MOTIVATION

MOTIVATION

I have been contemplating “why” often lately. Not only “why” as in what is the cause, but “why” as relates to motivation. Why is looking deeply at your health important? Why should women make self care a priority? Why should they take care of themselves before they care for others? The habitual answer is the old “oxygen mask” comparison. In the plane, they tell you to put yours on before you help your kids to put theirs on. Why? So that you are breathing ok, and don’t lose consciousness before saving them. Well, that is just about survival! Why are women taught that they should do just enough to squeak by? How about a new paradigm? Take care of “you”, not to get by, but in order to blossom into a healthy, strong, confident, centered, loving being who is thriving. That thriving, glowing creature will be unstoppable in her goals.…

HAPPY NEW YEAR

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions. Arbitrary dates to do certain things have lost their appeal to me in recent years. In my life, the cycle of improvement is constant. Yes, it waxes and wanes, and needs renewal sometimes, but I don’t feel the need to make a promise at the beginning of a new year because of the date. I would prefer to use certain times during the year to reflect and reassess. For example, my birthday is in the fall, right near Thanksgiving. I get very pensive at that time of year. I contemplate where I’ve been, how it’s going, what I am grateful for, what I feel I’m missing, what I want to add or take away from my life to make it optimal for me. This podcast by “The Living Experiment”, brought up similar themes. What hit home the most for me, when I…

New Research: Breastfeeding Improvement Following Tongue and Lip Tie Release

Dr. Bobby Ghaheri and Melissa Cole IBCLC, et al., have completed and published a study which gives evidence to the positive results that moms and infants experience after release of lip and tongue tie. A very important aspect to this research is the inclusion of the lactation consultant in the process. In fact, as stated in the publication: “All infants were initially evaluated by community lactation consultants before surgical referral as a prerequisite for consultation by the principal investigator. The latch assessment by the lactation consultant was considered in the decision making process in whether a frenotomy was offered.” My interpretation of this work is that it points to the vital role of a feeding assessment by a lactation professional. There are many referrals for revision that occur as a result of pictures shared on facebook, pediatrician evaluation, or parent’s self diagnosis. These cases were not part of this study.…

But my doctor said everything is normal!

But my doctor said everything is normal!

Or my thyroid is “just a little off”…Or I’ve been on synthroid forever…Or I have some stomach issues…Or hormonal issues…I meet so many women who just don’t feel well. They are always tired, have no energy left after doing all that they do, can’t sleep at night, have chronic aches and pains, mild anxiety or depression, irregular or heavy, painful periods, low libido, weight gain, hair loss, difficulty getting pregnant or making breastmilk. etc. The list can go on and on, but I think you get the idea. It is rare to come across anyone who says that she feels great. I don’t know about you, but this makes me sad. It has been my motivation to find a way to serve women in my community, hear their stories, and help guide their solutions.

Tongue and Lip Tie: An Introduction and Overview

I see so many babies who have trouble breastfeeding due to oral restrictions, including lip, tongue and even buccal (inner cheek) ties. As a lactation consultant, I diagnosis this issue almost daily. Revealing these restrictions often brings confusion for parents. Many times this is the first they are hearing about oral restrictions and revealing that their baby has a problem can cause some distress. For these parents, and for others who are curious to learn, I will try to explain this condition, in plain language. I will also discuss how it is diagnosed, and who to see when these issues arise. A frenum is the tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. The frenum can either be too short or attached to far forward in the mouth to allow proper movement of the tongue for breastfeeding. There is also a frenum that attaches the lips to…

Does my breastfed baby need Vitamin D?

Does my breastfed baby need Vitamin D?

Supplementing a breastfed baby is controversial, even when that supplement is a vitamin. Nursing moms are wary of the need to give their baby anything but breastmilk. As a lactation consultant, I agree. We should be very careful about anything we tell moms to put into baby’s mouth during those early months. Couple this with the mixed messages that moms have gotten about supplements, especially vitamin D, and I don’t wonder why this is one of the most common questions that I hear from new moms. The answer to this query is evolving. In the early years of my study and practice, I learned that fully breastfeeding infants didn’t need any supplementation prior to three months- breastmilk was complete nutrition. Then, the myriad actions of Vitamin D became a hot topic. It’s role in bone formation has been known for generations, but additional benefits to mood, immunity and cardiac health…

Let’s talk about vaccine safety

Let’s talk about vaccine safety

Last night I attended a screening of the controversial documentary “Vaxxed”.  Before I go any further, I need to explain the reason I am moved to write about this. It isn’t to add fuel to the debate surrounding the pros/cons of vaccines. That fire has enough spark. I am writing because the message of the movie, the message that we should be discussing, is being hijacked by the media. Vaxxed is being portrayed as an anti-vaccine movie. Those who have not seen the movie are arguing the merits or dangers of vaccines, depending on which side they are on. That is not what this movie is about. I had assumptions about the documentary before I viewed it. I almost didn’t take the opportunity to attend, assuming that I knew all that I needed to in order to make my decisions regarding vaccinations. And my decisions need to include how to…

Birthing my practice: My first nine months as a self employed IBCLC

On a page for breastfeeding professionals, someone asked about leaving the hospital for private practice. After a long hospital career, I started a private practice just nine months ago, so this query caused me to pause and reflect. The conversation that followed in the post were pros and cons of having a private lactation practice. I’ve been so busy starting up my business and running the day to day operations, that I have put so little thought into what I love about it, what I struggle with, what is hard, what is amazing… This is different than considering the financial aspects. This is about how I feel on a day to day basis about “what I do” or “what I’ve done” by starting my own practice. First, it is a business. I had a feeling that there would be behind the scenes work to running a business, but until you…

Food Intolerances: What’s making you itch?

Food Intolerances: What’s making you itch?

Health, wellness and weight do not depend on eating tiny amounts of food. It’s about eating the right foods. Food intolerances can cause us to have weight gain, autoimmune conditions, hormonal disturbances, skin disorders, emotional problems, unexplained aches and pains and digestive issues. Some of us have allergies to the typical foods that cause reaction: wheat, cow dairy, soy, eggs, fish peanuts and tree nuts. Finding out your allergies (or lack of them) may not solve your health issues.  Food intolerance is not the same as food allergy. Food allergies are actually quite rare, but seem to be growing in numbers in the US. Food intolerances, however, can be quite common. Food allergies often cause instant reaction, while food intolerances effect us slowly and silently, leading to chronic health conditions. Did you know that there is a way to find out the specific foods that cause disturbances in your body?…

Tongue and Lip Tie: What they don’t know can hurt you

The discovery of tethered oral tissues (tongue/lip tie) often creates conflict. The IBCLC who identifies it must explain to the parents that their infant’s anatomy is interfering with optimal breastfeeding. Then she must explain that it is very likely that the infant’s pediatrician will not agree with her. In fact, in many cases the pediatrician has very little knowledge of how breastfeeding works or how a tongue with restricted movement interferes with milk transfer. How can this be? My colleague in the International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals, Dr. Bobby Ghaheri, explains very eloquently in his latest blog. Please follow the link and feel free to comment below. How the System Can Fail Breastfeeding Families

We’ve come so far…or have we?

The paradigm of modern medicine rests on the fact that its foundations are true. No questions needed. Practices are built on established practices, treatments rely on the prior knowledge being accepted as fact. Those who question the infrastructure of the pharmacological system are belittled and dismissed. What are they all afraid of? Kelly Brogan is one of my idols. Here, she discusses immunity, forced vaccinations, the microbiome and what we don’t know and understand. Dr. Brogan dares us to let go of what we think we know in order to truly understand- and heal. Enjoy. http://kellybroganmd.com/snippet/immunity-emerging-truth/

What’s your superpower?

So I asked a group of moms what they wish they had known about breastfeeding before they had their babies. I was hoping to capture important points that maybe I miss in my teaching or advocacy work. I was expecting lists of things such as, “I didn’t know it might hurt” or “I didn’t realize how often I would have to feed him” or “I didn’t know how tired I would be” etc. I wanted wisdom from recently experienced moms that would help me to prepare other moms. What I got was not what I anticipated, but even more amazing. Yes, there were some technical facts listed- it never runs out, you can pump right after nursing, no bottles to wash, hard in the beginning, it gets easier and other such comments. But the majority of the feedback I received was about the intangible benefits, the emotional aspects, the wonderfulness…

What do I need to get ready to breastfeed my baby?

What do I need to get ready to breastfeed my baby?

This is a question that I hear often, especially if the expectant mom doesn’t have any one around her who is breastfeeding and doesn’t know what to expect. Often, what one needs to do to prepare for anything baby related seems to mean “what do I need to buy?” as evidenced by baby showers, baby fairs, registries and such. Pregnant families are bombarded with ads for special pillows, feeding supplies, ointments, pumps, bottles, nipples, pacifiers etc. The truth is that none of these things are necessary. This is the beauty of nursing your infant. You have what it takes to make milk and your baby has what it takes to get milk from your breasts. The less we interfere with that, the better. (Of course, there is a small percentage of women who may not make enough milk, but this is rare).  My favorite way to explain how breastfeeding works is this:…