Mother's Milk | Baby's Body


Intensive Lactation Clinic: OMT, CST, IBCLC

Every Tuesday afternoon, Ellen is joined by Dr. Emily Esmaili to provide care we are calling: Mother's Milk | Baby's Body, a multimodal service that combines lactation support and pediatric osteopathic care.


Dr. Esmaili is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, a pediatrician who focuses on treating structural issues that may be underlying a baby’s ability to feed and grow to the best of their ability. She brings her skills in Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) to the breastfeeding couplet. 


Together they have created a specialty clinic that will focus even more deeply on mothers’ and babies’ bodies as a unit. Ellen and Emily will work together to pool their areas of knowledge. Emily will address structural issues in the baby’s body and cranium, evaluating for proper alignment, movement, and balance while offering gentle corrective techniques, while Ellen provides breastfeeding support. We believe that by conjoining our skills, we will be able to provide a unique service that merges different modalities to best meet moms’ and babies’ needs. 

About Dr. Emily Esmaili


Dr. Emily Esmaili completed her osteopathic medical training at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2008, where she met gifted mentors who introduced her to the potency of Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy, especially for treating children and young infants. She then completed her pediatrics residency training at Wake Forest University Hospital in 2011, where she learned to incorporate her osteopathic background into mainstream pediatric medicine. Currently, she works at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, where she specializes in the care of refugee and immigrant children, offering osteopathic treatments for newborns from diverse backgrounds, and as an adjunct for treating common childhood illnesses where appropriate. Emily first met Ellen when seeking lactation support for her own child, who now requests osteopathic treatments from her on a regular basis.



Osteopathy FAQ

What is osteopathy?

“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” (A.T. Still, founder of osteopathy)

Osteopathy is a branch of medicine stemming from the philosophy that structure and function are closely intertwined, and that the body has a natural self-healing ability. OMT supports a baby’s body to release and rebalance itself, through gentle techniques using feather-light touch. Younger babies benefit even more from osteopathy, since their bodies and bones are more malleable, and they are still laying down structural patterns for their lifetimes.  

Why would my baby benefit from OMT?

Many babies have restrictions and dysfunctions in their bodies resulting from the birth process or other conditions, that prevent them from feeding, growing, and developing to the best of their ability. OMT can address these underlying problems, allowing for the baby’s natural state of balance and health to unfold. 

OMT for babies can be especially useful for conditions including:

  • Structural issues resulting from pregnancy and/or birth

  • Babies with a tight frenulum (before or after having a frenotomy or frenectomy)

  • Babies with problems suckling, latching, or swallowing effectively

  • Prematurity and difficulty nursing

  • Colic 

  • Reflux or stooling problems

  • Torticollis

  • Plagiocephaly