“I remember when she was done and she came off and I am looking at her and I was like, is she done or did I break her. I lifted up her little arm and I remember it just flopping down and I said to my husband. Either she is really full or really drugged up from the morphine”.
Dominique has been an IBCLC for 3 years but has been helping mothers with birth and breastfeeding for the past 6 years. Dominique works as an IBCLC at a local hospital in Roanoke, Va. She maintains her private practice where she works as a doula as well as lactation support. Dominique is the new Director of Marketing for USLCA. In her spare time, she hangs out with her adoring husband and awesome children.
Naming her children:
Dominique begins the show by sharing with us how she chose her children’s names, specifically how she came to name her 3rd baby Giovanni and yet calls him Frankie. We talked about how the hospitals like their routines and are not thrilled with families taking their time naming their baby.
Her first breastfeeding experience:
Dominique described her first birth as quite traumatic. She was given morphine and was so heavily medicated that she does not remember much. A lot of what she shares with us comes from her husband’s recollection as Dominique states she was pretty out of it. Her husband was given the baby and the bottle of formula and was told he needed to feed the baby as she needed to eat. She vomited much of what she was given. The next day when she was awake more, she was given the baby and the bottle and told that she could not breastfeed because of the morphine she was given. Dominique questioned the nurse about being able to breastfeed her baby. The nurse had the physician come into the room, who told her that it was safe to breastfeed with the morphine.
Dominique was taken aback though as neither the physician or the nurse stayed in the room to help her with breastfeeding. Dominique and her husband were like: Okay, so now what do we do. Her instincts kicked in and Dominique just layed down in bed, unsnapped her hospital gown, took off the babies blanket and snuggled her in so close to her.
She held her breath and just told her baby that it was her turn. She opened her mouth and just latched on. There was no pain and as a matter of fact Dominique dozed off. When she woke up, she asked her husband: did she eat? Her husband said: I think so. She just stopped and he held the baby because he was not sure about the baby sleeping with Dominique. About 4 hours later, she woke up again and they asked each other the same question: What should do we do? Dominique decided that since it seemed to work last time, that she would do the same thing again. So, she offered her the breast and her baby just latched right on. When she finished, she seemed quite limp.
Dominique cracked me up because she and her husband have such a great sense of humor. After that feeding, her arm was limp. Dominique said to her husband she either is full or she is drugged up from the morphine. Her husband responded by saying: Let’s just hope it is the food and not the morphine.
Dominique thought this was so cool. She decided that she wanted to create a job in which she could help moms with breastfeeding. When she told her friends, they enlightened her that this profession has already been created. They are called IBCLCs! We had a good laugh about this.
We had a great conversation on the positive aspect of learning about breastfeeding and taking a class. There is also something really organic about just being in bed with your baby, allowing them to hang out on your chest and just let them find their own way.
Breastfeeding with all 3 babies:
Breastfed her first baby for 14 months. Dominique was not ready to give up “the dream.” She continued to pump for another month until her daughter just kept refusing to drink her breastmilk. She was not prepared for this weaning experience.
Her second baby absolutely loved breastfeeding and nursed for several years. Her son, who is 19 months old, continues to nurse. He seems to be done at times and at other times, it is like he is a newborn.
Her son, was difficult in the beginning because he was tongue tied. Dominique admits that she was in denial about her son being tongue tied. Both her first and second baby were diagnosed with tongue tie, however, it never impacted negatively on her breasteeding. The Frenotomy procedure was performed during her hospital stay.
Nursing was painful from the very beginning. Latching on was very difficult. However, when she was told that he was tongue tied, she was like: No, he is not. She was struggling so much and her husband encouraged her to get it done because she was in so much pain. Dominique had the great fortune to have given birth at a baby friendly hospital that has full lactation coverage. She was able to have the frenotomy procedure during her hospital stay. She said the procedure was easy for her son as they used the scissor method. He slept through the procedure.
Dominique says that after that, breastfeeding was smooth sailing. Her nipples healed quickly, the pain resolved and Frankie also seemed to do better with breastfeeding as far as getting better feedings because she noticed less cluster feeding.
We talked about how fortunate Dominique was to have seen the lactation consultants, who noticed the tongue tie and had physicians who would do the procedure in the hospital. This is not the norm in most hospitals where the procedure is done during the hospital stay.
How Dominique talks to parents about tongue tie:
Dominique tells us that in her early days as a lactation consultant, she realized ( based on feedback) that the words she was using to describe the tongue tie procedure, was worse then getting the procedure itself. She had to revisit the language she was using in order to have parents really be able to hear what it is she was saying. I respect the fact that Dominique can acknowledge that she continues to learn from each mother and baby. We don’t know it all and we are all always learning.
USLCA – https://uslca.org/
eMail: [email protected]
Her Story. Part 2
What does Dominique really love about breastfeeding?
She likes the fact that in her experience it is an instant healer. Everybody tells her that she seems to be so calm and always seems to know what to do. Dominique says that is absolutely not true. She referenced a comedian who said that having a kid is like treading water and then someone hands you a baby. She said that is how she feels all the time. We are always trying to figure out what to do.
This is how Dominique describes her breastfeeding now –
The beauty of breastfeeding now, is that if something happens I am not forced to figure it out. I can just put them to breast because it is comforting to them. While they are nursing, i can look them over and assess for damages. I can look around, I can think. I can check for blood. I can see if I can figure out why this baby crying. Am I crazy, is the baby crazy? It helps to calm me down too. It is a great parenting tool. She often jokes with her husband – When I am done breastfeeding, we are going to have to figure out how to be a parent. When I am not able to nurse them anymore, we will actually have to ask them if they are hurt. We are going to figure out how to parent. Nursing is an instant healer. It grounds me and gives me time to respond to a situation rather then react to a situation and this helps my kids too.
Lori shares a story about how she wishes she could use breastfeeding as a tool to parent her kids when they were teenagers. A broken relationship, a crying teenager. What could be better then to nurse them to comfort them and calm them down and help them when words don’t help. Dominique can really relate to this.
Dominique’s career and volunteer work:
Hospital IBCLC: She works in the hospital and assists moms with breastfeeding during their hospital stay. She also sees moms on an outpatient basis.
USLCA – She is the Director of Marketing. The role of USLCA is to help the IBCLCs with their career. They have conferences and webinars to help IBCLCs advance their career. She is in charge of Social Media. It is Dominique’s work when you see any press or any Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and some information on the website. She really enjoys this position as she loves talking to people. This is a volunteer position and as she said this is a “working job.”
Words Wisdom to new moms:
Relax. Take this one feeding at a time. Always ask for help. From an IBCLC , their partner, their mother, family friend, support group. Even for the small things. Hold a baby sit and chat with them, Do not hesitate to ask. She reminds moms that just because the latches have not been going so well, you have many times to try and practice.
If you can’t do a chore, you can’t come see the baby. This is what she tells moms to tell their helpers. You don’t need help holding your baby. You need help with the practical thing, like the dishes, the laundry, entertaining your other children and cleaning.
This baby is not going to be 18 years old when it leaves the hospital and then move out. You will be able to see the baby when he is still a baby.
Lori shared her usual suggestion of having an Open House. This is where the parents decide on a day and a time. Invite family and friends over for 1-2 hours, have refreshments available and enjoy each others company. When the time is up, have one person let everyone know that the Open House is now closed. Now they have seen the baby and parents don’t have to feel guilty about not letting them see the baby.
USLCA – https://uslca.org/
eMAil: [email protected]
USLCA – https://uslca.org/
eMail: [email protected]
listen Now Part 2
Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC
Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is a huge breastfeeding supporter. She has spent much of her adult life working in the maternal health field. Once she became turned on to birth and became a childbirth educator, there was no stopping her love of working with families during their childbearing years. Lori became a Birth doula and a Postpartum doula and soon became a lactation consultant. She has been helping moms and babies with breastfeeding for over 25 years. Lori founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding where she meets with moms one on one to help solve their breastfeeding challenges. She is an international speaker, book author and the host of the popular itunes podcast, All About Breastfeeding, the place where the girls hang out. You can reach Lori by email at: [email protected] or contact her via her website: allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/contact
Submit a comment
your email address will not be published