Latching Difficulty

Latching Difficulty and/or Failure to Suck

Out of the base of the head, near the first cervical vertebrae and between the occiput (back of head) and temporal bone (bone around the ear), exit four cranial nerves.  Two of these nerves, the hypoglossal and the glossal pharyngeal, innervate the tongue. When this opening gets compressed, and the nerves are impinged, the tongue does not work well.  This is one of the primary reasons for poor latching or no sucking.

Another reason can be that muscles under the chin and in the neck are too tight to allow free motion of the jaw.  This is another reason for poor sucking.

The spinal accessory nerve is also one of the four cranial nerves that exit this area.  This nerve innervates the muscles on the side of the neck.

One to four treatments can completely alleviate poor latching or failure to suck.  The earlier you bring a baby for treatment, the faster the problem is resolved, because the tissue around the nerves is not so hardened from the compression that has occurred.  With immediate treatment, normal sucking can be rapidly restored.