Body Work: Solution for Small Mouths, Recessed Chins, Car Seat Screaming

I don’t know if I can honestly say that every baby “needs” body work. But I will say without any doubt or hesitation, that every baby can benefit from body work. Many behaviors in babies that are considered “normal” can be helped with body work. Such as carseat screaming.

Both Ruby and Josiah screamed uncontrolably in the carseat. My mom and I used to call them both “The Car Seat Screamers.” Ruby was much older when I finally broke down and took her for the first time. On the way home, it was the first time she had ever been in the carseat and didn’t scream every breath. She actually slept the whole way home. From then on, she only cried if there was something wrong that was fixable (wet diaper, hungry, etc).

/*Josiah was the same way. But I was smarter with him. I actually took him when he was about a month old. He too stopped screaming immediately.

The difference with Ruby became even more apparent once we got home. Her palate was much lower!  Her head was more round. My husband came home that night and was astounded at how different she looked!

The best part, was that he could hold her without her screaming the entire time! He had never been able to hold Ruby without her crying. No one could, except me.

This is just some of the things that Body work has helped my children with. There are many other issues that can be resolved with body work.

Many moms suffering while nursing are told that there is no hope because their baby’s mouth is “too small.” Or the baby has a recessed chin and nothing can be done. WRONG! Body work can resolve these issues! Below is a link to a fantastic a-rticle that details what body work can do, how to know if your baby needs body work, and why it works. I hope it helps you!

CranioSacral Therapy: When Can It Help

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All I Want for Christmas

Earlier this month, we celebrated Ruby’s first birthday. I remembered that night I had her so vividly. For most of my labor I had Mariah Carrey’s song, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” How appropriate! It was such a magical night.

This year, the Christmas season has even more magical. I have enjoyed watching my two girls pull ornaments off the tree, look at lights, and play with the bows on the presents under the tree. It has been a great holiday season so far. And the best is yet to come!

Family and Friends have asked me w hat I want for Christmas. What I want? I want to nurse my Ruby Sue. I feel like I’m so close to it! I feel like if we can just fix her jaw, then she can start gaining weight again and have a strong enough suck without pain. The she would be able to nurse again!

She hasn’t gained weight in a while again. We have another appointment with the pediatrican on Thursday. I dread it with all my being. I know they are going to flip out because she hasn’t gained any weight.

But Ruby is very active. Walking and now, almost running! Additionally, she doesn’t eat more than 30 ounces of milk a day. She usually takes only 3.5 ounces at a time. I think it’s because her jaw hurts. She starts rubbing her jaw towards the end of the feeding, then comes off suddenly, like she just can’t take it anymore.  It’s pitiful.

Tomorrow we have a chiropractor appointment and then we’re heading to see Tim Reep (the cool CST guy). I’m praying for a breakthrough. I’m also praying for a breakthrough for my friend, Mandy. She is supposed to arrive at my house in a few minutes. I can’t wait to meet her in person. She is bringing her little Ruby Kate to be treated by Tim Reep also. I’ll let you know how it goes! I’m super excited about what lies in store!

While I’m Waiting

It’s been a while sinse I’ve had a chance to sit down at the computer and blog. Oh, how I miss it! Not too much has gone on sinse I last blogged. Right now we’re playing the waiting game.

I’m so thankful that we know what the problem is now. It’s been the problem all along. I thought the tongue tie was the biggest problem (and no doubt it definitely was a significant problem). But I knew all along there must be something else going on.

Loretta had a posterior tongue tie. I nursed her with a nipple shield until she was about 4 months old. By then her tongue grew and she was able to transfer milk without hurting me. We went on to have a great nursing relationship. So why would a tongue tie in Ruby make such a big deal? Moreover, why would she transfer milk great some times but not so great at others? God spoke the answer to me in the middle of the night, while we were in the hotel in Ft Myers.

Ruby has a misaligned jaw. Why? I’m not sure about that. I guess it could have been caused by the tongue tie. I’m not sure. But all we need to do to be able to let this poor baby feed without pain, is fix the jaw!

Ruby has seen the chiropractor about this several times. There is immediate improvement in sucking. She doesn’t loose the seal. It’s great. But by the time we get home, it’s back out of alignment again. *grrr*

We live an hour away from the chiropractor. So it’s not reasonable or affordable to go 3x a week. It’s just not. So I’m praying that Tim Reep, the CST guy, will come to my rescue. Except he’s out of town. Bummer.

My next appointment with him is Tuesday, December 13. But this will be an extra special visit with him. Why, you ask? Because Mandy from TemptestBeauty will be with me! Yes, that’s right! She’s driving down Sunday night and will stay a few days with me. Tim plans to try to help her Ruby Kate along with my Ruby Sue.

So for right now….

….I’m just waiting.

Are You Tongue-Tied?

Ruby has been running a high fever for the past three days so I took her in to see the Doctor. Today I saw Hope and she had a student with her.

Hope asked about Ruby’s metopic ridge, tongue tie, and how craniosacrial therapy went. I raved about how awesome Tim Reep is and how he fixed her palate without even reaching inside Ruby’s mouth.

The student was shocked and amazed about this mystical thing called CranioSacrial Therapy. Both Hope and I reassured her that it is legit. I admitted that I was skeptical at first as she was, but Tim Reep made me a believer.

Anyway, the conversation progressed to Ruby’s tongue tie and palate. The student asked what a tongue-tie was. I have a posterior one, so I opened my mouth and showed her mine. She showed me her tongue back and said, “doesn’t everyone have that?”

She had a tongue tie too. I didn’t tell her because I didn’t know how she would recieve it. But it got me thinking….

…. Just how common is tongue-tie? It is mis-diagnosed so frequently. It’s  not like it’s socially exceptable to walk around and look at the underside of random people’s tongues. So we all asume that the frenulum under our own tongue is normal.

I wonder how many providers have a tongue tie and don’t know it so they miss babies’ tongue ties, thinking it’s normal? Thus I’m writing this post.

Below is a picture of a NORMAL ( not common…. just because something may be common, doesn’t mean it’s normal) adult tongue. If you’re tongue doesn’t look like this, there’s a good chance that you’re tongue-tied and don’t even know it.

Normal Adult Frenulum

Normal Adult Lingual Frenulum

Still don’t believe me? Try this:

Place the tip of your tongue on the ridge behind your upper front teeth, you should be able to open your lower jaw and stretch the lingual frenula 1 to 1 1/2 inches. If there is restriction, the jaw will be unable to open fully while your tongue is still touching the ridge behind your teeth.

If the process of opening your jaw all the way requires that you stop touching the ridge behind the upper teeth with your tongue, your movement is restricted due to a tongue-tie.

Did you need braces as a child? Have TMJ? Have to purposefully think to breathe out of your nose?There’s a stonge possiblity it’s because due to the restriction of a tongue-tie. Read this:

“The resting tongue posture refers to how the tongue sits when not being used for talking, eating, drinking, smiling, yawning or coughing.

The tongue is meant to support the palate (the roof of your mouth). In the correct posture, the tip of the tongue touches the ridge behind the upper front teeth but not the teeth themselves. The rest of it is arched across the top of the mouth, in contact with the palate and contained within the teeth. When tongue forces spread across the occlusal surfaces of the teeth (their biting surfaces), the tongue will often exhibit a ridge of irritated tissue along the sides. If the tongue is pushing into the teeth, laterally, scalloping edges will be apparent along the sides.

There are many variations of incorrect tongue posture, but all cause stress within the orofacial mechanism. Just as strong, consistent winds compel trees on a bluff to grow at a distinct angle, the consistent pressures from the tongue set against the teeth may play a role in causing conditions such as an open dental bite, gum disease and bone loss, jaw joint breakdown and TMD, recurrent headaches and upper body tension, speech problems, drooling and an altered facial appearance.

Every day, each of us swallows hundreds and hundreds of times – and this isn’t even counting the swallows we take when we eat, drink or are anxious. Each exerts a small amount of pressure. By design, this pressure should be spread evenly over the palate and contained within the palatal arch. In a dysfunctional swallow, there may be inappropriate pressures exerted against or between the teeth.

non-restrictive lingual frenulum (meaning no tongue-tie is present) is needed to have a proper resting tongue posture and swallowing pattern, sufficient tongue movement for speech and to prevent undue pressure against the dentition. A restrictive frenulum (tongue-tie) may cause concern and often requires surgery. If the maxillary and mandibular labial frenula (upper and lower lip frenulum) are restrictive, stripping of the periodontal tissue or spacing between the upper anterior teeth is possible. You might also see a shortening of the upper lip or creasing of the lower lip.”

The above information is from a Orofacial Myologist website. I added the information contained within the parentheses to clarify the medical terminology.

I’m writing this post with the purpose of raising awareness for tongue-ties. The information listed above are only a few propblems caused by tongue-tie. I haven’t even gotten into the digestion problems.

Are you tongue-tied? Just because something may be common, doesn’t make it normal. Maybe you are missing tongue-ties in babies because you are tongue-tied as well. Something to think about.

P.S. To the nurse student that I met today, I hope you are not offended that I posted about you. You inspired me to do more to raise awareness of this major problem from which so many of our children are suffering. Let’s do something about it!

CST Afterall: I Should’ve Listened to Jennifer

***Warning: Super long post***

Every now and then, God brings people into my life for a reason. Even though I may not agree with them on many different topics (politics, religion, world view, etc), there is still much that I am to learn from them. I admit that sometimes in my attempt to “chew up the meat and spit out the bones,” I accidentally spit out some of the meat too. If you read one of my first posts, “I Should’ve Listened to Cee,” then you are familiar with what I’m talking about.

I have no doubts that God brought Jennifer Tow into my life to help me. And just in time, might I add. Jennifer is extremely knowledgeable about a great many different topics. However, her approach to natural healing, nutrition, etc is not widely accepted by the medical community. This causes much confusion for a desperate parent who is just trying to figure out what is best for her child. You have the doctors yelling and threatening on one side and her on the other. You do research and talk to different people you trust. Trying to make sense of it all.

Well, I didn’t listen to Jennifer about the craniosacrial therapy. We didn’t have the money to pay for it and I failed to find anyone qualified that took insurance. I did much research and found a chiropractor in Orange Park that did something similar: Sacrial Occipital Therapy (SOT).

The research was there. I had Dr. Morris (Ruby’s chiropractor that is knowledgeable and I trust him still) encouraging me that SOT may be the better route. So I went for it. Dr. Towns adjusted Ruby’s palate and I felt an immediate difference in his office. However, by the time we would arrive home, it would have already reverted to its original form.

I kinda gave up on this. Ruby is gaining weight well. We still have problems, but we’ve made a lot of progress. Let’s just move on. It’s very hard on both my kids and myself to go to doctors every single day. It’s just not sustainable. So I just let it go.

Several months ago I noticed that Ruby’s head looked weird to me. There were small ridges on the side of her head, a little back from where her temples would be. I asked Dr. Morris, Dr. Towns, and Dr. Miles about this. They all said not to worry about it. Then it got worse. The ridges become larger and grew over the top of her head. She looked like a dinosaur, no lie. I even teased her about it and called her a “Ruby-saurous.” Then a ridge developed down the middle of her forehead. Clearly something isn’t right. I did some research online and found that this is called a metopic ridge. It forms when the two frontal cranial bones become “fused” together, preventing the cranium from properly expanding. The fontanelle (soft spot) disappears. The head develops a triangular shape.

Metopic Ridge

The bones of the head begin to calcify at nine months of age. She is nine months old. This is a problem! My pediatrician kinda blew me off about it because they said, “Well, her head is still growing and that’s the main thing to look for. If it stops growing, THEN she may need to see  what a neurologist says about releasing the bones.” So…. we’re going to wait until her brain is being constricted and the bones are already fused to do something about it?! Her fontanelle was so small they had to hunt around for it for a while to find what was left!

She had a well visit 2 days before I got fed up with this and did my own research to find out what was wrong with her. Shouldn’t that have been noticed and mentioned to me at her well visit? Isn’t that the point of well visits?! To pick up on these things BEFORE they become major issues?!?!?!?!?!

*pitches a fit, throwing things violently, while screaming and yelling like a Toddler who wants to watch Mary Poppins, but has to go to the store instead.*

*Takes a mental break to calm down a bit* –

*Still breaking….*

Ok..

 

I think I’m calm enough now to continue.

I think….

Anyway! I called Tim Reep about this. Tim Reep is the CST that Dr. Morris originally referred me to when I first started working with Jennifer back in June. He calmed me down and assured me that he can help us. He said that he has much experience in this area and we will not need to go to a neurologist.

Well, her first appointment was today and I have to say, I am blow away! This man is so knowledgeable! Not just about CST, but many other things as well. He worked on Ruby for over an hour. At times there was so much heat released that he had to stop for a moment and let her cool down and his hands cool down before he could continue.

He never looked in or town inside her mouth. I don’t know how this worked, but when I fed her next (three hours after the appointment ended), her palate was fixed. I just fed her right before bed now, 12 hours after the appointment, and her palate is STILL fixed. Ruby always raised her left shoulder up to her ear when she would eat. She doesn’t do that anymore. The change in just one session is UNREAL! I want to kick myself with a steel-toed boot right now for not having sucked it up and gone back in June.

*Sigh*…. I just need to more carefully examine what I’m spitting out of my mouth. Keep the meat and get rid of the bones. God brings people to you for a reason… not so you can just let half of what they say go in one ear and out the other. Just like I should’ve listened to Cee, I should’ve listen to Jennifer. Makes me wonder what OTHER things I’ve overlooked and/or discarded that I should rethink.

The Metopic Ridge is indicated using blue arrows. The bulgue from the coronal suture is shown with red arrows.

The coronal suture is seen bulging in this picture. Also notice the triangular shape of Ruby's head.

Ruby's Metopic Ridge shown from the front.

Third Time’s a Charm

What a Crazy week it’s been!!!!! I haven’t had time to blog and so I’m about to explode. This will be a long post, so I’m warning you in advance.

Tuesday:

Everything seemed to be going great finger feeding Ruby. But Tuesday is when things noticeably started going downhill.

She started struggling to eat. It took her longer, she was working harder, and getting less milk. I made excuses, thinking it was just because she has become very good at crawling and wanted to explore her surroundings.

Wednesday:

By Wednesday, she was only eating an ounce at a time. Maybe. Sometimes less. Constantly eating, resting a few minutes, eating more. Fussy. Clingy. She was acting just like she was when she attempting to nurse with a tongue tie.

Thursday:

Thursday I decided to be brave and so I weighed her. She had only gained 1 ounce in a week’s time. Unacceptable. I kinda panicked. Actually, I really panicked. I called Jennifer Tow (I haven’t been in touch with her much lately). I explained the situation and she explained that she may still be tongue tied, encouraged me to try a bottle again, and gave me some other things to try.

So being the adult, mature, grown-up person I am, I decided to handle the news of more tongue tie drama the way any respectable person would. I put a movie on for Loretta, gave Ruby some toys to play with in her pack n’ play, climbed into the shower, and cried like a baby. Actually it was probably more like a toddler. There was screaming, yelling, fit pitching, etc. Then I called my husband, who kindly talked me off the ledge (he’s become quite good at that).

After backing off from the ledge, I figured it was probably a good a idea to feed my baby. Since the finger feeding wasn’t working, I decided to try the bottle again. Oh my goodness, it was AWFUL! She had milk pouring out the side of her mouth. What stayed in her mouth, she choked on. Completely unable to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing, the poor baby gave up. She spit out the bottle and screamed.

Finally, after playing around with the large sized tubing for the SNS, I was able to feed her a bit. I had to lower the bottle below her head and also pinch the tube with my fingers and only allow a little bit in her mouth at a time. I also had to tilt her head back all the way to keep the milk from flowing out of her mouth. It was the most pitiful thing I’ve ever seen!

Friday:

Friday arrives and I did more research online. I found a very informative website on Posterior Tongue Ties. I was reminded that it isn’t uncommon for these to be clipped multiple times. I called Dr. Sandra Sullivan and she confirmed this also.

This is why:

Once the tongue is clipped, the child is able to use portions of the tongue they have never used before. As they use the muscles for the first time, more of the tie manifests itself. It could not be seen before because that portion of the muscle had never been used before.

I was very relieved to talk to her. She also related a few other cases where two older babies had to her. The parents decided to not clip the tongue. She then received a call back from the parents a month later to clip the tongue because it became worse with age and time to the point that the baby could not even take a bottle. So, now I know that I’m complete crazy and there are others out there experiencing similar problems.

Monday:

I drove down to Gainesville to meet with Dr. Sullivan and Elyane, a therapist that works with Dr. Sullivan. They evaluated Ruby and confirmed that the tongue was indeed restricted.

Elyane identified the tie right away because there was a dark red spot in the center of Ruby’s tongue. I have noticed this spot, but dismissed it because it was in the same general area as the blister from the cut nipple shield. I figured it was scare tissue or something. Apparently the redness occurs because the tie catches the tongue in that location when the tongue is attempting to extend. I don’t know for sure, but I can imagine that it probably hurt her to extend it. My poor baby.

So our options were to re-clip her in office or see an ENT and most likely have her put under to re-clip it.

Dr. Sullivan expressed concern regarding pain now that Ruby is older. I have no doubt that it did pain Ruby to have it re-clipped, but I also believe the pain would have been greater to put her under to do so (IVs and all). I also couldn’t stand the thought of her eating pattern continuing it’s downward spiral while waiting for the ENT to schedule surgery.

Prior to the procedure, I gave Ruby arnica and hypericum. We both took Rescue Remedy.

When the nurses lifted Ruby’s tongue for it to be clipped, Dr. Sullivan and Elyane commented on the tightness of the tie, with a hint of shock behind their voices.

After the clipping, Ruby refused to eat from my finger. So we put her to the breast and she went willingly. She didn’t nurse for very long and there was little milk transfer because she wasn’t sucking much. But the fact that she went willingly is a huge step!

Ruby didn’t cry for very long after the clipping, maybe five minutes.

In order to teach Ruby to properly extend and lap milk with her tongue, I am to put slight downward pressure on the back of her tongue with my finger.

When we arrived home I immediately put her in the tub to relax her and finger fed her. She took to it right away and the difference in her ability to eat was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I gave her another dose of arnica and hypericum. I haven’t had to give any other “medicine” since. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain.

Side note:

A baby’s cranial bones are movable. This is so because it helps the baby to get through the birth canal during the birthing process. The bones naturally move back into proper alignment by the the baby nursing. This typically occurs in the first few weeks.

Therefore, when the sucking pattern of a baby is inhibited and then restored one can expect there to be changes in cranial bones. Make sense?

After she was done eating that first meal after being re-clipped, she looked different. Her forehead stuck out a little further than it did previously and there’s now a small indention in the back of her head where the soft spot is located.

I contacted the La Leche League a on Friday to get support. Someone suggested I get Ruby around other nurslings. Perhaps her seeing other babies nurse would inspire her. One the way home from Gainseville, the leader and I spoke. Her name is Krissy.

Tuesday:

Krissy came over that morning. We were not able to get Ruby back to the breast. We both thought it would be best not to push it right now, but to let Ruby recover and learn to use her tongue properly first.

I took Ruby to see Dr. Morris, chiropractor, that afternoon. Jennifer Tow suggested I have him check her Condyles. He said her right Condyle was fixed. He adjusted her.

Wednesday:

Ruby had an appointment with Dr. Towns, Chiropractor who does SOT work on her mouth, in the afternoon. After adjusting her palate again her suck became even better.

During church, I was feeding Ruby and we had a breakthrough. Ruby began using her tongue properly without me guiding her.

Another Side Note:

Originally, Ruby only pooped once a week or week and a half. After Dr. Sullivan clipped her the first time, she pooped once a day or day and a half. Now, she is pooping 4-6 times a day!

This is why:

The digestive system is a series of muscles that moves through itself. It starts with the lapping movement of the tongue while swallowing. The movement of the tongue creates a chain reaction throughout the rest of the digestive system to move the food through. If the tongue isn’t moving properly, then the messages to move food through are not sent. The bowels become full and food just sits in the intestines. Thus, the child only poops on occasion. They are also less likely to eat the needed quantity of food because they fill full because the food is not being move through the system. Once movement is restored to the tongue, the chain reaction is created and food is moved through properly.

This is important because of digestive and overall health. As food is processed by the body, the nutrients are released to nourish the body and the waste is left in the intestines. The waste needs to leave the body. If it lingers in intestines, toxins are released into the body causing a myriad of problems. Some are recognizable early on, others don’t show until much damage has already been done. I believe this is why Ruby developed eczema from store bought formula when other babies can eat it without developing the same problem.

Where We Are Now:

I haven’t attempted to nurse Ruby since Tuesday when Krissy came over. It has been a very stressful week for my family. I don’t want the stress to sabotage my attempt to nurse her. Also, I’m thinking I would like to follow up with Elyaine and verify that her suck and tongue movements are correct so that nursing will be successful when I get her back to the breast.

As for me, I’m excited! All along, even back in March when she was “clipped” by Dr. Wohl, I’ve always struggled with a sinking feeling that something was still wrong. I put on a happy face for others and tried to be optimistic. But deep down, I always knew there was more that needed to be uncovered and dealt with. But that feeling is starting to go away. I am really starting to think that the problems have been fixed.

Now that we are set up for success at the breast, we just have to get this crazy child to nurse!!!!

Correct/Additional Info About the “Cranial Stuff” & How it Has Helped Us

Like the title? I decided to go with “cranial stuff” because there are several different methods, taught by several different people. Based on Jennifer’s comment on the previous post, I did some more research and had more questions for Dr. Towns today. Found out some pretty cool stuff.

First of all, I was wrong about the method he used. I misunderstood him and the conversation I had with my other chiropractor the same day caused further misunderstanding. So that means I’ll have to go back and correct the previous post.

Dr. Towns does not perform “cranial osteopathy” by Dr. Sutherland. He uses two other methods. Sacro-Occipital Technique by Dr. Major B. DeJarnette and Vector Point Cranial Therapy by Dr. David Denton.

Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT)

SOT concerns itself primarily with the cranial sacral respiratory mechanism. This is a wavelike oscillation in the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Although quite subtle, this motion is essential for the normal functioning of the brain and spinal cord, and thereby the rest of the nervous system and the rest of the body. It functions much like breathing air, in that it has a cyclic tightening and loosening phase. Ordinary respiration–breathing air in and out–also affects and can be used to normalize cranial sacral respiratory action. The normal function of the cranial sacral respiratory mechanism is recognized as a primary function of life in the body and must be normal if all functions of the body are to be normal. Like other chiropractic techniques, SOT also corrects abnormal spinal mechanics and any associated nerve problems. These can include back pain, headaches, dizziness, arm and leg pains.

This information was taken from http://www.sotousa.com

You can visit the above website for more information.

Vector Point Cranial Therapy

This therapy is low force and non-invasive. Developed by David Denton, DC, Vector Point Cranial Therapy operates from the premise that most of the subluxations in the body are secondary to a primary subluxation. Once the primary subluxation is corrected, any secondary subluxation will correct on its own. Primary subluxations are located in either the cranium or pelvis. All other subluxations are compensatory and may be located throughout the spine or the jaw. The cranium and pelvis subluxate due to something called dural tension.

The dura is a fibrous sheet that covers the brain and spinal cord. Its attachments begin inside the skull and then work their way down the spinal canal, finally anchoring at the lowest bone in the spine, the sacrum. It has many purposes, one of which is to allow for the free flowing of cerebral spinal fluid. This process, called the Cranial Sacral Respiratory Mechanism, is maintained in part by the subtle movements of the cranial bones.

When the cranial bones are subluxated, dural tension is created. When dural tension is created, the uppermost neck vertebrae and the jaw joints react. When the uppermost vertebrae react, the rest of the body, including soft tissues like organs, adapt. So you can now see that from one subluxation, an entire pattern of compensation and adaptation takes place within the body.

This information was taken from http://hetrickchiropractic.com

You can visit the above website for more information.

How it Has Helped Us

Ruby’s first appointment with Dr. Towns was last Monday. He adjusted her palate bone and sacrum. The mobility of her tongue has significantly increased! Her palate feels completely different. She has even started clicking her tongue. She has significantly less gas after eating and her suck is stronger. Yay! for progress!

Cranial Osteopathy Now Instead of CST

Several people have advised me to take Ruby to craniosacral therapy (CST). The reason we have put it off for so long is because we were having trouble finding someone who took our insurance. Plus I didn’t understand it; So naturally, it wasn’t a priority. Now that Ruby is seeing Dr Morris (chiropractor) it has become more of priority.

CST is a therapy dealing with the Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). When there is tension or other problems, it restricts the flow of hte CSF through the spine. This affects the performance of other organs that recieve messages from the brain via the CSF and nervous system, particularly the digestive system.

After making several phone calls and doing much research online, I finally found someone who takes our insurance. I called to make an appointment and also confirmed that he had experience with CST on babies. Today was her first appointment.

I explained Ruby’s medical history to him. And it turned out that he has never heard of a postior tongue tie (no surprise there). He explained that he doesn’t do CST. Appartantly CST is taught to whomever pays the fee to attend the lessons. Therefore there are several people who do CST work on paitents but are not really qualified. There also is not very much medical evidence to support CST.

However, Dr. Towns practices Cranial Osteopathy. It is a similar method and aims to accomplish the same thing, but it only taught to chiropractors. It is much more evidence based. Below is a chart comparing the two.

Cranial Osteopathy Craniosacral therapy
Results Consistently outstanding results. Variable results.
Scope of treatment Unlimited. Treats all body systems and tissues. Includes treatment of brain, bones, muscle, nerves, lymph, fascial and internal organ systems. Also includes treatment of arms, hands, legs and feet. Breadth of knowledge is inclusive. Variable with limited scope. Some are trained in treating spine, lymph, nervous, brain, organ and joints systems but many are not. Breadth of knowledge here can be highly variable–please ask individual practitioner.
License Fully licensed physicians. D.O. = Doctor of Osteopathy. Recognized in all fifty states and practiced throughout the world. No licensing exists anywhere.
Training 5 years minimum. Four years Osteopathic medical school plus one to three years of hospital residency. Throughout this training, practitioners complete hundreds to thousands of hands-on apprenticeship hours with expert Osteopaths. Variable. Most are licensed massage therapists or physical therapists with as little as 4 days of formal craniosacral instruction.
History of creation Discovered by A.T. Still, MD in 1874. Eighteen years later, after countless cured and its theories proven, the first school of Osteopathy was founded in Kirksville, Missouri in 1892. Dr. Still reasoned that the body has the innate ability to heal and that restrictions in the tissues are but delays. Once those are removed, nature has no route but to deliver perfect health. Superb anatomical knowledge was the foundation. Tissue balancing was the method. The physician’s hands were the tools. W.G. Sutherland, DO, under Still’s direction, developed the cranial concept, detailing motion of the cranial bones and central nervous system and their role in underlying disease, from migraine to ear infections to seizure. Today, only Cranial Osteopaths practice these traditional methods. We make up less than two percent of all Osteopaths out there. Craniosacral therapy was born from the womb of Osteopathy. J.E. Upledger, DO, himself an Osteopath, began teaching limited Osteopathic techniques and philosophy in 1985. He teaches mostly massage therapists, physical therapists, and other paying non-physicians. What he can not teach, because he instructs non-physicians, is medical diagnosis. No diagnosis often leads to a faulty and misguided treatm

Chart takes from http://www.originalosteopathy.com/craniosacral/

Upon examining Ruby, he discovered that her sacrum was misaligned and her palate was misshaped. He adjusted both. He said that a misshaped palate will cause problems sucking. That hinders the proper flow of CSF, which causes a lack of bowel movements. He wants to see her next week. Hopefully this will help her. If her sucking improves, then it’s one step closer back to the breast.

Following the appointment with Dr Town’s, we had an appointment with Dr Morris (her current chiropractor). I explained what happened with Dr. Towns. He said that he is more confident in cranial work than craniosacrial.

So now she is seeing two chiropractors. Dr Town’s for cranial work and Dr. Morris for everything else. Whatever works, right?

**Update**

Found out that Dr Towns does not use Cranial Osteopathy. He uses SOT and Vector Points Cranial Therapy. For more information about this, see my post Correct/Additional Info About “Cranial Stuff” & How it Has Helped Us.

The Plan

After talking with Jennifer Tow for several hours the other day, there are problems with Ruby that we didn’t even know about. After watching her attempt to nurse, drink a bottle, and accessing our history and diet, there is much work to be done.

Problem 1: My Milk Supply

Jennifer suspects that due to Ruby’s inability to nurse properly, my milk supply may not have ever been fully established. If it was, then there is a good possibility it was compromised early on. As of right now, I can only pump between 3.5 – 5 ounces every three hours. That just simply isn’t enough for a six month old baby, particularly one that has much catching up to do.

Solution: Take herbs and change diet

    • I am to order galactogogue tea. This tea was made by a mama, struggling with milk supply also. I must contact her personally to order it.
    • Order and take Go-Lacta
    • In the meantime I am taking More Milk Plus from Motherlove (More Milk Plus Special Blend was the top recommendation, but Whole Foods doesn’t carry it).
    • The diet changes were discussed in my previous post. But I am eliminating Gluten and Dairy.
    • I am eating one avocado a day. This will be a particular challenge for me, as I hate them with a brutal passion. I think they taste like mashed up grass. Time to get my creative juices flowing and find ways to make this awful tasting stuff bearable. Calling my Sister-in-law will be a start. She supposedly makes really good guacamole.

The reason for eating an avocado is this: There is fat contained within the fruit that stimulates communication in the body between the intestines and the breasts. When the gut is damaged by improper eating habits, lack of good bacteria, etc, this communication is compromised, resulting in less milk production.

Further ideas to help increase my supply:

    • Obtaining a breast shield for my pump that is the correct size
    • hand expressing milk after the pump has pulled down all it can
    • I’m also considering un-weaning Loretta
    • Getting Ruby back to the breast

Problem 2: Ruby uses the wrong muscles to eat

Because of her inability to move her tongue to eat, Ruby compensated by using different muscles. She engages her neck, shoulder, and chest muscles when eating. Even now when she is drinking from a bottle she brings her shoulders up near her ears, pulls her chin down into her chest and tenses all these muscles.

Solution: Chiropractor and CranioSacrial Therapy (CST)

Jennifer found a chiropractor that is experienced and knowledgeable of Ruby’s condition and the treatment thereof.

I have very little understanding of CST, but have been told by several people that I trust that it will be very effective in treating this problem.

Problem 3: Possible Tongue Tie Reattachment

Following Ruby’s initial tongue clipping, I wasn’t given to exercises to do with her to prevent it from reattaching. It is possible that it may have reattached for this reason.

Solution: Re-evalutate her tongue and possibly re-clip it

I was initially concerned about the treatment of this. The only ENT in town that would touch her tongue was the doctor who originally clipped it. The only reason he was willing to do what he did is because he clipped it while she was under general anesthesia  for a hernia repair.

But Jennifer has friends in low places. She has connections to a doctor in Gainesville who is willing to re-evaluated and possibly re-clip her tongue in an office visit. W00t!

Update: Dr. Sandra Sullivan contacted me PERSONALLY to re-clip Ruby’s tongue that day (June 17). It turns out that her tongue did not re-attach, but instead, wasn’t clipped far enough. The only way to tell if the tongue has been freed is if the infant has mobility. This is impossible to tell if she is unconscious.

After the clipping, they were able to get Ruby back to the breast. It was so wonderful, having her nurse for the first time in over a week. They had me use a bigger nipple shield (I was using 16mm, they brought me 24mm) and dipped it in sugar water. Some may consider it to be cheating, but I’m ok with cheating.

Problem 4: Ruby’s slow (or lack of) weight gain

Jennifer believes that this is in large part due to a gut problem that is enabling her to absorb her nutrients properly.

There are several reasons that Ruby has an unhealthy digestive system:

    • While in utero, an infant’s digestive system is dormant. Once the infant is born and begins to move his/her tongue while nursing, the movement of the tongue awakens the digestive track. Due to the restriction of her tongue, her digestive system may not have become fully operational. This is why many tongue tie babies only have bowel movements once a week. The stool just sits in the intestines.
    • When Ruby went on her nursing strike, I was unable to pump enough for her and had to use store bought formula to supplement. Formula is dead (as opposed to breast milk, which has living cells in it). It doesn’t provide the same nutrients, fiber, and bacteria that breast milk does. Therefore it compromises the digestive system.
    • My diet and intestinal flora will strongly influence the baby’s health and intestinal flora. There’s a popular and true statement that is applicable here. “Heal the mother and you will heal the baby.”

Solution: There are several things that need to happen over time to fix these problems.

    • Give Ruby probiotics
    • Make my own formula
    • The chiropractor will help to fully awaken the digestive track
      • He has an adjustment he does to her back that stimulates the nervous that travel to the intestines. Since she has been seeing him (June 17) she has been having 1-2 bowel movements a day.
    • Correct my diet and take probiotics myself
    • Have the tongue re-clipped
      • Dr. Sandra Sullivan contacted me PERSONALLY to re-clip Ruby’s tongue that day (June 17).
So there you have it! There’s the Plan! Wish me luck.