Dr. Justin Roche
My interest in Tongue Tie dates back to 1999 when my first daughter was born. At 5 days old, having lost over 10% of her birth weight, we were fortunate enough to be able to call on the services of Carolyn Westcott, Lactation Consultant at Southampton, who diagnosed a tongue tie which was divided the same day by Paediatric Surgeon, Mr Mervyn Griffiths. Six children and four tongue ties later, I then returned to Southampton to be officially trained by Mervyn and Carolyn to divide tongue ties myself. I have been dividing tongue ties since 2008 and running a dedicated tongue tie clinic since 2010 and assess and divide tongue ties +/- lip ties in over one thousand babies each year.
I believe that every mother should have the opportunity to breastfeed her own child and enjoy the experience without pain and discomfort. As a Paediatrician, I also understand the importance of doing everything we can to improve breastfeeding rates in Ireland and therefore the long-term health of our population. Every breastfeed makes a difference.
I qualified from Leeds in 1996 already having decided that paediatrics was the path for me. I was fortunate enough to be able to get one of the first house officer (intern) jobs in Paediatrics in Leeds before moving onto SHO rotations initially at St Mary's, Isle of Wight and then at the Southampton Hospitals group. I started my specialist registrar training at Coventry followed by Birmingham Children's Hospital. As a family we then relocated to Ireland and I completed my higher specialist training between Sligo General Hospital, Crumlin Children's Hospital and The National Children's Hospital, Tallaght. As a Consultant Paediatrician I have worked at the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght and Sligo General Hospital before taking a permanent position at South Tipperary General Hospital in March 2009.
I have Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH) and have registration with the Medical Council (Number 171584) under the Specialist Division for Paediatrics.
My professional background is as a Neonatal Physiotherapist - having worked in a busy 37 bed neonatal unit with follow up until 12 months of age of all infants with extreme prematurity or developmental problems.
My interest in tongue tie is as a result of four of my six children having feeding issues secondary to ties and this gives me personal insight into the issues that parents face.
My belief is that in order to achieve the best potential outcome from a tongue tie release it involves more than just division. Feeding is a functional activity and all babies with a tie will have developed, to varying degrees, compensations. These adaptations result in tension around the jaw and can be widespread throughout the body, this in turn can interfere with selective tongue movement. Babies also need to develop the neural pathways to establish a new more effective way of feeding in preference to the pre-established patterns.
Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Qualified Antenatal Teacher
Claire Bulfin is the lead Lactation Consultant here in the clinic. Claire is a midwife, lactation Consultant and mother to four children Roisin, Cillian, Tess and Stella and lives in Waterford.
Claire has worked in Ireland for two decades as a midwife working in Maternity units in Dublin and Waterford.
Claire has practiced as a lactation consultant for the last ten years.
In addition to her qualifications in general nursing, midwifery and as a lactation consultant, Claire has recently completed a MA degree in Advanced Facilitation Skills for Promoting Health and Well Being.
“Working alongside parents is an absolute privilege, I am passionate about breastfeeding, but I am also passionate to support parents along their feeding journey, where ever this takes them”
Lactation Consultant (IBCLC CLM)
Amanda’s introduction to breastfeeding began in 1998, following the birth of her first child. Having overcome a less than optimal start to breastfeeding, sadly a lack of appropriate information and support contributed to a premature end to her and her baby’s breastfeeding journey. With the arrival of her second child, in 2006, Amanda was fortunate to receive wonderful help and information. This first-hand experience of good breastfeeding care and an awareness of the consequences of sub-optimal support, ignited her desire to train as a Breastfeeding Counsellor.
As Amanda’s experience of assisting breastfeeding families grew and as her passion to deliver optimum care increased, as did her wish to better assist mothers and babies who were presenting with difficulties of a more clinical nature. After embarking on an intensive training course to fulfill the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) required didactic series of health science education and clinical experience, she realised her dream of becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Amanda has completed the ASU Clinical Lactation Program is a member of the Council of the Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland (ALCI), the International Association of Lactation Consultants (ILCA), the Irish Association of Infant Mental Health and the International Association of Tongue-Tie Professionals (IATP). She has taken part in numerous consultative processes including literature and policy development for both voluntary and public health agencies.
Amanda works as a private practice Lactation Consultant in Galway and shares her other joys and passions with her husband and three children.
Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Public Health Nurse
Marie works full time as a Public Health Nurse and is also a Lactation Consultant. She is married to Michael and they have 3 children Will, Muireann and Tom. When starting out with her first baby, Marie found the experience quite overwhelming and was determined to exclusively breastfeed. Adjusting to her new role, Marie went on to breastfeed all of her children resulting in almost 8 years of breastfeeding. During this time she realised the huge need for proper advice and support.
Along with a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing from UCC Marie also holds a BSc Honours degree in Midwifery and a Higher Diploma in General Nursing and is a Lactation Consultant since 2009. Marie has been working with mothers and babies for the last 17 years between a career in Midwifery and Public Health Nursing and also worked as a Community Midwife in the UK on a home birth team. Presently as a Public Health Nurse Marie supports mothers in their feeding choices on discharge home with their babies. Marie has a great interest in infant and childhood nutrition and health, and enjoys working with parents during this time. Marie also acts as a referral source for her colleagues around breastfeeding issues. Marie is a member of The Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland.
“It is a great privilege to work with mums and their babies during this unique time, I feel all mums and babies are entitled to the professional support and assistance to realise their breastfeeding goals.“
Michelle has been working in Administration in South Tipperary General Hospital for over a decade. She began there in 2005 in the Admissions Department working 24 hour roster and gaining experience in areas such as Colposcopy, Dayward, Theatre, Physiotherapy, Library, Outpatients, Acute Medical Assessment Unit, Healthcare Records and finally ending up in her current position as Secretary to the Deputy General Manager and Administration Assistant for Dr. Justin Roche at the Infant Feeding Centre.
Michelle is currently on the Committee for the Emergency Services Cycle. Each year in June a walk and cycle for up to 750 participants is carefully organised and all monies raised go to a chosen local charity. This year is the 10th Anniversary of this charity all in memory of her colleague and friend, Advanced Paramedic, Jim Hogan.
Michelle’s main passion for much of her life has being playing the piano accordion, classically trained and is bashful in admitting she is All-Ireland Champion on a number of occasions.