I have posts queued up for my #write31days, but I’m sitting in the dentist’s office while my kids have their teeth cleaned, and I have some things I need to say before I spend a whole month talking about safe and healthy birth.
As pretty much everyone knows, I’ve spent the last year working on increasing awareness of and finding resources for tongue tie and lip tie. I’ve blogged in frustration before about the insane amount of time I was spending this spring trying to find providers to send families to. But today, I’m not going to write this post from the point of view of an advocate, but rather, as a mother, speaking on behalf of other families, with the hopes that some providers will read this and take heed.
I started this journey as a mother with two kids who have tongue ties. And yes, they do have symptoms that cause issues that directly affect their quality of life. I’ve had ENTs, pediatricians, and numerous dentists all ignore and completely dismiss any notion that the kids have tongue ties. And while my daughter got her lip tie released, she still has a tongue tie that I’m trying to figure out how to get released.
So, yet again, on behalf of every parent who is facing the same issues and fight I am, be they for a newborn or an older child, I really want to know why, if you are a care provider, you refuse to listen to the parents who come to you? I mean, I get that it may not be something you learned about in school, but so what? And don’t tell me that there isn’t any research to back up our assertions. There are a good amount of studies. And I get that they might not be the best quality of studies, but so what? Again, as a mom, I’m really sick and tired of the condescending attitude I get, and as an advocate, I’m really, really sick and tired of watching other moms and dads get ignored, too. It’s irritating, it’s frustrating, and it shows an immense lack of compassion and clinical skills every time you dismiss a desperate parent out of hand.
And don’t EVEN get me started on the insanely stupid turf wars. At a time when we have only a handful of providers to those, and a few various providers to address the after care needs, I’m seeing too many sharp elbows fly, with LCs and dentists and ENTs and chiros all working super hard to protect their piece of the action when they really don’t even have the capacity to work with all of the families that need it.
(Ok, so I will admit that I have my own preferred providers to refer families to, but it’s because I get burned when I refer to a provider that I’ve never met or even talked to before. So yes, I only have a tiny handful of providers I trust, which isn’t to say that there aren’t other good providers out there, but I need to talk to them, and then I can feel ok referring families to them.)
So my challenge to everyone, whether or not you are a care provider involved in ties, is to open your ears. Do more than just read one or two articles. Do your due diligence. Keep an open mind. LISTEN, for #*^% sake, when mothers come to you, having done their own research and figuring out their kids’ issues. Oh, and just STOP making it only about breastfeeding. That’s like saying tonsils only have to do with strep throat. Tongue ties and lip ties are physical abnormalities (albeit common abnormalities) that create a cascade of health issues, even once we’ve adapted to the limits the ties create.
Seriously. Keep an open mind. Go find the research. And stop talking and start listening to the moms.