction in one or more cranial nerves in the precrawling period. Cranial Nerves are twelve, paired nerves, ten of which originate in the brainstem. They mediate all incoming sensory input and also help regulate, move and maintain the health of the muscles of the face, head, neck, jaw, tongue and throat. From sensing mother’s smell, touch, taste to rooting, latching and coordinating suck/swallow/breathe patterns, optimal cranial nerve function is paramount. Lactation consultants need to be able to identify CND, identify a couple of treatment interventions and know when to refer to appropriate health care professional such as OT, PT, Speech, or Manual Therapist/Bodyworker. CND explains how many tongue/lip tied babies who have had a frenotomy continue to struggle significantly with the activities and movements of optimal breastfeeding. Michelle will cover the basics of CND, a simple classification system, and her 4 Principle Functional Movement Protocol, which she states can optimize cranial nerve function in the precrawling baby and improve breastfeeding outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Learners will be able to list 8 signs of Cranial Nerve Dysfunction seen in the newborn to precrawling infant
Objective 2: Learners will be able to understand 3 treatment strategies related to Cranial Nerve Dysfunction
Objective 3: The participant will be able to list 2 allied health professionals and when it is appropriate to refer
Objective 4: The participant will be able to state the difference between lactose intolerance and cows milk allergy and some risks of early sevrage
Objective 5: The participant will be able to list two important ways to reduce the risk of allergy in infants