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130. Tongue Ties Part 2: Navigating The Journey With Guest Nicole McCarthy of Tiny Wellness

When it comes to tongue and lip ties, it’s all about FORM AND FUNCTION. You cannot diagnose a tongue or lip tie from a picture. There are some signs and symptoms to watch for, including some that Nicole saw with her little one. Hear about their experience with NOT having a release done.

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Read the full transcript here:

Yeah. I suffered a lot of pain for that little girl. But that's okay. Well, not okay, but I nursed her for two and a half years, and I'm so happy that I made it that far. And I'm so thankful and grateful that I was able to push through with the support of my family and my friends because they knew how important breastfeeding was to me. So like I said, I was having these issues. I started to do some more research and that's kind of when I became very intrigued by breastfeeding. And I said, want I to really learn more? So I took a breastfeeding course. I took my certified breastfeeding specialist course first and in that at the end of the course there is a comprehensive section on tongue ties. And when I did that, I said, wait a minute, this sounds like my daughter. And it taught me like it kind of showed me how to do an assessment and just a very basic one. I said, I'm going to go try this. She's definitely experienced all these symptoms, but let me just take a look in her mouth really quick. And I said, Well, I just learned this. This is very basic, but I really think she has tongue tie. So she was a little over a year old and we took her to a pediatric dentist that was about 2 hours away, who I knew was very knowledgeable and tongue ties and also lactation professional herself. And she did her assessment. She said, oh yeah, she's tired. But with her being over a year old, there's always some prework that needs to be done, whether that be like body work, speech therapy, occupational therapy, or all of that. I just want to preface that first with her being a year old. That pre work going to take a long time because she's been sucking like this since she was in utero and then her first year of life. So she's compensated so much, which is why, you know, it got a little better. It wasn't as painful, but I still experienced those waves of pain. She compensated for the lack of movement of her tongue, which made it a little better for me at times. But there's a lot of undoing that we have to do. And with her being a little over a year old, and then we're going to have to do all this work, she's going to be at an age so it's a year and a half. She's going to be at an age where she's just not going to sit still for the procedure and it could be really traumatizing for her. So to hear her say that was really tough because I just wanted the issue to be gone. I went in there just thinking that she would do the procedure and I'm so glad now knowing everything that I know that she didn't because that prework is so important. But we left the office and we're like, wow, you know, this probably isn't something we can revise right now. I think we're going to wait until she's a little older. We can really explain it to her and she can sit still and it just won't be so traumatizing for her. So she's three, she still has her tongue tie. But I want to share three tips that I have for you so you can avoid the situation that I went through and all the pain that I had to go through. So my first tip is to trust your gut. If you think something's wrong, even though you are being told that everything is fine, like I was, trust your gut. It's okay to question the providers that you are seeing. You know your baby best. You know your body best. You know if their advice is not working for you, so trust your gut. Which leads me into my second tip of don't be afraid to seek a second opinion if you're not satisfied, if you're not getting the help, if you're not seeing the results, if that means seeing another lactation professional and breaking up with the one that you have, that's okay. You need to do what you need to do to get the help that you need, which rolls into my third tip of when you are seeking that second or maybe third opinion, like it was in my case, make sure you're seeing someone who is experienced in tongue ties so you can ask around in your community. I know that I can't think of them off the top of my head, Brie. I'm sure you know them better than I do and can link them below. I know there's guides and websites where you can go to find lactation consultants who specialize in ties, and you can find one in your area. But make sure you are seeing if that if you, like, wholeheartedly believe in your gut. Like I said, trust your gut that you're dealing with a tie. Seek a lactation professional who specializes in them. Like, we have specialty doctors for a reason. Not all lactation consultants are going to specialize in ties because it just might not be their thing. So just do yourself a favor and save a lot of pain and seek someone who has a lot of knowledge. Ask them what their training is. If they just say, like, oh, yeah, I went through my lactation course, I would say probably not the best option, even though, like, my lactation one of the lactation courses I took had, like, a comprehensive section on it. There's still so much that I've learned from continuing education, and there's just so many things that are changing, and so much research is such a hot topic right now. So don't be afraid to see that second opinion. Don't be afraid to ask them what their training is and knowledge is on ties. And trust your gut, mama. Oh, trust your gut. You will save yourself so much pain, so many tears, so much frustration, and I just don't want any other mom to have to go through what I went through with my little girl. So those are my three tips that I have for you, and I hope you find them helpful. Like I said, I have my private practice called tiny wellness. So you can find me over on Instagram at Tiny dot Wellness or on my website at Tiny Wellness And thanks so much for listening and I can't wait to connect with you soon. So good. Thank you so much for Nicole, for coming to the other side of the podcast, not hanging out in the back end and sharing your experience. I know that sharing with others is so valuable because it's not. Just so nice to know that you're not in this alone. You're not the only one dealing with issues that pop up. They actually might be more common than you think. So again, Nicole's top three tips for number one. Trust your gut. There's always an answer. If there's something not right with you or your baby, then advocate for yourself and dig deeper. Tip number two was seek a second opinion, or maybe even a third or a fourth. And tip number three was only go to an experienced provider, which I am going to echo. I agree that you only want to go to a preferred provider who does anatomy's day in and day out. They need to be experienced. It's so important. More important than if they use a laser or scissors. The provider behind the instrument is key. In my state, Utah is where I live, I only refer to pediatric dentists, and we only have a handful, a small handful in the entire state that I refer to. When I see clients in other states, I help connect them with a preferred provider in their area. And I'm going to talk more about that next week, more about the behind the scenes and what a provider does, or a lactation educator, as you are helping families to navigate this road because, oh my gosh, it is a hard, long road to navigate and it's not one that you want to do on your own. And I know that so many lactation educators out there are really wanting to help provide good support for families, but sometimes they don't know how. So I'm going to share a little bit more behind the scenes of how I help families through this road. That is going to be part three coming out next Tuesday. Make sure that you subscribe so that you don't miss it. But listen, I know that you loved listening to Nicole. She is amazing. I loved her story that she shared. If you want to learn more from Nicole or connect with her, Tiny Wellness is where you can find her. is her website. Or you can find her at Tiny Wellness on Instagram. I'll link both of those in the show notes so that you can go find her. Say hello, thank you for sharing her amazing story. And again, Nicole is amazing. She is my virtual assistant. She helps so much with this podcast, uploading it on the back end to my website, helping with payroll and all those little things that I don't love doing so much myself. So thank you, Nicole, for coming and sharing your story and I hope you come back next week for part three. Part three? I'm planning for it to be the final episode on Tongue and Lip Ties next week. I'd love to hear from you, love to hear what you're loving about this podcast or even suggestions you have for improvement. You can always just send me an email, or connect with me on Instagram, breezy babies. And of course, I'm going to leave you with you are strong, you are smart, you are beautiful, you're a good friend to all. See you next week.

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