It’s rainy in Seattle today. It’s rainy in Seattle a lot. All this rain and hanging around indoors can give a person a lot of time to think. Lately I’ve been thinking about the word “breastfeed.” I can’t get it off my mind. Oh yes, it is one word. You see, you can’t separate the word “breast” from the word “baby.” They just go together. Which is my point. But I’ll get to that in a minute. Continue reading
My lactation consultant told me my baby is tongue tied and she needs to get her frenulum clipped so she can breastfeed. What is a frenulum? Why does my baby need this procedure?
The frenulum is a (usually) thin, fibrous band that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The mere existence of a lingual (tongue) frenulum is not an indicator of a problem. The important thing is whether the frenulum restricts the movement of the tongue in a way that interferes with its normal functions. If it does, your baby has a condition known as tongue tie or ankyloglossia. Continue reading
I hear this phrase several times a week. It troubles me because it implies that the baby is unwilling breastfeed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You baby was born to breastfeed! She is hard-wired to seek comfort and nutrition from you breasts. This is, after all, how babies survive! When a baby is unable to latch and breastfeed it simply means that she is unable to latch and breastfeed—not that she is unwilling! Continue reading
This letter is my formal appeal of the rejection of Claim Number _____ for Lactation Consultation Services provided to my son, (Name) on (Date) for the amount of _____.
Summary of Events: Child was born on (Date). He was discharged from the hospital on (Date) (Detail here whatever complications you had with feeding/jaundice/dehydration/re-admittance to hospital, etc) On (Date) we met with our pediatrician, (Name) and expressed concerns about breastfeeding. Dr. _______ noted that baby was struggling to thrive and referred us to Lactation Consultant, Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC. Renee provided her services on (Date). Following the consultation, I submitted all required paperwork to (name of insurance company) for reimbursement. On (Date), I received an Explanation of Benefits (referenced above), noting the claim was denied. Continue reading
As a mother, you want to help your baby breastfeed. But often our help results in uncomfortable, ineffective breastfeeding. Many of you have already experienced the “help” of a well-intentioned nurse or lactation consultant who forces a baby to the breast against his will. Ramming a baby to the breast will only result in frustration and tears for everyone. In addition, a baby treated this way may learn to avoid the breast altogether.
Healthy newborns are equipped with instincts and reflexes that facilitate breastfeeding. Continue reading
Infant mammals have one thing in common. They all breastfeed. In addition, they are all equipped to squirm, crawl or swim to the breast and latch and happily suckle without the help of their mothers.
But human babies are different than other mammals, right? Don’t they need someone to “latch them on”?
Yes, human babies ARE different from other mammals. They are smarter and even more capable than their furry counterparts. After some help to get to mom’s torso, a newborn will have no trouble finding the breast and suckling comfortably and effectively. Just like other mammals, your baby has an innate need and an intense drive to breastfeed. To your baby it is not a choice. It is simply survival. Continue reading
Way too many healthy newborns are given formula in the first 48 hours after birth. New moms are often told that their baby is “starving” because they “don’t have milk yet.” Unfortunately, frequent feedings are seen as a sign of inadequate milk production instead of a sign of a healthy baby who is learning to breastfeed. Continue reading
Nipples shields are molded silicone “nipples” that fit over a natural nipple. They look a bit like a sombrero, and the rim or base of the shield extends out about an inch to adhere to the breast. There are usually 4 holes in the nipple that mom’s milk can flow through. They are very thin and made in several sizes and styles. They are designed so that baby can latch on to the shield and get milk from mom.
So why on earth would anyone want to use a plastic nipple?
Nipples shields can be helpful when a baby is unable to form a strong vacuum at the natural breast. Sometimes, if baby’s tongue is not doing what it should, a nipple shield can enable a baby to breastfeed who otherwise would need to be bottle fed. Continue reading
“I’m pregnant with my second child and planning to breastfeed. I had an extremely challenging experience with my daughter and ended up exclusively pumping for about 5 months. My confidence level is pretty low, so I’m planning for lactation support soon after my baby is born. I was wondering if you offer prenatal consultations or if you would recommend I sign-up for a breastfeeding class.”
Yes! A prenatal consultation or private breastfeeding class would be perfect for you. You can address your specific challenges and fears in a safe, private setting.
Many lactation consultants are happy to meet with you prior to your baby’s birth to help prevent problems. It can be very helpful to establish a relationship with someone before a situation is urgent and you’re feeling stressed. These prenatal meetings are particularly helpful under the following circumstances. Continue reading