Tongue Tie…Is that really a thing?

Breastfeeding comes with its own challenges which can be from latch problems or even from tongue tie problems

I have nursed 6 babies and I must admit that I had never heard of tongue tie. If it is real thing how could I have not heard about it? Well for one thing I really didn’t have a lot of breastfeeding problems to prompt me to get any help or look for answers. I remember some times of excruciating nipple pain but it was short-lived so I just powered through it. Not a good idea if the pain doesn’t go away but I had never even heard of a Lactation Consultant or any other kind of breastfeeding specialist to go to.

As I started out on my journey to become a breastfeeding specialist I began to hear about this thing called “tongue tie” or Ankyloglossia. One of the first classes I took was on this subject and early chiropractic or bodywork for a newborn. Shortly after that one of my daughters had a baby with breastfeeding issues. As she looked into it she found out that her baby not only had tongue tie but also a need to see a chiropractor who was well versed in babies and practiced CST (craniosacral therapy). Along came my next grand baby a couple of months later and he, too, had breastfeeding issues which were diagnosed as a tongue tie. He also benefited from craniosacral therapy.

So began my fascination with all things “tongue tie”. I wanted to learn all I could about it so I could be better armed with information if my clients had this issue with their babies.

To answer my own question….”Is that really a thing?”…Yes it really is a thing. So why are we just now hearing about it? In my personal opinion and from snipets I have heard, I believe it probably was a problem in the past and possibly dealt with in some manner or another and mamas just dealt with the pain. But as breastfeeding fell out of favor from the introduction of bottles and formula it just wasn’t seen much anymore and just faded into the background. Also breastfeeding education and specialists were pretty rare. Even today it is difficult to find a pediatrician who knows much beyond the basics of breastfeeding.

More moms are choosing to breastfeed now and as they run into problems they are looking for answers. People are out there now who are studying the problems and finding answers. Some of the experts in the field are Dr. Lawrence Kotlow DDS, Richard Baxter DDS and Dr. Bobak Ghaheri MD. Some good websites to visit on the issue are https://airwaymatters.blog/, https://www.drghaheri.com/ and https://www.kiddsteeth.com/.

I had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Dr. Ghaheri this weekend. I learned a ton. Some of the things that I learned that I want to highlight on this issue are that nipple pain and poor weight gain aren’t the only indications for intervention, some babies can compensate for their tongue or lip tie but that can cause negative downstream effects, untreated tongue- tied babies are 300% more likely to be exclusively bottle fed at 1 week of age, Ricke(2005) and that just because a baby can stick their tongue out doesn’t mean there isn’t a tongue tie. The issue of the tie is the elevation of the tongue and how that relates to breastfeeding.

If you have stuck with me this long, you must have a reason for reading this so let’s talk about the breastfeeding problems that can be associated with a tongue-tied baby.

Poor quality latch, falls asleep prematurely while nursing, slides of the breast, colic symptoms, reflux symptoms, gumming/chewing/chomping on the breast, pacifier problems, low milk supply, nipple damage(cracked, creased, bleeding), severe pain, poor/incomplete drainage of breast, mastitis/thrush, vasospasm, infected nipples, poor weight gain, baby’s lips are dark(like lip liner) while the edge of the lip is white which indicates baby is using his lips to hang on

Will your baby or you experience all of these symptoms? Not likely. Does having one or more automatically mean there is a tongue or lip tie? Not necessarily. But it does give an indicator that you and your baby need some additional help beyond your pediatrician. Seek out a breastfeeding specialist or IBCLC. They can help you figure out if there are other problems first before referring you to the appropriate ENT or pediatric dentist for help.

So besides researching the topic and being convinced that tongue tie is real I also have the real life experience of two of my grandchildren having a tongue tie. They both had the revision done and are thriving. There are after-care exercises and they are super important to do to keep the site from reattaching but it is doable and the short amount of time to do them compared to months and months of pain-free breastfeeding your precious baby are well worth it.

Breastfeeding can be a wonderful bonding time between mama and baby

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New Look New Business

When I started this website and blog months ago it was to promote and write about Postpartum Doulas. While I still think Postpartum doulas are needed and a valuable thing for any new mom, I have found that I have more of a passion for helping with breastfeeding. So I am working on making changes to the website and blog, updating my new look with a new logo and putting finishing touches on the services that I will be offering soon. I hope you will come back and check it out in the coming weeks. I am working on writing my own curriculum for teaching breastfeeding classes and classes to support moms who are returning to work and want to exclusively breastfeed and need to pump.

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The Breast Crawl

Babies are so amazing! Our Creator knew what He was doing when He created us! Did you know that baby will crawl up mom’s abdomen to find the breast within minutes of being born? To watch an amazing video of a baby doing the Breast Crawl watch the video below.

Also here is a great page to visit if you want to know about the breast crawl and the benefits…

http://www.magicalhour.org/aboutus.html

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More Babywearing

You may end up getting tired of my posts on babywearing, but you guys I am so excited to share this with you all. There are so many products out there designed to hold your baby while you get things done but I love the fact that babywearing is timeless and completely cross-cultural. We love to think we have it all together and have come so far from the past or more simple cultures but in that area we can learn from them.

If you read my post on babywearing you already know some, definitely not all, of the benefits. There are many great things about it. But there are so many different types of carriers, how can you know which one to choose? Well, some people choose to have a couple for different activities. As far as types of baby carriers, there is quite the gamut. Long cloth types such as slings seem to have been the norm way back when but then along came a more molded type of soft front carrier. In theory this one should have been easier to use but for me I always had issues with what to do with my newborn until his or her little legs were able to spread wide enough to straddle the leg holes. Next I tried the stretchy wraps that you wrap around yourself while feeling like a Jedi from Star Wars. I loved it once I got it on and found that it was useful for all ages and stages but I never quite mastered the wrapping of it.

As I was searching the “Neverland” of Pinterest on this issue, I discovered that some of the top brands such as the Maya wrap and Moby are now making a sling type carrier. I guess the old things die hard. Check out these beautiful slings…

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/492370171759252642/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/137289488801142118/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/863424559784830141/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/812899801470410407/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/788904059705640732/

If you are unsure about which type to buy since they are a bit pricey (but worth every penny), ask friends to try out theirs or see if your area has a babywearing library. Here in the Portland Metro area check out….

https://westportlandbabywearing.com/blog/

and

https://www.adjoyn.com/

A good ‘ole Pinterest search will bring up lots of information on babywearing, including tutorials on how to use them.

Leave me a comment and tell me your babywearing experience and what carrier you used and prefer!

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If Everyone Could Have One

There is a great article in the NY Times about the benefits of having a Postpartum Doula. Moms (and dads too) need help after a new baby arrives and family is not always around to be the support system that they need. Even before reading this article, I thought of my role as a Postpartum Doula as “Mary Poppins”; popping in to lend a hand when it is needed, pulling from my bag of skills and experiences. As one friend of mine said, “You can never have too much help”. Take a few minutes to read it, especially if you just don’t know how a Postpartum Doula helps in real life.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the link to cooperate so please copy and paste the link below.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/02/style/postpartum-doula.html?fbclid=IwAR39QSDH2b-2wjiksrOkKheC_dsUMSeWRNOgsXbhGGn9fFvA4dHB5Bsm84s
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No Need to Re-invent the wheel

There are some great bloggers out there. I enjoy reading all the different perspectives. So why re-invent the wheel…here is a great post on some things to expect postpartum. Please keep in mind that not everyone will have all of these issues and you may very well fly through your postpartum period with very little issues. But I think it is great to read what others went through so you will know you are not alone if you experience these things.

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Needs of a New Mother

Rest so you can heal

Gentle education and reassurance as you gain confidence in your mothering skills

Nourishing food and drink for yourself

A relinquishing of practical chores to someone else so you can withdraw into yourself and your baby

Knowledge about what is going on with your body and spirit

Some realistic images and guideposts about the range of feelings other women have experienced postpartum

A place to debrief and talk about the birth itself and your emotions

And most especially some mothering for yourself so you can feel protected, honored and replenished

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