Pediatric Neurological Disorders


Neurological Impairment in a Baby

Our central nervous systems are comprised of a brain, a spine and nerves. The nervous system controls the information received via our senses, and regulates the body’s activities (voluntary and involuntary).

A baby who is neurologically impaired will have a nervous system that is damaged. There are certain problems that may cause neurological complications such as prematurity, Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and many other conditions. 


Pediatric Neurological Disorders and Breastfeeding

  • These babies may struggle with a weak and/or clumsy sucking reflex.
  • The baby may have a very high or very low muscle tone, which may cause sucking problems. 
  • It is important that the mother gets the necessary professional support from someone who is trained in the breastfeeding field. 
  • If the baby is completely unable to breastfeed physically at the breast, the mother should consider expressing her milk for her baby; since breast milk is still the best option. 
  • The mother should be aware of specific tongue problems, and how to deal with them. There are also specific latching problems that may need to be addressed. 

Why is Breastfeeding so Important for these Babies?

  • Breastfeeding helps harmonize the jaw and mouth movements; this can help some babies overcome various neurological issues.
  • Breastfeeding has overall health benefits that formula cannot compete with. Breast milk protects the gut and provides immunity against illnesses. 
Top of Pediatric neurological disorders page


Pediatric Neurological Examination


Tracy Behr, CBC, CLD (CBI)

Reference: Breastfeeding course through Childbirth International on the physiology of breastfeeding / health problems / pediatric neurological disorders.


Other pages on breastfeeding problems in connection with this page 

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