As an “experienced mom,” I didn’t anticipate needing intervention feeding the newest addition to our family. However, after two weeks of exclusive breastfeeding, my nipples looked like they’d been in a bar fight, my baby was struggling to return to birth weight, and I had a mysterious pain that would radiate down my arms when my little piranha would latch on. My mysterious pain was dubbed “Lightening Nipple,” by Sarah Lee, not an official diagnosis code, but you get the point… Feeling like I was nearly ready to throw in the towel and being an enneagram 7 suffering from a perpetual case of FOMO, I was more than willing to meet with Crystel, IBCLC, IFM’s very own lactation consultant.
I’m not going to lie, it’s weird showing your boobs to your co-worker, that is NOT OK in most workplaces, but IFM isn’t most workplaces. ;) Our session started off discussing my baby's normal eating patterns, and growth history. We took a pre-feeding weight, to better estimate how much milk baby is consuming in a feeding. Then Crystel assessed baby’s pallet, latch and my poor battered nipples. She had recommendations for all of our problems (not the annoying kind of recommendations, the helpful kind). During the feeding session, she offered me a drink, she looked over the breast pump I brought with me, and we just chatted away… almost as if I was fully dressed. Ha! After the feeding session, baby went back on the scale to see how much weight was gained. The weight change is equivalent to how many ounces consumed, hence the term “weighted feeds.”
You might think Crystel has a pretty easy gig cuddling sweet newborns and pampering their mama’s, but don’t be fooled we put her to work! By the end of our appointment, she was ready to change clothes after being exposed to poop, pee, and spit-up; in that order. It was like watching an episode of “Dirty Jobs.” Only much, much cuter.
It was determined my baby had a slight lip and tongue tie, so we were referred to a pediatric dentist for further evaluation. Often the referrals we give at IFM are to the exact same providers we take our own family to. So, I felt confident we would be going to the right place. We went to the pediatric dentist a couple weeks later. The lip and tongue tie revision was simple and by 2 weeks post op, my nipples were healed, my baby was gaining weight, and I was no longer afflicted with “Lightning Nipple.” Whew.
I’m so thankful to work for (and personally utilize) a clinic that offers so many services that benefit patients of all ages. So, if you’re a new mom, an experienced mom; if you’re expecting, or you have a 6 month old; if your baby is struggling to gain weight or you’re finding yourself suffering from an awful case of “Lightening Nipple.” You need Crystel, IBCLC, she will guide you on your individual, beautiful breastfeeding journey. You have a choice in your healthcare, choose better, choose Integrative Family Medicine.
Sara Lynn, RN, BSN