In a world that is filled with inequality and poverty, breastfeeding can provide a remedy to hunger and malnutrition for babies, even in a crisis. World Breastfeeding Week is organised by three global health organisations: World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF.

The event runs from August 1 – 7 this year and is held in more than 120 countries. The purpose of the celebration is to protect, promote and support breastfeeding, particularly for the first six months of life. This provides critical nutrients, protection from potentially deadly diseases and substantial health benefits for the child. The event also emphasises the benefits for the mother too; burning calories and producing oxytocin, which helps return the uterus to its original size and reduces the risk of breast or ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.

As with anything in life, breastfeeding is not always straightforward. Sometimes medical issues can make it more difficult. One of the most common is tongue-tie. It affects 11% of babies and is more common in baby boys.

Tongue-tie is when the piece of skin connecting the baby’s tongue to the floor of its mouth is shorter than average. Some babies don’t seem to be affected by it and can breastfeed happily, but for others it can seriously inhibit their ability to feed. A baby needs to latch onto both the breast itself and the nipple at the same time, while using their tongue to cover their lower gum. This prevents the mother’s nipple being damaged. A baby with tongue-tie simply isn’t able to open its mouth wide enough to do this properly, causing sore, cracked nipples, mastitis or low milk supply in the mother. This results in families needing to turn to formula much earlier than it is recommended.

If your baby is feeding successfully with no problems, great! But if not, we are able to offer a very simple solution: tongue-tie release. This simple, completely painless procedure is very quick and effective, meaning that problems with feeding are often fixed instantly. All it involves is a tiny snip to the tongue, which will fully heal within days.

If your baby has tongue-tie and you are having issues feeding, give our friendly and experienced team a call. You’ll soon see how we can support you in moving forward with breastfeeding and improving the lifelong health of both you and your baby.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Dr. Debra L. Hamila, Au.D., CCC/A

Debra Hamila received her master’s degree in audiology from Cleveland State University and her Au.D. from Arizona School of Health Sciences and has been a practicing audiologist for more than 33 years. She has worked in a variety of ENT offices, hospital, and clinical settings.
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.