Dear Mr Tanner,
You may recall, you performed a bilateral breast reduction on me in 1998, the surgery requiring the re-positioning of my nipples when the breast tissue was removed. I came to see you in late 2009/early 2010 to discuss the pains I was having in my breasts, which we believed might be the reconnecting milk ducts and nerves. I also came to visit you in 2010 to show you my, although limited, success in breastfeeding my daughter.
I have been meaning to contact you for a while to let you know that I was able to breastfeed her for 6 months, although not exclusively. I discovered that she had an anterior tongue-tie which affected her ability to latch, which wasn't diagnosed until she was 8 weeks old and not released until she was 9 weeks old. This damaged my already limited milk supply and I was referred to a lactation consultant who provided me with a system known as the SNS or supplementary nursing system. This is essentially a bottle that is suspended around your neck from which two thin tubes extend and are taped to your nipples, providing formula top-up to your nursing baby. There is a valve system that means the more breast milk the baby takes, the less formula and is often used for re-establishing milk supply and even for adopted babies, to provide that bond with its mother. Using this system I was able to provide my daughter with the very limited milk supply I had and supplement it to ensure her healthy growth.
In March I gave birth to our second daughter. She had also inherited a tongue-tie, posterior this time, and after an early release I was once again referred to a lactation consultant. The NHS no longer gives the SNS out so I bought one myself (about £40) and have been using this. I have between 30 and 60ml of breast milk for most feeds she requires and although I am not breast feeding exclusively, I feel blessed to be able to give her even this small amount.
So my reason for contacting you is two-fold. First to thank you once again for your support when I was pregnant with my first daughter and a new mother and second to send you this information in the anticipation that someone like me will pass through your clinic in the future and be assured that there is a way to breast feed even after extensive breast surgery.
My very best regards to you.
30 May 2013