When my first daughter was born, breastfeeding was extremely difficult for both her and my wife. We saw numerous lactation consultants. Our pediatrician had no suggestions. Despite the pain, constant nursing, and poor sleep cycles from constant hunger, both of them persevered and breastfed for years. Several years ago, my second daughter was born, this time at home. Within 3 days, an almost identical experience was developing for my wife. This time, however, our midwives identified a potential anatomical reason for why it was so painful. We saw Melissa Cole with Luna Lactation, who very quickly identified a tethered upper lip and tongue as the cause of our problems. At 7 days of age, my daughter underwent release of these two tethered frenula and nearly immediately, breastfeeding began to improve.
During my paternity leave, I watched my wife and daughter's nursing experience improve gradually. Looking retrospectively, it became apparent that my first daughter was also tongue- and lip-tied. How did different hospital lactation consultants, her pediatrician, and her ENT dad (presumably a specialist in all aspects of mouth problems), completely miss her problems?
It boils down to a complete lack of education.
In four years of medical school and five years of residency training, I received exactly 0 lectures on breastfeeding. It's appalling. The more and more I thought about it, the angrier I became. So I decided to do something about it.
Over the last two years, I have dedicated myself to understanding and treating babies who are having difficulty with breastfeeding. I have many goals. I want to make any medical professional who comes into contact with a breastfeeding dyad aware of the potential problems that tongue-tie and lip-tie can cause. I want to debunk the nonsensical myths that have been propagated from medical generation to medical generation. I want to generate studies that can help determine why some have problems with breastfeeding and others don't.
Slowly, I'm making progress. It will take some time. But I'm confident that I will help those who don't understand why breastfeeding shouldn't be painful or a struggle.