Your baby needs an assessment if:
There are problems with breastfeeding (e.g. latch difficulties, if you can only nurse in a certain position or if they fall asleep at the breast and wake up hungry shortly after),
You hear clicking sounds when they nurse,
You see blisters on their lips (it is normal to see blisters during the first couple of weeks of life but not after),
Your baby is experiencing reflux symptoms,
Your baby is coughing, gagging or having milk come out of their nose,
Your baby has a heart-shaped tongue,
You have/have had mastitis,
You have a low milk supply (i.e. if you are being prescribed domperidone or are triple-feeding),
You have any nipple pain when the baby is nursing (especially if it continues after the first couple of weeks),
Your baby is snoring,
Your baby has numerous wake-ups outside of the typical baby sleep experience,
Your baby's tongue is often visible (i.e. it's usually sitting on the bottom of their mouth),
Your baby is mouth breathing (during the day and/or the night).
Visible tongue and mouth breathing
What do Babies have to do with Speech Therapy?
Babies are born every day with tethered oral tissues and/or other structural or functional issues that may cause long-term issues with nutrition, dental health, craniofacial development, speech delays and sleep difficulties.
Obstetricians, Pediatricians, Public Health Nurses and even some Lactation Consultants (LCs) may not know enough to assess this and they may not know to refer your baby to a trained professional.
Often times, mothers are taught a variety of latch and/or nursing positions and are prescribed domperidone (a medication that was developed to treat nausea, vomiting, indigestion and gastric reflux, but has been found to be effective to increase milk supply) in the hopes that this will solve the issue of a low milk supply. This is a short term solution for a potentially long-term issue. Long-term (longer than a couple of weeks) milk supply issues are often caused by a limited amount of uptake by the baby, for various reasons (disorganized sucking, restricted airway, tethered oral tissues, etc).
This is where I come in. My name is Kaylene French and I am a Speech-Language Pathologist. I have trained under an experienced Midwife as well as several International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) and Occupational Therapists (OT) on how to assess and support babies who have difficulties with feeding and other oral skills. I am committed to supporting a mother's breast-feeding journey and to supporting a baby to develop as smoothly and easily as possible. Fed is best but let's make sure there aren't any medical reasons as to why breast-feeding isn't going well for your baby.
After the assessment, a referral to an experienced and trained professional (e.g. an Ear Nose Throat Doctor, a Dentist, an Osteopath, a Craniosacral Therapist or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) may be recommended.
My name is Kaylene French and I run my own private practice with a limited number of hours, in order to deliver quality services to my clients. I provide assessments and therapy sessions. Please contact me if you have any questions.