Latching On: How Physical Therapists Can Help Infants Achieve Breastfeeding as a Movement Milestone


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as a foundation for wellness and prevention. Many infants experience difficulties initiating and maintaining breastfeeding due to factors that a physical therapist is well suited to address. Frequently, this population is being referred to other healthcare professionals for breastfeeding dysfunction associated with plagiocephaly, torticollis, ankyloglossia, and other neurodevelopmental impairments. Physical therapists have a unique understanding of musculoskeletal and neuromotor development that can be used to enhance this first movement milestone. This session will focus on the physical therapy professional’s role in helping families achieve breastfeeding success. The speaker will explain the physiology and biomechanics of breastfeeding, and how physical therapists can identify and treat impairments that impede the movement needed for this process. Scope of practice applies particularly to pediatric developmental, pediatric orthopedic, and women’s health practitioners. Early professionals and students will benefit from knowledge of this as an option for practice. All will benefit from knowledge of when and how to collaborate with their local lactation professionals and breastfeeding support persons.

Location Teleconference

Date 11/19/2021 12:45 PM - 2:15 PM (Check in 12:45 PM)
Sponsor APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy
Trainer Allyson Wessells, PT, MPT, IBCLC
Contact APTA Pediatrics (800) 970-5051
Principles 1. Support families
3. Collaborative relationships
7. Ongoing communication & collaboration
Credit Hours 0.5 - Atypical Development
0.5 - Intervention
0.5 - Typical Development
Status Closed