A tremendous help in our breastfeeding journey

We would like to give our thanks to Mary for all of her help, and we offer the following testimonial.

Mary Ryngaert and the Center for Breastfeeding and Newborns have been a tremendous help in our breastfeeding journey.  Early on, Mary was able to identify a posterior tongue tie that was possibly making it difficult for our little one to latch on properly.  We discussed correcting the tie, but decided to hold off because our son was gaining well and things seemed to be okay.  Once it became clear that the tongue tie was creating problems, Mary was able to correct the tongue tie with a simple in-office procedure and we saw immediate results.  We appreciated Mary’s conservative and concerned approach to taking care of our son.

Mary has always been sensitive, nurturing and patient as she guides us to breastfeeding success!

Thank you!

Continuing to nurse like a champ

Hi Mary,

I came to see you over the summer with my son, Jackson.  He was born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and had been fitted with a NAM orthodontic appliance.  I never did get back to you about our success with breastfeeding while he was wearing the NAM but I wanted to update you on our situation.

After a couple weeks of diligent work, Jackson finally began to nurse while wearing his NAM about 50% of the time.  The other 50%, he would insist on it being taken out.  Nursing while wearing the NAM was uncomfortable for me but it made things much easier when he would wear it while nursing.

Jackson had his lip revision 3 weeks ago and is doing well.  He is continuing to nurse like a champ when I am home and takes expressed milk from a bottle during the day.  I have even managed to build up a “stash” in my freezer of nearly 300 ounces!  He is 4 months old and, at this point, I am confident that we will be able to make it to 12 months of being EBF.

I really appreciated your help and suggestions for breastfeeding Jackson with his NAM.

Mary helped me find that balance

After having my first child at a birth center with no interventions I was devastated to learn I needed a c-section for my twins because twin A was breech. But I underwent the surgery, and two beautiful and healthy souls came out. I breastfed my first exclusively and had every expectation that everything would go well with the twins. Indeed, they nursed exclusively for the first three days, each of them feeding every 2 hours. No latch problems to speak of. It seemed fine, easy even. We were discharged. We went home. And they got more and more yellow. They weren’t well. They screamed a lot. My first child had major digestive issues due to allergies to so many of the things I ate. I was so stuck in that moment, fearing that the twins were also having digestive problems. They were getting sicker, faster. On day six, I called my pediatrician to suggest formula…which for me, was my worst nightmare. I had no idea how to start formula, what to do, what kind of bottles to get, what kind of sterilizing equipment I would need. Nothing. But my pediatrician said to hold off. Keep breastfeeding as often as possible, and they referred me to Mary. We got in the very next day. And in all of our sleep stupor we couldn’t see what Mary could…our babies weren’t getting enough food. They were sick because I wasn’t producing enough milk. It seemed impossible. I’d done everything right—feeding on demand, taking my vitamins, getting a good diet. So I was on a rush plan to try to increase my milk supply. I worked at it as I could. I just didn’t have the time to pump and take care of two babies but I did try as much as I could. Anything but formula I said to myself. I felt so empowered by Mary. I wanted to make it work.

But despite my efforts to pump between each feeding, I couldn’t get enough to feed the babies, and their condition was getting worse. Mary had given me her cell phone, and I called at night, when no nurse or doctor that I know would have answered on first ring. But Mary did. She nonchalantly told me we were going to introduce formula, and we did. And the babies got better and better.

I kept nursing both of them and trying to pump when I could. It was rough. There were two babies, not one, and I had to figure out some kind of balance. But I went to see Mary quite a bit to try to correct latches that had gotten poor due to using bottles, to work on strategies to increase my supply. She worked tirelessly with me. Always encouraging. Always available. Always understanding of the fact that I couldn’t do the utmost all the time because I had two babies and a 5 year old that I had to care for. She was always willing to go as far as I was, but never pushy. She just seemed to get it. Finally after I’d tried all of the natural stuff, she suggested another intervention, and that one worked like a champ. I was overflowing with milk. Now it was about getting the babies to move toward breastmilk as their main supplementation. I thought my boy would go for it because he was a barracuda baby when born. But alas, he had no patience when it came to food. He got so impatient he had a hard time latching onto a bottle let alone a breast when hungry. But my girl would go for it. So over the next month Mary worked with me a lot to get my daughter up to speed with taking the breast exclusively for food. And when I noticed a steep drop in my supply and couldn’t figure out why, she discovered that my daughter’s suck wasn’t strong enough, and got me in with another specialist who with one short appointment had the entire issue solved.

I’m proud to say that after 3 months of fighting to breastfeed my babies, I was able to get one to exclusively breastfeed, and she never received another bottle of formula until she was 6 months, and even then, it was a rarity. I was also able, due in large part to Mary, to continue breastfeeding my son well past 6 months even though he got most of his food from formula. Given my situation, I was really happy with that. I’d fought for it. I had the right support with Mary, and the right tools. Had I had a singleton I have no doubt that the baby would have been exclusively breastfed. But I had twins, and a kindergartener. I had to figure out what would work given the time commitments I had to my kids.

Mary helped me find that balance. She helped me determine my own goals and how to achieve them. Both of my twins still breastfeed at nine months and I expect they will for months to come. But in a tough 6 months, Mary was a bright light in a difficult time. She made me feel good about myself, was constantly available, and was at every turn supportive without making me feel any kind of pressure to conform to any kind of standard. I credit so many of my successes in my breastfeeding relationship with my kids to her perseverance, patience, encouragement and expertise.

What you all do is so very important

I am such a strong supporter of breastfeeding!  I was before having my son and am so even more now.  It’s such a wonderful bonding experience and there are just so many benefits!  I owe my successful breastfeeding experience in large part to the wonderful support of the UF Center for Breastfeeding.  Although I did not have my son at Shands I was referred to the center because of the great difficulty I had nursing in the first 6 weeks.  After trying everything all other professions (and friends and family) suggested I came to see Mary and she found my sons posterior tongue tie at 6 weeks old.  It was clipped that week and our nursing experience changed forever!  I cried through every feedings during the first 6 weeks as it was so very painful, and between jaundice and problems nursing it took Jacob a month to re-gain back to his birth weight.  Because of our experience at UF I am so proud to report he ended up nursing exclusively (with the addition of food when he was old enough) until he weaned himself at 17 months!  He is the happiest, healthiest 20 month old I’ve ever met and I know that nursing played a role in his well being today.  After my experience nursing Jacob I’ve had thoughts of becoming a lactation consultant and if i didn’t already have a career I’m happy with I would consider it.  What you all do is so very important so THANK YOU!  And if there is any way I can play a role in education about the benefits of breastfeeding I’m happy to help!