Transcript of episode 1:
Welcome to episode 1. I’m so grateful that you’re listening.I thought I’d start off this podcast with an introduction. I think it’s important for you to know who I am, and what brings me to this place, because when you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t say a lactation consultant. But I did know that I wanted to be around babies. Or birds, or puppies, or dolphins - so that was close.
My official bio: I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant/Certified Nurse Midwife in private practice in Staten Island ny. Tongue tie is the concentration of the lactation side of my practice, but I am also educated in functional medicine and work with those suffering with hormonal, thyroid, or fertility concerns. But that’s a story for another podcast.
My 30+ year career includes 28 years at Staten Island University Hospital, first as an RN, then as a CNM, and an IBCLC (2011). At the Hospital, I was the co-founder and coordinator of the Breastfeeding Initiative and worked in collaboration with the NYC Department of Health for eight years on efforts toward achieving the “Baby Friendly” designation. In 2015, I resigned my position, gave up catching babies, and established my private practice focusing on lactation, women’s wellness and nutrition, with an approach that integrates the Midwifery model with the Functional medicine model.
So basically, I have been assisting new families to breastfeed since 1990, first at the bedside, and in the past years in the outpatient office setting. My unique qualifications as both a nurse practitioner and lactation consultant, give me the ability to diagnose and prescribe treatment protocols for breastfeeding management as an independent provider.
How did I learn about tongue tie? I am proud that I was a founding member of the International Consortium of Oral Ankylofrenula Professionals (ICAP), Through this organization, & other networking groups, such as IATP and the American Laser Study Club, I have gained experience with assessment, diagnosing and treatment protocols for infants with tethered oral tissues (tongue, lip, and buccal ties).
One of my goals is to change the culture around infant feeding and wellness, one woman, one family at a time and my mission is to support as many parents as possible in reaching their own feeding goals by empowering them.I am fortunate to work in a collaborative/referral network with a team that includes a laser dentist for frenotomy, various body workers and SLPs.
I run virtual courses for professionals and parents to learn about this topic, and now, this podcast. You’ll see links to my offerings in the show notes.
Most importantly, I am mom, and, very recently, a grandma. What an experience that has been! I’m happily married for almost 35 years, which seems unreal to me. Time really flies. We have 3 kids of our own, and we helped raise my sister’s 4 kids, so lots of experience with babies over the years. My hobbies include reading, listening to podcasts, hiking in the woods or on the beach, bird watching, and hanging out with my dogs - I have 2 very spoiled shih tzus that run my life. I’m a life time learner, honestly, I’m just about addicted to learning. I want you to know that I don’t come to my work because I was perfect at it. As time goes on, I’m sure I’ll have opportunities to share my own breastfeeding journey. For now, I’ll just say, I didn’t get it all right. And what is “right” changes every day. If you are a parent or an expectant parent, the most important message that I have for you is to follow your own instincts. Of course, educate yourself. Then, when you shut out the noise of the world, and the internet, and all the experts on google, you’ll hear the voice that tells you what is right for you and for your baby. No one knows that better than you. Trust that. If you are a professional who takes care of families during pregnancy, or through the first years, it’s so important that you are here. We just don’t learn enough about tongue and lip tie or breastfeeding in general, in school. I didn’t start out my lactation practice knowing about this. But I quickly learned that there were some babies that my usual lactation skills didn’t help. So I kept searching until I found that there was a whole topic of oral anatomy that was missing from my training.
It’s vital to learn more than you were taught in your formal schooling . I get sad stories every day of families who are failing to meet their feeding goals, infants who are suffering, because of missed or mistreated tongue tie. Families need you to understand oral restrictions.
Over the next few episodes, you’ll learn the basics of tongue tie, what an IBCLC is and why you need one, and other introductory subjects , and then I plan to have guests. My guests will be other providers, but also will include parents who have made this journey, because they are the best experts of all. We will all learn together.
If you are interested in being a guest on the podcast, email me at [email protected]. Please follow Tongue Tie Experts on IG and join our FB group, Breastfeeding Tongue Tied Babies. The links will be in the show notes.
Thanks for listening, and for being curious with me, as we navigate this complex topic of tongue and lip tie in the breastfeeding infant.