I started my nurse training in 2002, but I have been working with vulnerable adults and children since a teenager. Once qualified I worked with adults for some time, and up until December 2017 I was also employed as a Neonatal Nurse caring for sick and terminal term and pre-term babies, before deciding to develop my career in Tongue-Tie further whilst juggling my own two children. I have qualified as a 'Lactation Consultant' (IBCLC) and I also volunteer for the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) as a breastfeeding counsellor, where I currently volunteer to '(wo)man' the National Breastfeeding Helplines.
I have also developed my skills and became a qualified baby massage, baby yoga, and toddler yoga instructor, which I am finding is a new and exciting venture, but also helps parents to help their infants through relieving many of the symptoms that a tongue tie restriction may cause, such as colic, wind, crying, digestive issues, relaxation, and teething issues, whilst increasing and empowering the parental-infant relationship through trust and bonding. More recently, I have embarked upon oral myofunctional training, which I believe may help many of the babies I see with the muscular strengthening and development of the oral structures, muscles and function.
In 2012 I had my first daughter, who had a congenital posterior tongue tie restriction. At the time, I did not know what a tongue tie was or how it could be treated. I believed the breastfeeding issues were because I could not breastfeed properly/low-supply, and was faced with comments of "formula never did such-and-such any harm" ,"don't struggle, some people just can't do it" or "give yourself a rest and give her a bottle". Although these were harmless comments, it just made me more determined to prove everybody wrong!
For me I wanted to know why she couldn't breastfeed and not alternative feeding options!
My daughter did have formula via bottles at stages in our feeding journey, and was bottle fed formula in the initial weeks as there was no other way she could take nutrition safely. I am not adverse to bottle-feeding, I just believe that parents should be able to make an informed choice of how their child is fed, and that early problems in the chosen method should be identified swiftly and addressed. If a parent chooses to bottle fed their infant, and struggles as a result of the tongue tie; their alternative feeding methods are limited, and the parents deserve a right to make an informed choice on behalf of their child.
A tongue function restriction affects all methods of infant feeding, breast, bottles and transitioning onto solid foods is inclusive in this.
I sought advice from the local infant feeding team, and at 5 weeks old my daughter saw a tongue tie practitioner, which was snipped by 8 weeks. I chose to attend weekly breastfeeding support groups for over a year, and what I learnt through them was invaluable, as well as meeting new friends where we could share common interests with. I will never forget our experience and it was this that drove me to pursue tongue tie restriction training.
All too often I see infants who have been prescribed medications to control/relieve their symptoms-yet without addressing the root cause of the symptoms how can that medication be expected to improve their health? Common examples of this are oral/nipple thrush and reflux.
In 2016, I had my second daughter, who also had a posterior frenular restriction. This time I knew what to be mindful of, and she had her restriction divided a lot sooner. However, our feeding journey took a lot longer so we sought the assistance of an approved infant cranial-chiropractor, and by 10 weeks she could latch and feed well (previously could not latch at all).
So I truly do know what you are going through, I can sympathise, empathise and recognise your emotions and frustrations.
I am now in a position where I can hold clinics in my own domestic setting.
This allows for greater flexibility for appointment availability, but also allows for the appointment to be held in a warm and comforting environment. As of 2nd April 2022, a new clinic in Edgbaston, Birmingham will be opening for Saturday clinics also.
I have online courses/modules that gestational parents may wish to look at. These are very reasonably priced at just £10 each and boasts 24/7 unlimited access to each course which is narrated to you, using some video demonstrations and all evidenced based information presented to you (see the 'E-Learning' tab above).
All of my credentials, including a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration certificate; are available upon request and many are displayed on the clinic walls for viewing.
I am also proud to have been elected as the Secretary for the UK Association of Tongue-Tie Practitioners (ATP), and more recently Vice Chair (as of March 2021). www.tongue-tie.org.uk