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So this week has been pretty full on to say the least!
It all began last week when we went to the Gold Coast to attend the Cutting Edge: Tongue Tie Symposium.
This conference involved 20 hours over two days of presentations and workshops held by the world leaders from a variety of professions on the impacts of problematic tongue and lip ties. It was the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and involved Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, GP's, Dieticians, Paediatricians, Surgeons, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Crania-Sacral Therapists, Paediatric Dentists, General Dentists, Orthodontists, breastfeeding mamas and babies, Nurses, Midwives, Maternal and Child Health Nurses - I could go on and on. Oh...by the way, there was a "Craniologist" a head/skull/brain expert, apparently he is the only one of 2 in Australia (who would have known that there were such pros??)
To say by the end of the conference that I was "brain fried" is an understatement. After sitting down my back was killing me, but it was so worth it. I am really pleased and feel privileged to have attended. It was the best conference I have attended my whole career. I learned so much and have a thirst to learn more. What excites me the most, is that now, I can help families affected by problematic tongue and lip ties, even better than before. Please note - I say "Problematic Tongue and Lip Ties", as not all Tongue and Lip Ties cause problems.
So what did I learn?
From a health professional perspective - Assessing tongue ties for functional issues such as Infant feeding, Speech and language articulation, Dental Hygiene issues, Orthodontic Issues, Swallowing issues - it is pretty complex and a lot more complicated than we have always thought. I thought we knew a fair bit, but really, we have tapped the tip of the iceberg. I am really passionate about health and wellness and believe that sharing is caring, which is why I am going to blog about what I have learned.
From a parent/family/social perspective - The appropriate diagnosis and management of problematic tongue ties by someone who is qualified to do so, can make a huge difference to the quality of the lives of those affected. From the new family struggling to breastfeed without any answers - travelling from health care professional to health care professional and getting nowhere. To the mamas in tears fraught with the sadness with having to give up breastfeeding because they weren't making enough milk or it was too painful to breastfeed. To the sleep deprived parents - whose baby is struggling sleep because they are feeding and tiring too frequently. To the children who are struggling to establish eating solid foods to the elderly who have been unable to enjoy food for most of their lives. To those who have been bullied for spitting while they talk and for not being able to "talk properly". To those who are too shy to speak for fear of being bullied. To the teen who is unable to kiss, because of stinky breath. To the person who is suffering migraines. To those who have invested thousands of dollars in orthodontic work. I could really go on. The point I am trying to make, is that we all take our strengths for granted. Problematic tongue and lip ties - affect so many people in so many different ways. I am sure that there are many who are suffering and don't even realise that they do have a problematic tongue and/or lip tie.
Please watch this space. I am going to share with you what I have learned in my future blog posts. This is in the hope that I can help raise the awareness of this important health issue to benefit those affected. I want my healthcare colleagues to learn too, in the hope that more families are heard and able to be pointed in the right direction to get the help that they need......Kellie :-)