Low Milk Supply: Could it be IGT?

Baby and mom breastfeeding with IGT

Baby and mom breastfeeding with IGT

Your breast anatomy was determined even before you were born. During the early months of fetal development, breast buds are formed. If the breast buds do not develop properly in utero, development in puberty may not occur normally. Breasts may develop minimally or not at all. And future milk making ability may be compromised. Continue reading

The Lactation Consultation: What to Expect

This article was written in collaboration with Lyla Wolfenstein, B.S., IBCLC. Lyla is a lactation consultant in Portland, OR.

DSC9909-LA thorough lactation evaluation will probably be different than any other health-related visit you’ve experienced. It is time intensive, multi-dimensional, intuitive, experiential and often includes a bit of detective work. The International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is the only health care professional that has the expertise and training required to perform such a specialized evaluation.

She (Lyla) is patient with new moms and has an ability to detect problems. She has creative solutions and never gives up on a client.

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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.

 

The Lactation Consultant is Coming! How do I Prepare?

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Getting some reassurance from an IBCLC

You have just had a baby. You’ve always known you would breastfeed, but things are not going well. Perhaps your nipples are sore. Or you’re struggling with engorgement. Maybe you’re worried about milk supply. Or your baby has hard time latching. Or maybe you just have a lot of questions. In any case, you and your healthcare provider have decided you need the help of an expert. It’s time to call a lactation consultant.

You’re happy to hear that the lactation consultant (IBCLC) your doctor recommends will come to your home to help you. You make an appointment with the consultant, and then you wonder….”What should I do in preparation for her visit?” Continue reading

“Lactation Consultant”: What Does That Mean?

Lately there seems to be a lot of confusion about just who is qualified to dispense breastfeeding advice. Historically, the term “lactation consultant”refers to a health care professional who has met the qualifications for, and passed the exam given by, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. Passing the exam permits her to use the letters IBCLC after her name. Unfortunately the term “lactation consultant” is not trademarked so there are no regulations about who uses that term. If you’re seeking help for breastfeeding be sure that your consultant has received extensive training, including at least 500 supervised clinical hours specific to lactation.

In the last 10 years or so some organizations have begun offering certifications for programs that involve a mere week or so of didactic instruction.  The coursework is valuable, but does not provide the depth and breadth of training required to become IBCLC. On the other hand, other healthcare professionals, such as MD’s, have 1000’s of hours of clinical training and experience, but usually very little in the area of lactation.

Here is a partial list of professionals and others who sometimes get confused with lactation consultants. This list pertains to the US only. Other countries have different certifications. Continue reading