It has been a while since my last blog entry. I have been busy getting used to having the baba around. Its pretty intense, but we are coming up on the three month mark and we are getting there, I think….!
One of the things which I, and I am sure many other mothers, obsessed about at the start was feeding. Is the baby getting enough, should I breastfeed or bottle feed, what is with all this wind, does the baby have colic, can I use a soother – the list can at times seem endless. I’ve reconciled the whole thing (and other conundrums as they have arisen) based on the simple principle of a happy baba makes for a happy mama and, crucially, vice versa. You could drive yourself daft trying to take on board everything you are told you ‘should’ be doing. You have got to find what works for you and your baby and go with that. Nobody should judge you for doing what is best for you both – if they do that’s their problem, not yours.
Having said all that, there is one aspect of feeding that I feel that all new mums should be made aware of and that is tongue tie. As ever, I don’t know the technical / medical description but it’s basically an extra bit of skin under the tongue. It can affect the all important latch when you are breastfeeding. You would think this is something the hospital might check for given the emphasis on encouraging new mothers to breastfeed – it appears not, well certainly not where I had my baby. It was never mentioned, at any stage. We first came across the term when I had a chat with a lactation consultant at about week three who suggested the baba might have one. Right so, I thought I’ll just get onto the hospital as it was still within six weeks. Nope, only a few doctors will snip the tongue tie and I had to get referred by the lactation consultant. It all seemed a bit back street or illicit to me. Turns out the doctor was great though, very helpful, informative and practical. The only thing was, the baba didn’t actually have a tongue tie in the end, there was nothing to be snipped.
Ok, so a tongue tie is not a life threatening condition. All I am saying is, in amongst all that information you are bombarded with about what you should be doing, it might be useful to mention it, check for it and deal with it sooner rather than later, ideally in the early days in hospital – especially if a mother is planning to breastfeed. If that is not possible, at least make mothers aware of it so they can decide to get it checked out or not when they go home. The HSE have some information on it, available here.
That was all a bit serious, now it’s time to get back to picking out a cardigan for the babas outing today. She has an entire drawer of knitwear at this stage, friends and family are incredibly generous and it’s lovely 🙂