Breastfeeding was something that I was determined to try and do for both of my babies. Unfortunately both of my breastfeeding experiences were extremely painful and distressing to begin with. With Ruby I have been revisiting the same frustrating and tiring feeding problems that I had to go through with Rosie. The main problem has been that both Ruby and Rosie have had a tongue tie.
I first became aware of ‘tongue tie’ when some close friends of ours starting experiencing problems with their baby, he was extremely unsettled and restless, and when doctors and midwives failed to be able to help, they were given some great advice to call Charlotte from Milk Matters. Charlotte is a Lactatation consultant and I think she’s wonderful! She quickly diagnosed our friends baby with a tongue tie and helped to get him treated.
When I booked Lisa to be our doula (see previous post) part of Lisa’s doula package was to have an appointment with Charlotte before our baby was born. This was a fantastic idea and gave me a real insight in to what breastfeeding would be like. It also cleared up the myth that if breastfeeding hurts just persevere and your boobs will toughen up! when in fact, if breastfeeding hurts there are usually some underlying issues that need to be treated to help make things better. So as soon as I started breastfeeding Rosie and experienced terrible pain I knew we needed to get to the bottom of things quickly. Charlotte quickly came to our rescue when Rosie was five days old (I was a tearful mess and couldn’t bare the pain by this point!). She spotted Rosie had a tongue tie, and that she also had some tension in her neck and head. Charlotte advised us see a cranium therapist to help relieve her strains and she recommended the fabulous team at the Good Health Centre in Leeds. After some gentle cranium therapy treatment Rosie’s feeding improved dramatically and things became a little easier, so we decided that perhaps Rosie’s tongue tie wasn’t bad enough to need treating. Unfortunately she continued to be a very unsettled, windy and tiring little baby really! After three months of trying to figure things out, we contacted Charlotte again, and she detected that the tongue tie was worse than we had previously thought. After a little deliberation we decided to have the tongue tie treated. It was a quick procedure and straight away Rosie could latch on better and feeding felt so much easier! It was such a relief.
When Ruby was born three weeks ago, I knew as soon as she latched on that things didn’t feel right, and within three days I was in way too much pain to pop her on the breast. (not to be too graphic but I felt like she was knawing my nipples off!) So we quickly contacted Charlotte and got an appointment within a couple of days. As I suspected Ruby was confirmed as having a tongue tie. We didn’t hesitate to get it treated this time and booked an appointment through Milk Matters. The procedure costs £190 but in my opinion it was worth every penny. We couldn’t have waited to be referred and treated through the NHS (I’ve heard this can sometimes take up to 8 weeks!) I was having to express and syringe feed Ruby to let my nipples repair themselves and this wouldn’t have been a feasible long term solution. Ruby has also been having some cranium osteopathy treatment at the Good Health Centre, to help relieve any niggles she may have. Fingers crossed my breastfeeding journey with Ruby will be a good one now.
I can easily see why so many mums would struggle to breastfeed if not given the correct or best advice available. I feel super lucky to have had the help and support that Charlotte gave us. She also helped me with other breastfeeding issues including Mastitis and other painful problems! If you are having any problems with an unsettled baby, sore boobs etc I would really advise calling a lactaction consultant. Charlotte also has a fantastic blog analyticalarmadillo.co.uk (infant feeding support for both breast and non breastfed babies) and facebook group. In our house Charlotte is known as the baby whisperer. I’ll always remember how much she helped us. ‘ Thank you Charlotte!’ xx
I’ve also recently become aware of a fantastic free support group for breastfeeding mamas – La Leche League. The ladies I have met through our local group have already been a great support for me and I’m really looking forward to attending more meetings throughout my breastfeeding journey with Ruby.
Local LLL groups hold regular informal discussion meetings for interested women and their babies. Meetings cover a wide range of breastfeeding related topics including:
- Why breastfeeding is good for mothers, babies and society.
- Preparation and expectations.
- Getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
- Overcoming or avoiding challenges and difficulties.
- Family life with a baby.
- Nighttime parenting and infant sleep.
- Returning to work.
- Starting solids, nutrition and weaning.
That’s enough boob talk for now! I hope it’s been helpful to someone reading this.
Have you experienced any fantastic breast feeding support that you would like to share? please feel free to share in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!