Breastfeeding resources for Montreal moms

 Breastfeeding, Students, Yoga  Comments Off on Breastfeeding resources for Montreal moms
Jan 182016

This really isn't so bad, is it?In my prenatal yoga classes this week, the requested theme has been breastfeeding. It’s a topic, that up until now, I’ve shied away from bringing into the studio. Why? I guess it’s that I don’t want to be known as or thought of as one of “those women who push breastfeeding.”

What a touchy subject, eh? Why is something so normal and natural such a hot button issue? Lots of answers. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this post. For anyone who knows me as a friend, blogger or yoga teacher, you probably know that I nursed for almost 6 years straight, nearly 3 of those years I nursed two kids. At some point, I hardly had any milk to speak of, because neither Babe nor Bug woke up at night to nurse anymore, and we spent hours apart every day. My attempts to wean Babe were a fail and I realized weaning her wasn’t a priority at all. Bug  just wentwith it, nursing for like 30 seconds before he got annoyed at the lack of milk and said, “Goodnight, milky.”  Before his fourht birthday he was no longer nursing. You might also know that my nursing journey was not an easy one. I look back and my mind is blown that Babe and I actually got it together. Here are a few archived posts about breastfeeding.

I didn’t expect to be nursing way beyond 2 years old. I didn’t expect to nurse through pregnancy or tandem nurse. Just a few examples of how we can’t really know what parenting will look like for us until we’re in the thick of it.

The reason I decided to get this post together is to encourage students and mamanaturale readers to dive into some research. Hopefully in or before pregnancy, not when it’s 4am and you’re crying because your baby is hungry and you have no idea what’s going on.

Know that if you’ve been in my prenatal yoga classes, or you’re a friend of a friend, or just a mom who needs help, you can always be in touch and I will do my best to help. Postpartum doulas can provide excellent breastfeeding help. You can find the company I work with, Rock the Cradle, here.

Things to research:
Risks of not breastfeeding  <– you can Google that. Not going to go on a “breast is best” rant, really, ‘fed is best!’ but know there are true risks for mother and child.

What is an IBCLC and where can I find one? If you live in the province of Quebec, here is a great link to find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. The woman at the hospital who comes to “help” you with nursing may not be a IBCLC and many people feel the help and advice they receive in the hospital leaves something to be desired. My experience was a very stressful one. The CLSC nurse that came to our house for a follow-up luckily was very knowledgeable and set us on our way to healing. With Babe, a local IBCLC named Deborah Van Wyck (514-605-6813 was a huge help. When we dealt with lip and tongue tie for Bug, we sought out advice from Jennifer Welch (514-296-8073 Chantal Lavigne (514-947-1877) comes highly recommended too.

What is tongue tie? Super duper common, and one of the biggest reasons breastfeeding doesn’t go according to plan. Many if not most doctors do not know enough about this. If you think your child has tongue/lip tie, please find an IBCLC to help you. This can save breastfeeding.

Other resources:

La Leche League: Meet with other moms at local meetings run by La Leche Leaders.
Nourri-Source: I was a volunteer with this beautiful mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group for a few years. You get hooked up with another nursing mother who has been through a good amount of training. If issues come up, you can phone her, and this support is often enough to get us through some seemingly difficult situations. No question is silly. I highly recommend contacting Nourri-Source while you’re pregnant just in case.Me! If you’re a yoga student of mine, call me! Seriously, I’ll do what I can to help and refer if it’s out of my scope!

The Womanly art of Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
Sweet Sleep by La Leche League
Anything by Jack Newman

Websites SUCH an amazing resource for all questions breastfeeding related.
The Leaky Boob (also a great Facebook community)

I hope some of this is helpful. I regularly receive emails from strangers and students on topics like this. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you need anything.

May 062013

Here’s an awesome follow-up to the post When Breastfeeding Works: it’s not working.

Bug's tongueThe Bug has been growing a whopping 55grams a day. He gained back his birth weight on day 5.  His latch looks okay (though shallow) his poops are a lovely shade of yellow. I feel no pain.

Despite all this, Breastfeeding isn’t working properly. We suspect Bug has an Anterior Tongue Tie, Posterior Tongue Tie and a Lip Tie. I say “we suspect” because it’s not within the scope of an IBCLC to actually diagnose ties. This has to be done by a doctor or dentist and it boggles my mind. I don’t think most doctors get any kind of training in Breastfeeding.

But anyways, Bug is frustrated at the breast, unable to get anything out once the letdown stops. He is in agony with gas pains and just simply sucks at sucking.

With all this supposedly going on, How on earth is he thriving?

The going theory: Tandem Breastfeeding. Or just the fact that I have loads of milk… For the moment.

It seems The Bug is just “catching” his big sister’s milk. I have loads of milk right now and it’s basically pouring down his throat. When the letdown stops, so does he. I’ve been helping him by doing compressions and moving into positions that allow gravity to help get more milk into him.

We met with Jennifer Welch IBCLC, a member of IATP (international affiliation of tongue tie professionals) who told us about all the stuff she suspects is going on in his mouth. She did an evaluation using the Hazelbaker Assessment Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function (ATLFF). Bug failed. Big time. This isn’t even a borderline case.

So, next week, we’re headed to Montreal dentist Dr. Bessette to likely have the ties released. I feel super crappy about it. We went back and forth from yes to no when we thought it was just an ATT. After seeing his evaluation though, there’s no question for us. We believe he has a tongue and liptie.

Bug's Lip

Bug’s Lip

If tongue tie release wasn’t controversial enough (I had no idea it was until a few days ago) liptie is even more so . As Jennifer told us, there’s really no formal research on it. So, as we can expect, many people are flat out rejecting the thought that lipties affect feeding. My gut told me a liptie was causing all our issues breastfeeding Babe, but no one would confirm it. It’s logical to me, and many others, that some lipties will cause feeding issues. If you can’t properly flange your top lip, how can you breastfeed effectively?

As I continue studying to be an IBCLC, I know my son’s tongue tie and lip tie aren’t the last I’ll see.

Many midwives and doulas, friends and neighbours I know have said tongue tie is “over diagnosed.” To the point where the midwife following the Bug didn’t even bother to tell me about the tie. When I told her we thought he had one she said she knew but didn’t feel it was an issue because he was gaining and I’m not in pain. I’m not sure I agree with “over diagnosed.”  I don’t think anyone’s on a mission to needlessly cut the frenulums of unsuspected newborns everywhere.

Maybe the perspective is just different when you see and feel the frustration with your own poor baby.

I feel so blessed to have a friend named Sophie who is also a breastfeeding support mom at Nourri-Source. Sophie is my only real-life friend who has tandemed. I have asked her for support with this before and after Bug was born. I recently heard through the grapevine that her second nursling was tongue-tied too. Turns out she was also liptied. They found out when her daughter started to lose weight. As I said, nursing with a tie, even when we’re tandeming, isn’t sustainable.
I’m not looking forward to Thursday, but I  am looking forward to having a son that can breastfeed and make milk without the help of his sister.