René is such a warm ...
René is such a warm, thoughtful and dedicated IBCLC. We sought her expertise with our baby who was born with a tongue tie. Not only did René help us have a better breastfeeding experience, she also supported us in navigating the process to revise her tongue, lip and buccal ties. She always went above and beyond to ensure we felt educated and comfortable with the process. She truly has the heart and a gift for this work. We are very grateful to have found her during our breastfeeding journey!
My name is Samantha ...
My name is Samantha, and on April 30th, 2015 I went into the hospital ready for my c-section. My c-section was planned because my daughter was breech my entire pregnancy. Well, at 1:48 PM my beautiful daughter came into the world. Soon after we got into recovery I began breastfeeding her. She stayed on and off the breast for half an hour until she was done and we were just able to hold her and cuddle her. Around 5 PM we moved into our room and after we were situated we tried feeding again. We had some help, but again she kept coming on and off the breast. She kept this up at every feeding so I asked for a lactation consultant to come and help us after my nipples started to crack. She then helped us latch, but she also made it seem like it was my fault she was having trouble because my nipples were “not propionate”. The next day I was told I had to give my daughter formula because they told me she dropped more than 11% of her birth weight. It broke my heart, I sat in my bed crying my heart out because I could not give my daughter what she needed. I still continued to try to get her to latch once we got home. I would sit on the pump every 2-3 hours pumping for 20-30 minutes. I went and bought nipple shields because her pediatrician said it might help her latch. I tried the feeding tube method and syringe but I still could not get her to latch and stay latched on. Finally June 8th, I had an appointment to go and see a lactation consultant after over a month of pumping and trying to get her to stay latched on. At our appointment with the lactation consultant, Rene’ did an examination, watched us try to latch and evaluated us. After her assessment of my daughter she came to the conclusion that she was lip and tongue tied. She also informed us that my daughter had very tight upper body and neck muscles. Rene’ referred us to amazing people to release her tongue and lip tie and also some amazing chiropractors. I took my daughter straight over to one of the chiropractors and she did a small adjustment and gave us some stretches to do at home. I then made her an appointment to see Dr. Whelan. On June 11th I took my daughter in for her procedure. When we got to the office they went over a few things with me and then Dr. Whelan came out to talk to me. He said the procedure would take about 15 minutes and then the nurse came out and took her back. About 5 minutes later the nurse came out to sit and talk with us about the after care. 10 minutes from when the nurse came to talk to me they brought my baby back to me and she was smiley and happy. They had me go back into a room and I immediately latched her on and I could even feel such a difference. It didn’t hurt and she stayed on for an entire 15 minutes eating. The next few days were rough, though. My daughter’s mouth was sore, she wanted to sleep a lot, and she hated her stretches but on the fourth day everything started looking better. She wasn’t as fussy and she was staying on like she did the first time she latched after the procedure. A little after a week later Rene’ came to my house to do a weight check before and after a feeding and in just about 5 minutes my baby had transferred an ounce. She was staying on without shields and was doing wonderful. We are very thankful for Rene’ and Dr. Whelan. They both have changed our lives by making things easier and better with just a simple procedure. I could not be more thankful for what they have done for us.
When I decided to become a mother ...
When I decided to become a mother, I knew I would breastfeed my child. It was just in me. A part of who I was and wanted to be. When I had my twin daughters I knew it would be a little more difficult than I expected, but simply because there were two babies! I never believed that breastfeeding was as difficult as everyone says it is. Needless to say, it IS as difficult as everyone says it is. After a short stay in the NICU, we brought our tiny little babies home on bottles. I was fortunate enough to get my milk to come in while using a pump every two hours. After receiving little to no help in the hospital to teach my babies and myself how to nurse properly; I was at a loss. They weren't latching properly, they loved a bottle cause it was easy, and I was discouraged and in a lot of pain. Knowing I didn't want to give up, or live attached to my pump forever, I started searching for help. I will be forever grateful that I found René! She came to my home the next day and made me feel so comfortable. She examined both of the girls and watched us closely as we showed her what we were working with. We discussed at length techniques and resources that could help me get on the road to a happy breastfeeding experience. The very same evening, she emailed me multiple resources, videos and other information to help further. Not only did it give me comfort, but also visual demonstrations to help me move forward. With dedication and patience, I am still breastfeeding my twins today at nearly 18 months old. René's help didn't stop there. Over the course of the next year and a half, if I had a question or needed some reassurance, she was there! A simple text or quick phone call was always available and with extremely prompt responses.
I will never forget the help, support and dedication that René has for her clients. She is polite, reassuring and extremely knowledgeable.
Thank you René!
(Stephanie, mother of extended breastfeeding twins)
I thought I would give ...
I thought I would give you a testimony again. I wrote to you a while back for advice on increasing my supply. I was able to solely give breastmilk until ‘C’ was 10 months old. Since then she has been supplemented with formula and we've been using our stored frozen BM supply and nursing her whatever I have. I tell you this because I think it's important for you to have success stories that vary. If you remember we fought each other to latch until my daughter was 10 weeks old. Until then I pumped and tried everything under the sun for her to latch. Your suggestions for a tongue and lip tie revision as well as chiropractic care helped us tremendously. I'm forever grateful for your advice as we will be celebrating her first birthday and she still nurses when she wants. It's an experience I will cherish and I am so glad she was able to experience. Thank you. Chelsea
When we were in the hospital ...
When we were in the hospital my baby wouldn't/couldn't latch on the first night so we were pumping and using an SNS for feeding her while at the breast. A lactation consultant came by the next day and gave us a nipple shield and helped my daughter and I learn to latch. This worked for us some but we had some issues - gas, spit up, not draining the breast (causing tons of clogged ducts), sore nipples, and of course the pain of carrying around and washing the nipple shield. I thought maybe her mouth just wasn't big enough or she wasn't strong enough yet (nobody mentioned tongue tie) so we kept with the shield for about a month. I started trying to wean her off of it and found an IBCLC for help. She told me that my daughter had prominent lip and tongue ties and they might be the problem. We began working with Rene’ because we heard from a friend that she specializes in ties. Rene’ confirmed the ties and we discussed revision. After seeing Dr Agarwal we decided to definitely have them revised as she had more and more symptoms. I really wanted to breastfeed for at least a year and I knew I wouldn't get there if something didn't change ASAP. I had constant clogged ducts, milk blisters, blood blisters, sore raw nipples and my daughter also wasn't able to suck well enough to really drain the breast or get that good sticky fatty milk, in turn not gaining much. We had the tongue released and her latch immediately felt *better* but she still was spitting up and dribbling milk, and my nipples were still totally sore and constantly clogged. About a month later we had the lip tie released thinking it MAY help with these things. And as I was still struggling with nursing due to my own pain I thought it was worth it. After having the lip released it was a world of difference. This was my first child and I had never nursed before so I didn't know what it SHOULD feel like. I thought it was okay before the lip, but after it was REALLY great. Her latch is now so much deeper, my nipples are good and normal, she nurses MUCH quicker (like 5-10 minutes total opposed to 40), she is gaining better and everything is just so much better than I thought it ever could be. For us, the lip was the missing piece. I'm so thankful for Rene and Dr Agarwal’s help. We 100% wouldn't have made it past 3 months without them.
I met Rene' after a traumatic experience ...
I met Rene after a traumatic experience with another IBCLC.
My son was born with Clubfoot and Torticollis. Breastfeeding in the early few weeks was NOT an easy or pleasurable experience. Nonetheless, Rene coached me through the difficult times beyond the initial home visit. During the home visit, she was nurturing and encouraging, important, as I felt despondent due to my son's poor latch and preferred right breast dominance.
In the following months, I was able to text, call, send pictures to Rene with any questions or concerns I experienced. She ALWAYS provided me with easy tips as well as research based data so that I could make the best informed decision of my little and our breastfeeding relationship.
Now, at 13 months, my son continues to nurse, ON BOTH SIDES! And I still call upon Rene with any questions I may have. Her welcoming nature, knowledgeable insight, and on-going encouragement have contributed successfully to feeding my child while feeling successful as a busy mom.
I should add that her knowledge of lip/tongue ties and connections within the community to alternative practices were also irreplaceable as we struggled with proper latching issues and worked towards rectifying womb positioning.
Thank you Rene for all that you have provided me and our family. We would have been lost without you!