Jeanne Pichoff, an occupational therapist and certified lactation counselor, said having a support system ripped away can be devastating to any new mom.
"I know that babies are still being born and families are still going to find themselves in a situation where feedings are not going as they hoped or expected," Pichoff said. "The need for the village is still there, but the village is more virtual."
Pichoff said, before COVID-19, parents would go into her office and she was able to help them hands on. One of the issues that she frequently deals with is tongue tie.
"It's a condition where the frenulum or connection under the tongue, that attaches the to the floor of the mouth, is tighter or shorter than it needs to be," Pichoff explained. "This is where it restricts the movement of the tongue and impacting function. The impact on function is the biggest part of this. We can't look at a tongue and say, "that's tied," we have to look at the whole picture."
Pichoff said her meetings with clients have changed. She had to developed new ways of helping them and has had to tap into other senses.
"I definitely, instead of using my tactile senses or my hands to get a good feel of what is going on with baby, I have to use my eyes and ears a lot more," Pichoff said. "The intensity of trying to explain what I need the parent to do...I've had to evolve some skill set to adapt. It's working and I want families to have access to this help."
Pichoff said there is a wide network of people able to help with tongue tie issues--but right now time are different and getting the help may be a little more difficult.
She said that is where a therapist may come in and help a parent buy some time.
"This time is so unique because dentist offices are closed and some ENT offices are closed as well. Families might not be able to get surgical treatment for tongue tie, if that is warranted, unless there is a really pressing issue going on. Some of those issues are failure to thrive or weight gain," Pichoff said.
For more information on pediatric therapy and lactation you can go to www.flourishptl.com.
You can also email Pichoff at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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