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Thread: Still Struggling-Occupational therapy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Still Struggling-Occupational therapy?

    kkal4 · you!
    Posted 1 hour ago I have a 13 1/2 week old little girl and we have been struggling with breastfeeding from the start. Initially she had a shallow latch that I worked with multiple LC's to correct. The 5 th one finally realized that she was tongue-tied and we had that clipped at about 5 weeks. By this point I was already seriously damaged and in pain every time we nursed. I took advil around the clock to make it even tolerable.

    We then battled thrush and we treated with diflucan and gentian violet. Once that was gone and things didn't improve, I started to have pus coming out of my worse side. I went to another BF'ing medicine doc and was put on antibiotics and antibotic ointment. I have used APNO, lanolin by the bucketfull, and air dried with minimal benefit. Finally 2 weeks ago I began exclusively pumping and have finally seen some healing.

    I have tried putting her to the breast twice in the last week. She latched on great and both times it was a lot less painful due to the healing. Unfortunately, it still feels like sandpaper when she sucks and I know that she is still doing damage. 6 LC's 's have looked at her latch and feel that it isn't the problem but more that she is doing something abnormal with her tongue that is causing the problem, possibly due to the delayed tongue-tie clipping.

    Is there anything I can do to teach her to suck differently or use her tongue differently? Does occupational therapy do any good? Anything else?

    I really want to nurse her directly but can't do it with open sores on my nipples continuously. I am planning on mostly pumping for now but putting her to the breast once or twice a week so hopefully she mantains her latch while also signaling appropriate changes in my milk to tailor to her needs.
    I am so frustrated after struggling for the last 3 months. I will continue to EP is that is what I have to do but I am hoping that I will be at least able to nurse her part time. I work full-time so it would only be evenings/weekends anyways. Even if I can't fix her tongue I am hoping that once I am healed I might be able to nurse her some of the time without getting too damaged.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Still Struggling-Occupational therap

    Yikes, this does not sound fun!

    I don't have personal experience with tongue tie, but I have learned on these forums that clipping the tie often does not immediately fix the bad latch. I think one of the mamas here has written about tongue exercises that you can do with your LO. Because babies like to imitate faces, they will often play along. Basically, you stick your tongue out really far, encouraging your LO to do the same. And you make a wide latching on face, etc. If you're going to be EP'ing for a bit while you heal, you can be practicing this.

    I don't know about OT for this issue, but I've heard lots of great things about it for other issues ... my little boy might have sensory processing issues so I have been looking into it for that. You could always try to get a consult with an OT, and see whether they feel that the treatment would be helpful. Keep looking for answers ... if you could go back to breastfeeding, that would be so wonderful, for both you and your little girl. As a working mom, I found it to be such a lovely and important way to reconnect after working all day.

    I hope someone more knowledgeable will come along soon. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time -you are a trooper, for sure. I hope you can get some relief soon.

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Still Struggling-Occupational therap

    I'm thinking speech therapy would be the way to go - they deal w/ more oral sensory issues, and the OTs w/ fine motor.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Still Struggling-Occupational therap

    Thank you all. I have put a call into the speech pathology department here at the hopsital where I work and am waiting for a call back from someone that specializes in infant feeding problems. Thank you for the info and support. It ihas been a rough road and I am hoping that at some point it gets easier.

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