My baby, Jade, is almost seven months old already! People always ask me how I do it with being a new mom while in school, so I want to share the most difficult aspect of my experience with you. It was something I never expected would be challenging, a fundamental aspect of life, practically a requirement for a future naturopathic doctor, it takes hours and hours daily… breastfeeding!
I could have given up so many times with breastfeeding. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Until you try to breastfeed a tongue/lip tied baby eight to 10 times/day, you can never fully appreciate the pure dedication and persistence it takes some women. Not only was it hard on me, but also on my husband who had to be there for both me and Jade. I now totally understand why some women give up, an empathy that I would not have had if it weren’t for this experience.
Jade was born with a tongue and lip ties, which made breastfeeding excruciatingly painful. At first, I could only manage a few minutes on each side, during which she wasn’t transferring much, and we had to supplement with organic formula. Had I had the resources I know of now, I would have chosen breastmilk donation over formula, but the important thing is that she had something in her belly to sustain her.
I ended up renting the professional pump from the hospital when her ties were diagnosed at 2 weeks old. Since the first two weeks are the most important for establishing milk supply, I struggled with low milk supply. Originally we got a referral to see an ENT doctor, but that doctor wasn’t able to clip the ties because Jade’s tongue tie was “muscular” (submucosal, posterior) instead of membranous, and ENTs can’t snip lip ties. Then, we brought her to a dentist who has a lot of experience with laser revisions.
Cheers to all you breastfeeding moms out there! If it’s easy for you, congratulations, you are so fortunate! If you’re struggling, you are not alone, and I hope it will get better.
Next week, I’ll write about what I did to increase my supply naturally and transition off of formula. In a future post, I’ll also write about tongue and lip ties and the medical issues they can cause…even in adults!