Did you know we have an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) on staff at Kid’s Creek?
Jessica Orlick is a dual-certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with the expertise to assist both mom and baby in the art and skill of breastfeeding. She is able to assist nursing mothers with breastfeeding support/guidance, questions, and concerns regarding supply issues, positioning, latch difficulties, tongue/lip tie concerns, nipple pain/damage, clogged ducts, mastitis, slow weight gain, etc.
So how does being dual certified as speech-language pathologist and lactation consultant make a difference?
Jessica’s background as a Speech-Language Pathologist gives her expertise in the muscles of the face and how they impact feeding, allowing her to specialize in feeding therapy from babies through young adults. Combining the lactation knowledge from being an IBCLC and the oral motor knowledge from being an SLP, she is able to determine the source of the breastfeeding problems, assist with the difficulties, and help the mom and baby work together to meet the mother’s breastfeeding goals.
Breastfeeding problems can be due to a variety of factors: positioning issues, latching difficulty, low- or oversupply, clogged ducts, or damaged nipples. Sometimes a baby’s strength or coordination causes frequent pulling off at the breast, gulping or clicking sounds during the feed, or a baby feeding for a short amount of time but also wanting to nurse frequently (outside of growth spurts).
Babies need to eat a lot, so difficulties with breastfeeding cause a lot of stress and frustration. Please do not hesitate to reach out for help! We know you are tired, frustrated, stressed, and maybe even in pain. Let us help you. We want to share our knowledge to help you and your baby be successful. You can schedule a free phone consultation at any time to learn whether our IBCLC can help.
Why is breastfeeding so hard for some babies?
Feeding (whether breast or bottle) is a cardio workout for babies, like going out for a 5-mile run for an adult! Because babies eat so much and so often they are working hard! They have to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing all at the same time. Babies practice these activities in the womb, but some babies have weakness that makes breastfeeding a struggle. In these cases, that 5-mile run is more like a marathon. They have to work harder for the same outcome, which means burning more calories – which leads to needing to eat more. If a baby is working harder each feed and burning extra calories, she could burn more calories than she is able to consume, leading to slow or no weight gain, or even weight loss. So what can we do? We send their mouth to the gym!
As a dual certified SLP/IBCLC, Jessica is able to complete a full oral motor assessment to determine which area(s) of the mouth/face are contributing to the difficulties. She will determine the range of motion and strength for each muscle needed to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing at the same time. From there, she will make a plan with the mother to help strengthen any areas of weakness.
Are breastfeeding problems always caused by weakness?
Nope. Sometimes muscles can be too tight (which may present as a tongue tie or lip tie). An oral motor assessment can determine whether a baby has a true tongue tie or lip tie or if the muscle would benefit from stretches to loosen the muscle and increase the range of motion for the tongue or lip. You cannot un-cut a muscle; however, you can see if it responds to treatment before cutting.
If you have questions, please click to learn more about our lactation consulting or set up a free consultation by phone with our lactation consultant, Jessica Orlick, and see if she can help.