Breastfeeding family stories

Ready to give up – Grace & Carlos’ story


I was hurting top & bottom – Grace’s story 

We are really grateful for what Catherine did for us. By our second night of breastfeeding, our little newborn had torn apart (bitten) one nipple & bruised the other. I was engorged, and had stitches, so I was hurting top and bottom.  I was discouraged and anxious about not wanting to feed baby, because it hurt so much. It felt like we were not going to be able to do this.

Seeing tension in his little body

Seeing Catherine was such a positive experience for my family. She was so intuitive and clearly saw how we could relieve Jonah’s tension. She helped us track with what is going on in his body that we never even noticed. Her goal was to see him a few times and to give us a home care plan so we could help him ourselves.

Baby is sleeping & feeding well

It has been much better since we saw you. Now our baby Jett is sleeping, feeding well and just so much more relaxed. He is latching much better, eating a lot, and had regained his birth weight in good time. I am feeling much more confident now. 

When she sat with us, Catherine took the time to acknowledge how hard everything was for me. I was feeling very vulnerable, physically and emotionally. Her sensitivity meant a lot to me. 

I was ready to give up. Now I’m confident

At end of the session, we had a successful feed that was pain-free after the initial latch. Every day I am healing and have less pain. We made a game plan of how to manage feeds, limit engorgement and pain, and how to take it one feed at a time, with specific goals. I felt, ‘Oh, I can do this’.

My husband, Carlos, learned how to provide hands-on help for breastfeeding and set-up for feeds, so I can focus on feeding Jett. Just 3-4 days ago I was ready to give up. Now we are nursing well, and Jett is happy and satisfied. I feel connected to him.

Now that we understand how the baby’s little bones move around to get through the birth canal, we know that craniosacral therapy is totally helpful for newborns. I’ve told all my friends about craniosacral therapy. I’ll call Catherine next time I get pregnant and have her come within 24 hours of giving birth to help my next baby.   –  Grace Espinoza

I was relieved that I could help – Carlos’ story

It was difficult for me to watch my bride struggle with breastfeeding. She was in so much pain that by the second day, she was struggling with maybe giving up breastfeeding. I felt helpless

Our midwife gave us Catherine’s number.  We called that night in desperation, and she came the next morning.  She spent a couple of hours with us, did therapy and taught us simple hands-on activities.  Catherine was very clear & concise, and took time to explain everything.

What really helped was Catherine’s holistic approach. She showed us pictures and had us feel for ourselves how displaced his bones were.  Catherine explained how this creates problems with latch and breastfeeding.  

We saw immediate results

Catherine showed me and Grace how to massage her breasts to relieve engorgement, to use the Haakaa to collect milk, and how to make laid back nursing work. This position was much more relaxing and comfortable for Grace.  We saw immediate results, just from very light touch, that made our baby’s jaw more conducive to latching.

Now we don’t need surgery for tongue or lip ties

I felt relieved that I can do something to help my wife and my baby. It’s good to know that we didn’t need surgeries or procedures for lip tie or tongue tie.  Everything has been better after one session, and we have not had any problems since then. 

Carlos Espinoza

Feeding Constantly, but poor weight gain – Elizabeth’s story

During labor, Eloise’s head was tilted to the side, so we had to use a number of techniques to straighten it out before she could come out.

Tilted head during birth threw breastfeeding off

Breastfeeding was very painful from the beginning– extremely painful when she latched, and a sensation of rough sandpaper throughout a feeding. After feeding, I had black and blue marks, and bleeding nipples. A burning pain persisted between feedings.

Breastfeeding was very important to me, but nursing had become a miserable task. I was also concerned about how much milk Eloise was getting, as she had lost a lot of weight after birth and was not gaining it back at the expected  speed, despite the fact that she seemed to be feeding constantly.

I’m no longer worried that my baby is getting enough milk

During the sessions with Catherine, I could tell that Eloise enjoyed the therapy process. Her eyes would close, and she would look as if she were relaxing. We had two long, intensive sessions in which Eloise and Catherine worked hard at aligning her cranial bones.

Within days, nursing has become a much more pleasant and productive experience. The strange burning sensation and the damage to the nipples is gone. My breasts feel fuller more often, and the way that Eloise nurses seems to be bringing on more milk.

After the sessions with Catherine, she started gaining 1 oz of weight per day. Now, breastfeeding is the relaxing, enjoyable experience that I wanted it to be, and I’m no longer worried that my baby is getting the nourishment she needs. – Elizabeth

Baby whisperer – Kathleen’s story

My friend, Kim, told me about Catherine and craniosacral therapy because our baby was just frantic at the beginning of a nursing. She was not able to be in new situations or with new people, when she would look like a deer in the headlights.

More rest for me

I can’t thank you enough for all you taught us and helped Savannah with. She slept for five hours straight last night, something she has NEVER done before! Even today when I had to leave her with a babysitter (first time), she was calm and not hyper-alert.  I feel tremendous relief after your visit. When we visited our family in the Dakotas over the holidays, it was such a joy that she could be held by other family members – more rest for me, as well!

After our first visit, I told Kim, the baby whisperer is coming.  Every baby needs this work done. – Kathleen

Easy at first – but starving & mad on day 8 – Elaine’s story

In late June we welcomed our son into the world, a completely peaceful, natural birth. We were both instantly in love and we marveled at him as he readily nursed at my breast just moments after he was born. He was an easy baby from the start, barely fussing, only when he needed something. He slept three or four hours at a time most nights, nursing easily and regularly.                             

By day 10  I was at my wits’ end

Then, when he was eight days old, everything changed; his latch disintegrated, getting worse and worse with every passing day. 

By day ten, I was at my wits’ end. It was taking him a minimum of fifteen minutes to latch so that he could even start nursing. Sometimes he took up to an hour or more! He had fits at the breast, crying, punching, and scratching my breasts and already sore nipples. He would swallow air during his tantrums and spit up all the milk we fought so hard to get down him. He would be starving and mad. I would be exhausted and mad. I visited a lactation consultant, read books, watched online tutorials on breastfeeding, anything to help us get the latch down. Finally, I called our doula. She referred us to a cranial-sacral therapist. I had no idea what that was, but I was desperate.  

Still confused but willing to try just about anything, we called that night and got an appointment for the next day. Then I got a vague idea of what “”cranial-sacral therapy”” was by doing a quick internet search.

Craniosacral therapy: Feather light touches 

When we arrived, Thor was hungry. I tried to feed him. He rioted, as he had been doing for days. Catherine went straight to work. As she gently worked his hips and scalp with feather light touches, she explained that the bones in the skull and the small openings between them can sometimes adversely affect the nerves that control a baby’s ability to suck, swallow, and latch. Honestly, it didn’t look like much was happening. Sometimes Thor would be calm, sometimes he would whimper as she gently stroked his head. By the end of the session, I tried to nurse Thor again. Much to my and my husband’s amazement, Thor latched on instantly and began nursing!                                                                                  

Was it just a fluke?

I was in awe but wondered if it was just a fluke. Either way, I was thankful to have had it gone so well, if only for one time. When we got home, Thor cried for food. I pulled out my breast and held my breath. Again, he latched on instantly and began sucking. I was so excited! I called my mother, I called my sister. I texted the doula. My baby was nursing!

Back to our happy, easy baby

Thor continued to improve and though he still had some issues after that first session, it never took him an hour to latch again. It was at most fifteen or twenty minutes, most times less than five. I was ecstatic! We went back for two more sessions to fine tune things. He continued to make strides with every visit. After the third session, he was nursing like a normal baby. We are so happy to have our son back to the happy, easy baby that we knew from birth.  – Elaine    

Poor latch leads to mastitis – Gina’s story

Shortly after our daughter was born, she started having trouble latching on whenever it was time to breastfeed. We were discouraged after just having the most beautiful, natural and easy birth. A few days later I got mastitis. It was awful and so painful; I could barely hold my new baby girl. My midwife encouraged me to keep on breastfeeding and recommended craniosacral therapy to help with her latch.

Finding our rhythm

After seeing Catherine, we have had such a big improvement in breastfeeding. Now that I have recovered from mastitis and breastfeeding doesn’t hurt, we are finding our rhythm. Our daughter is doing really well. She is happy after eating, getting plenty and getting big. 

My husband, a chiropractor, is adjusting her regularly and is continuing to use the home program for our daughter that you gave us. He and I both know how important a properly aligned spine and cranial bones are.

Our midwife spoke so highly of Catherine and we are so thankful and appreciate the help we got from both you and her to get through this rough start.  – Gina

Desperate for options – Nicole’s story

The crazy business of new motherhood has made these past 15 months fly by!

I want to thank you for all your help and support in those early weeks, when Freya and I were having latching issues. I went into it not knowing at all what to expect from craniosacral therapy, nor if I even “believed” in it. But I was desperate for options, and for more help than I was getting from traditional lactation consultant visits.

More help than traditional lactation counseling

I still don’t know if it was luck, or maybe it really made all difference! But even after those two visits we had, Freya’s latch began improving. We began incorporating more nursing with each day, and replacing bottle feedings of pumped milk with nursing sessions.

She is now 15 months, and we are beginning the wind down of our beautiful nursing relationship. Most days we are nursing only once, maybe twice… Bittersweet!   – Nicole

Toe-curling pain & bruising – Stephanie’s story

In the first days my son’s latch had been so extremely tight that I had toe-curling pain and bruising. During craniosacral therapy our baby must have felt how he could open all his little bones and relax his jaw. After Catherine left every nursing gradually improved, until his latch was open and wide by the next afternoon.  

Surrounded by goddesses

People have come forward with such kindness to open up a whole new world of support as my husband and I are becoming parents. Our home birth midwives, Emme & Clare have been so generous and connected us with such valuable helpers. Catherine turned breastfeeding around for us in one home visit. I am surrounded by goddesses. – Stephanie

Excruciating pain – Mama K’s story

By three weeks of nursing baby M, I was in excruciating pain and had nipple damage. I began to be afraid that we wouldn’t be able to nurse, even though I had breastfed my first baby for 12 months. M had been born a little early and was very small, so I thought her mouth might be too small to open up well for a big latch.

We turned this around with a combination of craniosacral therapy, pumping and my husband doing night feedings to get me the rest I needed.   

First session opens up tight latch            

Craniosacral therapy with Catherine has opened up M’s very tight latch on the first session, and got us well on our way with the second session. I appreciated her coming to our home where M and I are most comfortable. I do the home program that she gave us often. I’ve imprinted the color anatomy pictures — these make it clear how craniosacral therapy works and how it could make a difference. I’m glad that you taught me all the massage, because now I understand that everything is malleable and how I can continue to help her.  – mama K

Twins & Multiples

Answered all our questions – Peter’s story

Catherine provided craniosacral therapy for my two youngest children. She was gentle and patient, and she was willing to answer any questions and explain what she’s doing. Catherine was initially recommended to us for nursing difficulty. In three sessions, our daughter’s nursing dramatically improved and she was more comfortable in general. It was remarkable. She slept better, she breathed easier, she fussed less. 

Communication through the most gentle contact

In session, I could see Catherine and our daughter connecting… the way Catherine was reading her body, her comfort. There was an exchange – communication between them through the most gentle contact, and I watched our daughter responding over the session’s course.  It was remarkable to witness. I highly recommend Catherine Burns.  – Peter Thompson.

Early twin arrivals – Megan’s story

Our twins were born 7 weeks early. While healthy and growing at two months old, each had her feeding problems.

Frantic & biting

Rachel was so frantic at breast that she couldn’t nurse. Her latch was poor, and she would go on and off, getting more and more frustrated. When Rachel finally did get on, she had a biting latch and was a very slow eater. With Rachel we had arrived at just pumping and bottling, as she was not breastfeeding at all. I could tell that my milk production witht the pump was slow. Plus, I was going back to work within a few weeks.  I had previously breastfed with my three year old, so I knew how much easier it would be to just breastfeed my babies and just be with them.

Easy breastfeeding, more sleep

After one session, Rachel was able to exclusively breastfed within two days. We had no more biting. It is so much easier to breastfeed at night and everyone gets more sleep. During the day, Rachel is much more awake and active now.

Fussy, gassy & spitting up

In our second session we focused on Lana, who was able to breastfeed but had digestive problems. She often was uncomfortable with gas and a hard tummy. Lana was fussy and while nursing she would gulp rapidly, taking in air.

Now relaxed & easy feeds

By the first day after our session, Lana was not spitting up as much and not as fussy. We continue to help her relax into easy feeding. Since Rachael is also now able to nurse, our life is greatly simplified all around. — Megan

Triplet tales: It took a village – Mama J’s story

We were committed to breastfeeding, and we needed everyone’s help to make it possible. Breastfeeding was affected by so many variables. Each baby had his/her own little challenges in the beginning. I began bringing them to breast from the first day, but they were born early, so the babies weren’t quite ready to fully feed at birth.

All three babies were snuggled tightly together in utero. Babies P and A were heads down, while baby W was head up. I began having contractions in the month coming up to their birth. The month of prelabor along with their individual positions in the last two months shaped each head and ability to latch differently. Their grandma Gigi urged us to get craniosacral therapy to help with the displacement of their cranial bones evident for each of their newborn heads, especially to help with breastfeeding and calmness.  

Slow beginning

Our babies also had variations in maturity and temperament. Baby P was the largest and first to find an easy breastfeeding rhythm. Initially the boys tired quickly at the breast. Craniosacral therapy helped their bones line up better, and to open their latch for easier, more efficient feeds. All the babies relaxed deeply during session and were calmer overall.       

Full on triplet feeding

We were able to gradually increase the length of breastfeeding sessions and arrive at full breastfeeding for all of them. Although it took three months before all three babies were reliably breastfeeding, we all felt it was well worth giving continuously to make it eventually happen. The village came through to help do laundry, cook food, change diapers and to cuddle, so I was able to focus on being with my babies, breastfeeding and keeping myself as well fed and rested as possible. – Mama J


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