Tongue Tie: A True Story

 

tongue tie blog post

 

Yep, this really happened to me.  I struggled and struggled with breastfeeding, but nobody could tell me why it was so hard and my daughter seemed “fussy”.  Finally, when she was 6 years old, I looked in her mouth and….she had a lip tie.  All of the people I went to for help could have noticed it…if they had the proper education on the importance of screening for tongue and lip ties.  Left untreated, tongue and lip ties can cause painful latching, difficulty latching, slow weight gain, sleep apnea, colic, speech issues, tooth decay, and misaligned teeth.  Find out more information here.

And if you are told that it’s normal, don’t buy it. IT’S NOT.

That’s my story!  The good news is we’re finally going to get it fixed.  I cringe to ask, but– do you have a story like this?

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Self-care is just REALLY hard

Last week, while chatting with a newly-made friend on twitter, she admitted that she’s starting to get a little burned out as a mother.  I asked her about what she’s doing for self-care, and she gave the usual answer we all probably would give if asked: Not enough.  The barriers for not taking the time to take care of ourselves as mothers are universal: the kids come first, not enough time, not enough family members to assist with child care, not enough money, not enough energy…..

Ugh.

I’m right there with all of you, completely.  I’m awful at self-care.  My stress level is always high, I’ve always got more to do than hours in the day, and juggling the kids and their activities and needs during their waking hours is about as much as I can manage.  Right now, though I have two saving graces: First, I’ve started working with a health coach to bring down my stress level, and she keeps me accountable.  Second, I am blessed with a husband who is supportive of me taking the time I need (when I can find it) to take care of myself.  But even with that, it’s still hard.  Here are some things I can suggest to help with it:

1) Start small- My one goal is to read a novel for 20-30 minutes every day.  I can manage that. To make it even more stress-free, I found some books in the dollar section at the local thrift store. The sad truth is, I can not be trusted with library books.  I always end up with fines. So, rather than stress about fines, cheap books I can keep are my best option.

2) Make it part of the routine-  I am a person who thinks that having a routine is essential for my sanity and the kids’ sanity.  It was essential when I was a working mom because without it, it would have been to easy to always be late for work.  Now that both kids are in some amount of school, it’s essential to make sure they are on time and I keep my sanity. Sneaking in that small block of decompression is critical.  And, just like everything else, repetition is the key to creating a habit.  The tricky part, though, is avoiding the temptation to stray from the commitment   Like right now?  I should be doing my “me-time”; instead, I’m blogging about it.

3) Connecting with others- Networking has become my main source of social interaction outside of classes.  That can be fine, but sometimes it ends up being 2 hours of behaving like a walking, talking commercial. (Not always, but sometimes.) Finding other women to connect with is a goal in 2013.  More specifically, women who have other interests outside of mine–because being in the echo chamber of the birth world has it’s limits.  But, mamas? Be brave. Branch out. You’ll be surprised how so many other moms are aching for that connection.

4) Slow down- There are a million things to do on any given day.  There are events, concerts, sporting events, museums to visit, so many play groups and events, TWO zoos–and oh my goodness it’s just too much.  Yes, there are a lot of things you COULD do, but there has to be a risk/benefit calculation.  There’s a fine line between doing stuff just for the sake of being busy and doing, and doing so much that it becomes stressful for you, for your kids, and it becomes draining, not invigorating.   And you know what?  You don’t suck as a parent if you can’t make it to everything or be everywhere.  Slow down. Just let your kids have some down time, too.  You will all feel better.  It will involve saying no, which I get is hard to say, but being a parent means drawing lines sometimes. But sometimes…

5) Say Yes- And here, I am calling all fellow introverts.  If you are like me and just would rather stay home rather than accept an invitation where you might not know everyone else there, it’s totally OK to have those feelings.  Maybe the last thing you went to was no fun.  But you know what?  If you can, be brave and accept that invite.  You might still want to hide in the bathroom some of all of the time, but even that tiny bit of effort is you trying to take care of you.  For that, you get a gold star.

So, BabyLove families– any of this ring true? Thoughts? Need a place for that self- care? Come hang with me on April 27th for our Craft Night. It’s looking like it’ll be loads of fun!

Warmly,

Veronica

 

 

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Frequently asked questions about BabyLove

FAQ Picture

We’ve been open now for just over 18 months (HOORAY!), and we thought it might be helpful to post some answers to various questions that have come up recently.

  • Why don’t you sell products at BabyLove? – We get this a lot.  We have a couple of reasons.  Our main reason is that we feel that it would take away from our education if we also sold specific products.  So, for instance, when we teach our Cloth Diaper and Babywearing class, we know it might be really easy to then have the different carriers and diapers to sell right there, but we pride ourselves on having classes that discuss various products without making recommendations that we would profit from.  Also, parents are inundated with the message that parenting is about having “things”, and education just isn’t the same if it’s wrapped in a marketing pitch.  When you come to us, you’ll know FOR SURE that we get absolutely NO compensation from any company, and our integrity isn’t up for sale.
  • Why don’t you do an evening Mama Cafe?-  We did try evening Mama Cafe for awhile, but it didn’t really catch on.  We are always looking at new ways to serve our community, though, so stay tuned– we’re cooking up some new ideas!
  • Why don’t you have a Refresher Class anymore?- As a result of ridiculously low interest, we felt there were better ways to use that time on our class schedule.  We realized there was a need for something closer to a “crash course”– so we created the Condensed Childbirth Prep Class.  For families who really just want a Refresher, we still have it as a private class.  We’ve had a good number of 2nd and 3rd time mamas take our Lamaze classes, too, and we love having them there to share their experiences with new parents.
  • What happened to your VBAC class?- We still offer it, but as a private class.
  • The weather is really bad! How will I know if class is canceled?- We’ve already had an interesting winter, but we’ve only had to cancel class once and Mama Cafe once.  If a class is canceled, we will email or telephone everyone in the class to let them know.  If Mama Cafe is canceled, we will try to spread the message via social media.  Whenever in doubt, call or email us.  

Any other questions you want answered?  Let us know!

 

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Yes, moms, each stage is special

As I face the prospect of sending my youngest to all-day Kindergarten next year (HOORAY!  He’s so ready to go!), I find that more and more I am catching myself in the moment, able to appreciate my children for exactly the stage they are in right now.  7 1/2 years of motherhood has taught me (as you’ll read below) that every stage is amazing and challenging and no one age is better than another. I’m finally starting to enjoy my kids, just as they are.  Below, an essay I wrote for a newsletter last year. Enjoy! 

Veronica

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It’s taken awhile, but one year after painting the living room walls, we’re finally working on getting paintings and pictures hung up.  A couple of shelves inspired the need to get a large chunk of it done a couple of weekends ago.  The kids’ school pictures had remained in the envelopes they came in until I finally could find another 8 by 10 frame to put Ronan’s picture in.  We have all of Lily’s pictures, starting from when she was a baby, stacked up inside one frame, the newest picture on top. So, as I was adding in her 1st grade picture, I took a moment to flip through the rest of them. I could not believe how quickly she had changed and grown, especially these last couple of years.

 

When she was first born, like all new parents, we found the demands of having a new baby more challenging that we expected. My husband would say, probably as a way to say that the difficulties of having a newborn would pass, “I can’t wait… .”  As a new mom, I would always scold him whenever he started a sentence with that phrase.  “Yes, we can wait”, I would tell him.  “We can enjoy this age, right now, before it’s gone.”  However, as years went by, another child was added, and life got more complex, as it does once children start going to school, I joined in on the wishing away the present, in hopes that the next age would be easier.

 

Looking through the stack of pictures, the fat, baby face slowly thinning, her limbs getting longer and leaner, I was taken aback by how much of the changes I don’t remember.  I’m sure I’m not the only one to do this, but I just hadn’t been paying that much attention at the time.  And truthfully speaking, I had such a difficult time adjusting to my new baby that I just hoped to make it to the end of each day.  Later that week, when talking about our (normal yet challenging) 3 year old son, I caught myself starting in on a sentence that started, “I can’t wait until… “, but stopping right as those words left my mouth.  I thought of my sadness and knowing how quickly those years can pass. I also know very well by now that each age has its own joys and challenges. So you know what?  I can wait. It might be difficult some days, but I am working very hard to accept my kids for where they are at right now, because one day, I will again take out the pictures to add a new one, and I want to be able to know I appreciated each age, rather than wishing we’d have moved on to the next.

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

5 Breastfeeding Issues Your Care Provider Might Miss

Class at BabyLoveI’m always saddened and amazed how many moms didn’t met their breastfeeding goals because the people they trusted to help them didn’t have the knowledge or skills to actually help solve breastfeeding problems.  Breastfeeding is an interesting thing; there are factors for both mom and baby that can make breastfeeding a challenge, and some of the things that come up are not known about by the doctors, nurses, midwives, doulas, and even lactation consultants that mothers rely on in the early days of breastfeeding.  The impulse is usually to treat the symptoms, but not the underlying cause.

If you think that you or your baby might be dealing with one of these issues, please find a provider who is familiar with the problem and discuss it with him or her.  I’m writing this for educational purposes only, and it is not meant to replace medical advice.

1) Tongue tie and lip tie

OK. This is one thing that we know happens, but there’s still way too many car providers TOTALLY in the dark about the condition.  With tongue time, the latch can look perfect, but the frenulum (the piece of skin under baby’s tongue) is too tight or too ling and does not allow baby to stick out his or her tongue all the way, making breastfeeding difficult for baby and painful for mom. Left untreated, a tongue tie can lead to many issues in adults, including speech impediments, migraines, and, this doctor thinks there might be a link to sleep apnea.  If I can get on my soapbox for a second, assessment for tongue and lip tie needs to be a part of the normal newborn assessment RIGHT AFTER BIRTH; if there’s a problem, it can be corrected swiftly and everyone will be happy.  You can find more information and resources here, but by FAR the best thing that I’ve found for parents (and care providers who aren’t in the know) is this fun little e-book. It has pictures and talks about why and how to have tongue and lip ties addressed.

2) Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER)

When we talk to moms about breastfeeding, we talk about the Oxytocin and the Prolactin that is produced and the feeling of love and bonding that happen as a result of  these hormones.  For some moms, though, the act of breastfeeding can lead to feeling of sadness, anxiety, or other negative emotions during the milk ejection (aka “letdown”) part of the breastfeeding process. So while the breastfeeding is supposed to be a positive experience, moms with D-MER have a negative experience every time they feed their babies.  Fortunately, there are treatments for D-MER.  One of my favorite resources for information on D-MER and treatments is D-MER.org.  They have treatments, resources, and even links to Facebook groups for mothers who are looking for information and support.

3) Thyroid Problems

Thyroid and other endocrine issues can cause a whole list of issues, but they also can lead to low supply.  My copy of The Breastfeeding Answer Book states that about 17% of mothers have a thyroid issue that affects supply (p.567) They can even arise after birth in moms who don’t have a history of thyroid issues.  Whenever a mom is facing a true, persistent low supply issue, it can be a good idea for her to visit an endocrinologist for tests of all her hormone levels. With proper treatment and on going monitoring, mothers often experience a rapid improvement in milk supply. For more information, check out the information listed on Kelly Mom.

4)Over supply/ Overactive Letdown

While low supply is a well-known issue, over supply can also create issues for a motherbaby pair.  It can result in baby refusing to feed, excessive spitting up, or pain for mom with letdown.  Some mothers just naturally have a large supply or forceful letdowns, other can fall into the issue by taking galactogogues (herbs and medications meant to increase supply) when no real need exists or by pumping unnecessarily.  In my opinion, we are no so over-fixated on low supply (for better or worse) that mothers are told to try to up supply unnecessarily, leading to too much milk for some moms. And for other moms, they start pumping too much, and up supply so much that it can lead to too much milk (basically, their body almost thinks that there are two babies to feed– the real baby and the pump baby.)  To solve this issue, we usually have mom stop taking the galactogogues right away, or start to cut back on pumping to see if supply moderates and baby is doing better. The other half of the solution is to help baby feed in a more upright position and to place baby is such a way that he or she can better control the force of the flow.  Usually laid-back breastfeeding can make it easier for both mom and baby.

5) Vasospasm

Sometimes nipples can turn white as a result of an incorrect latch.  Sometimes, though, the nipple can turn white as a result of vasospasm.  This can lead to pain, tingling, and blue or bring red nipples as the blood flow returns to the nipple.  This doesn’t make breastfeeding impossible, but it is a condition that can be managed by the application of dry heat, keeping the nipple warm right after baby unlatches, and by reducing the amount of caffeine and alcohol mom ingests.  More information on vasospasm and Raunaud’s Phenomenom can be found on this great Kelly Mom article.

Hopefully all of these things are helpful.  Did you have one of these breastfeeding issues go undiagnosed for a long time?  How did it affect your breastfeeding relationship? Sound off below!

Let me know if you have questions!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.