My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs. My links above are all new and current.

I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Toddler Breastfeeding & Frenotomy and Upper-tie Release (Two Success Stories)

Alicia J. Hill is my guest blogger today! I am posting the speech she presented for WBW at W.I.C in Martin County. I met her when she accompanied her step-sister to my office for a consult.

Breastfeeding for me has been an amazing journey that has brought me a closer relationship to my daughter and my fiancĂ©. I was extremely determined to breastfeed early on in my pregnancy and I researched everything I could find on the subject. I prepared myself for the worse, just in case. I found that in the beginning it was so easy and natural. It was always convenient and ready; I thought, gee this is a piece of cake. My first real ruff patch was when she was about 7 months old; she had 2 teeth. She wanted to use her new found tools on me and I was in agony. I reached out and found as many people as I could to talk with on the subject. I even found the “secret unofficial La Leche page” on facebook, a resource I still use daily. Everyone said, give it a few days, this too shall pass – and it did. We are now at 18 months. She’s only nursing at this point for her nap and bedtime (and the middle of the night nursing she seems determined to sneak in). We are trying to wean and not having much luck so next year I might have more information on my adventure with that.

One of the best side effects of breastfeeding has been that it has made her such a healthy child, she’s had only 1 ear infection and 1 cold. Breastfeeding has also helped ease the pain of teething, the agony of shots, the bruises of crawling and the bumps and scrapes of learning to walk. As soon as she was upset in anyway by one of these things we would immediately nurse and all the worries and cares of these things immediately seemed to slip away.

There are so many other benefits too but I don’t have time to list them all. I want to tell you about my step-sister, not to scare you but to inform you. Her journey has not been so easy and she wanted me to tell you about it so that if you know someone like her or you start down her path, you seek help immediately and not wait. She is an intensely private person, so much that I didn’t even know she decided to breastfeed. I felt bad we hadn’t really discussed it but I kinda threw out there that if she did breastfeed and needed anything please don’t hesitate to call. When her son was a MONTH old I finally heard from her. She had been having pain with her latch from the very beginning. In the hospital they did not have a big education program about breastfeeding nor did they have knowledgeable staff. They basically told her to work on her latch and gave her a nipple shield and sent her home. She was extremely determined to breastfeed her son despite the pain (and there was a lot of pain for her) and despite the fact that she wasn’t really getting much help.

By the time she called me she was missing skin on one nipple and she had open sores on the other. She didn’t want me to make the 1 hour drive to her home so I was trying to help her over the phone with different hold positions and correct latch technique. 24 hours later, I was so frustrated with not seeing her; I could hear the pain in her voice that I drove to her home despite her nagging that she was ok. When I got there I took a look at her first. I noticed she had started to develop mastitis on one side and I told her she really needed to seek medical assistance. I couldn’t get a good look at her latch due to the pain level she was in. Stubborn as she was she said she would wait until the end of the week when he was scheduled for his circumcision. As luck would have it, she developed a fever that night. She of course sought medical attention at that point. They gave her antibiotics and told her that the pain should go away with that and she should see improvement.

She did not. At this point I got her in touch with an LLL leader in St. Lucie County. This leader encouraged her (as had I) to either attend a meeting to check her latch or to seek professional help. She made an appointment with Dr. Punger. Dr. Punger determined that she was doing everything correctly but that the baby was not only tongue tied but lip-tied, something that could have been determined much earlier for her had she sought help in the beginning, before the sores, before the mastitis, and certainly before she had to go through so much agony. They did a simple procedure for him and his latch was almost instantly improved. She healed very quickly after that and is now enjoying breastfeeding her son. There are occasions of lingering pain but she calls it more of an aggravation now than actual pain.

Bottom line is this, no one wants to see you succeed at breastfeeding more than the people in this very room. PLEASE, if you, or someone you know, are having any pain, discomfort, or simply need some advice – YOU NEED TO ASK. We are all here for that very reason but we do not always know you need help. Don’t go it alone. We have all sought the advice and help of others that have gone before us in this journey. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I firmly believe that. We encourage you to find what resource works best for you and USE IT. Whether you be intensely private or very outgoing, there is something or someone out there for all you. Breastfeeding will be an adventure but remember, you are giving your child the best start in life possible and we are very proud of you for making that decision in your life.

2 comments:

earthmomma said...

This post touched me deeply. My baby girl was in the NICU for 15 days and during those days we would try to nurse with the nipple shield with no success. Then the nurses gave me some tips and we went home. Two more days passed with me giving her the bottle and also trying to nurse and pumping. Then the third day I did not offer her the bottle only my breast. We had been skin to skin all day each day since she came home I was hoping this would help with the nursing and easing her into it and stimulating her natural senses. I beleive it helped! She is my first baby and I did a lot of research and knew breastfeeding is what I wanted for both of us. But it was hard. So hard. I thought this should be something so easy and natural but it wasn't the case. I finally squeezed my nipple and held her close and amazingly she latched on and has been loving it ever since. She is 14 months old now and still going strong and I am loving it even still. It does indeed melt away any owies and help with all the bumps to walking. I love how it comforts her like nothing else can and that there is a warm loving soul at the other end with caring eyes so unlike a pacifier. My advice would to be to also seek help right away if you need it. Be so willing to ask. Find and surround yourself with people who support your breastfeeding and contact the LLL if you need to. They are a great group of ladies interested in each of our well-being!!!!!! I like my LLL meetings!

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