Finding a Lactation Consultant: How do you Choose?

This article was written in collaboration with my colleague, Lyla Wolfenstein, BS, IBCLC. Lyla is a lactation consultant in Portland, OR. 

I_DSC9271n an ideal world, every mother-baby dyad would have access to thorough, accurate, compassionate lactation support from the prenatal period through weaning. Sadly, this is not the case, and sometimes the “support” new families receive is fraught with error– informed by poor (or no) training. Continue reading

Guest Post: Choosing the Right Bottle for your Baby

This is a guest post from my esteemed colleague, Amy Peterson, BS, IBCLC.  I know it will be helpful when choosing a bottle for your baby.  Thank you, Amy! Photos in the post (as in all posts on this site) are copyrighted and are used with permission from Peterson & Harmer, Hale Publishing 2009.

Which bottle is most like breastfeeding? That’s the million, make that billion-dollar question! The baby bottle industry in the United States is enormous. And not surprisingly, many of the bottles claim to be most like breastfeeding to win your dollar. Continue reading

Erin’s Story: A Tongue Tie with a Happy Ending

IMG_1691This story was sent to me by an incredibly determined mom. Thank you, Erin B. for sharing with the world!

My daughter had been nursing exclusively until she was 4 months old. She was always colicky, hard to nurse, and would arch her back and scream during feedings. My nipples were constantly sore. She was diagnosed with acid reflux and put on medication, but it never really helped. We had to start her on solids early at 4 months because she always seemed hungry. Then, at 5 months, she flat out refused to nurse. This time, I knew it was more than just “reflux,” and decided to go digging.

I searched high and low and came across some information regarding tongue ties and lip ties.  I immediately made an appointment with our pediatrician to have our daughter checked. He told us that she did not have a tongue tie, and that her lip tie shouldn’t affect feeding, but I had a gut feeling about it and talked to other moms and eventually found Renee–an experienced lactation consultant. (IBCLC)  

Even though Renee practiced in another city, an hour away, I made an appointment and went to see her as she has experience in identifying ankyloglossia (tongue tie). It was a wonderful experience.  Finally someone listened to me!  She was able to identify my daughter’s lip and tongue ties, and help me figure out how to nurse her comfortably, without pain, while waiting to have her ties revised. Renee also contacted my OB and our daughter’s pediatrician to fill them in, and helped us find a wonderful body worker (Michael Hahn) to take our daughter to after her revisions.  (Note: Body work is often needed after the ties are revised to resolve any residual tightness in the jaw and other areas.)

We had both the tongue and lip ties clipped. We saw an immediate difference. A few days after the procedure we took our baby for a session of body work with Michael which helped our baby even more.  I can’t even begin to describe the difference in my baby since her ties were released, but the short of it is that she is a much more settled, content, happy baby who is gaining weight and growing much more efficiently. For the first time, I have seen her content to nurse and know what “milk drunk” looks like. Her reflux and spitting up have also vanished.

I am forever grateful to have found someone to listen to me and help me figure out how to continue to breastfeed my sweet girl. I will not hesitate to seek help again with any breastfeeding issues, and when we have our next baby, I am absolutely hiring Renee to come to the hospital!

Note from Renee: I refer most of my local clients to Dr. Chenelle Roberts for tongue and/or lip tie releases. If you’re not local to Seattle, that’s ok!  I can help you identify tongue tie with a virtual consultation and can locate a provider local to you for the release.

 

Is This Medication Safe for Breastfeeding?

“Infant formula is almost always more hazardous for the mother and baby than is breast milk with a tiny amount of medication.”

The vast majority of medications, whether over the counter (OTC) or prescription, are considered safe for breastfeeding. Still, many mothers wean unnecessarily when taking a medication. Why is this the case?

Continue reading

Bodywork for Baby Leah

I got a massage this afternoon. I told the massage therapist that my shoulder and neck felt “stuck” and there were certain every day activities that I couldn’t do comfortably because the movement in my shoulder was restricted. After an hour of skilled touch, I could move again–without pain.

Sometimes babies are “stuck.” Developing in a small space, the baby may grow with a shoulder pushed up against her jaw. Or with her head turned to one side. When that baby is born, she may continue to tilt her head to one side, or her jaw may look asymmetrical. I pay attention to this because all that muscle tension and asymmetry can interfere with normal infant feeding. Continue reading