Do I need a breast milk stash?

This is the first generation that has had the luxury of having a freezer milk stash. No other generation had the ease and technology to be able to go back to work and still maintain the breastfeeding relationship while parent and child are separated for 8+ hours a day. In our grandparents generation, you either stayed home and breastfed your baby or formula fed by bottle. There really weren’t other options and breast pumps were not readily available. It was only in 2010 that the Affordable Care Act laws were passed to require insurance companies to cover the cost of breast pumps as part of preventative medicine. With those laws, new breast pumps flooded the market. Before that, there were only a few choices for pumps and people had to buy them out of pocket. Because we have been raised around technology, we still take for granted what our not so ancient ancestors went through. Historically, if weren’t successful at breastfeeding, either some one else breastfed your baby or your baby died.

You don’t have to have a freezer stash to successfully breastfed your baby. If you need a freezer stash because of your circumstances, what an amazing time to be a parent!!! New and better technology is available every day to continue to make the process easier and more efficient. The freezer stash can mean reaching your personal goals as a family. If you have an abundant supply, consider milk donation to help other families reach their goals. What a gift to be able to give back to others.

Stretches after tongue tie release/revision

Do I need to do stretches on my baby’s tongue after a tongue tie release? There are many conflicting answers, and it seems like every dental job or ENT practice has a different answer, which gets really confusing for parents. The biggest concern is tongue reattachment after it’s been released, defeating the purpose of release. For some babies it means needing it released again.

From my speech pathology/IBCLC background, to give one answer to all families is a disservice to the unique nature of each tongue that is released and how each body heals (which is as distinct as the individual). We have to consider that this is wound care and we need to understand what that specific tongue did before and after the revision. When you have a tongue that is strong (good muscle tone) with good range of motion, but was only limited because of the frenulum, the stretches, exercises and wound care management are different than a tongue that is super weak and with disorganized movement. I have found in my practice that tongues that are super strong pre-release do much better post release and tend to need much less wound care management to keep the tongue from reattaching. They also need fewer oral motor exercises to get baby back to breast. The tongue was already functioning as it should, it was just anchored by the frenulum. When you have a weak tongue where range of motion was poor to begin with, they tend to need much more suck training/exercises, and without stretching, the tongue will reattach because of how the tongue rests on the floor of the mouth instead of up on the palate during healing. Body work is essential for these babes as the tension and weakness is usually though the whole system. When prescribing wound care management we need to consider what does the tongue do.
Here’s a phenomenal video of Dr Chelsea Pinto teaching stretches after frenectomy CLICK HERE

For more information on wound care after tongue tie release, Dr Ghaheri has amazing information and videos. CLICK HERE

World Breastfeeding Week 2021

I lost my mother to a brain tumor when I was 13 weeks pregnant with Peach. It was a very traumatic and unexpected event in my life. I’ve had to process and grieve the lost expectation of having my mom around to enjoy my children growing up. Every year, Mother’s Day is a painful reminder that my mom is gone. I love being a mother now, but it still flairs my grief to see my friends having brunch with their moms. As I’ve processed through my grief, I have finally come to a place where I can celebrate my friend’s stories while still honoring my own experience.

We are starting World Breastfeeding Week. Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things you can do as a parent and we need to all be mindful that this week could be a trigger for those that wanted to breastfeed and could not. There are many reasons for why breastfeeding doesn’t go as intended.

Difficult labor and delivery, premature or sick babies, history of breast surgery, use of medications, and undiagnosed or untreated medical conditions can cause lactation difficulties from the start. Some would have received little to no support or were given bad recommendations from uneducated healthcare professionals. Many tried and tried for months and did all of the things and there was never a good answer for why it didn’t work.

Breastfeeding is not all or nothing, pass/fail. Any breast milk given to your baby is breastfeeding. Directly, via bottle, with a syringe, SNS. Even on a drop. It is OK to grieve the lost expectation of breastfeeding when it doesn’t go as anticipated. It is ok to celebrate the journey that it was. We see you. We hear you. We stand and support you. You are amazing!