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Thread: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

  1. #1

    Default Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    My 10-week-old has a shallow latch that I can't seem to correct. The last LCs I saw seemed to say that since she's so old, it probably can't be corrected which dismays me. I'm not in pain anymore but I had a terrible loss of supply at 2 weeks which was only brought back by domperidone and lots of pumping. I would like to stop or at least cut down on the dom and the pumping but I can't do that until I know that she nurses effectively. She transfers milk fine now but I've built an oversupply and the milk is readily available. I'm afraid of what will happen when my supply is not so robust.

    I've seen a few IBCLCs and no one mentioned lip tie or tongue tie, though she does have many of the symptoms. One did note that her tongue is slightly heart-shaped but she dismissed it since she can stick it out fine. It has been suggested that I get her checked out at the local well known oral motor place, but I had a bad experience and I believe a misdiagnosis with my first so I'm reluctant to go back there. There is an ENT in town I've heard treats tongue tie but I'm not sure if I need a referral.

    On one hand, I think I'm ridiculous for thinking that a lip tie or tongue tie is causing her problems. Then sometimes it seems plausible and I want to do anything I can to have a successful breastfeeding experience. I have a couple pictures, what do the educated ladies on here think?




    Last edited by @llli*miamia; October 15th, 2011 at 02:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    Wow, that first pic is a great one! I definitely see a small but noticeable heart-shape divot on the top of her tongue. I think I would take her to the ENT, and see if the tongue can be released. If you are no longer in pain and baby can stick her tongue out past her gums, I am not sure that this absolutely needs to be treated... But I also think it's worth seeing the doc about it.

    I imagine you are DONE with the pump and the Domperidone... What do you think would happen if you slowly cut both of those things out of your life, and just let baby nurse while watching diaper output carefully? I mean, if you're not in pain when she nurses her latch must be pretty good, and a painless latch tends to be an effective latch. Perhaps if you allow the oversupply to slowly taper off, your baby will gradually increase her feeding effectiveness and by the time supply is more or less equal to demand, she'll be able to maintain it without you needing to work so hard.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    I second the above. Just go see an ENT. It won't be a wasted trip if it relieves your concerns and could possibly provide a solution to your issues. My first DD did have a tongue which was corrected at about 2 days old. It made a HUGE difference in nursing, and the pain went away immediately. Latching was so much easier, too. She also had the heart shaped tip. If you are concerned about a referral, contact your insurance company and see if that is required. If it is, my understanding is your child's pediatrician could write you one. If they give you any issues about providing one, INSIST on it (although my guess is you won't have any problems, even if they don't think this is an issue.) As far as the upper possible tie, I am not sure. Please keep us posted, as your LO's lip area on top looks VERY similar to my DD2 and I am having a hard time getting her to uncurl her upper lip. I've been suspecting a lip tie in her, and I would love to know what they say. I am bringing this up at her appointment here in a few weeks, so I'll let you know what her doc says. Good luck with everything..btw, it sounds like you are doing much better than you realize, so hang in there!!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    I'll call the ENT's office and see what they say. If I get in, hopefully it will give me a definitive answer and I won't wonder anymore. Right now I'm too scared to stop the dom or pumping and it's not killing me to do it but I can't be a slave to the pump forever. I did it for almost 2.5 years with my first DD and it wasn't a good thing. Thanks so much for your support and advice and I'll keep you updated.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    IMHO, anything that can free you from the pump is a good thing. And maybe having the ENT take a peek will be able to do that for you.

    But if baby seems to be transferring milk well, you can probably start weaning from the pump and/or meds and see how it goes. If you need to, you can always add one or both back in.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    I agree with going to an ENT. I saw a speech language pathologist for our feeding issues related to weak suck and shallow latch, and she was able to refer me to the best ones in the area. Even then, the ENT was not convinced at first it would help much because the tie is so minor, but after looking at it a few minutes he became more and more convinced a frenectomy would help. And boy did it! Five days in and she is doing sooo much better! I'm pumping a lot less! She is 8 weeks today, and I never thought we'd get here. I encourage you to look into it!
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    My son has a tight frenulum with a very noticeable heart-shaped tongue, but didn't have any problems nursing, while others here have had dealt with much less obvious forms of tongue tie and had major problems. It can be hard to tell, so if you suspect a problem, getting an expert opinion is a great idea.
    Karen
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  8. #8
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    Did you ever find the answers to your situation? I did some more research and viewed pics online and I am thinking both our kiddos have the lip tie for sure and pretty good indicator of the tongue tie. I plan to call my insurance company and find out if I need a referral to see an ENT. I want to take my DD ASAP as I think it's the cause of poor latching and inefficient feedings. I will keep you posted on my findings.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    There's a good article in the latest issue of Breastfeeding Today "Tongue-tie and the Breastfed Baby" by Diana West IBCLC http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/...9#/6f0fd029/18

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Breas...36718433032269

  10. #10
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Shallow latch: lip or tongue tie?

    I am becoming more convinced now that DD2 has this (especially as DD1 had it and needed her tongue clipped, and my husband has it!) We see her ped in a few days, and I am bringing this up. I have a feeling they will tell me it's not the case; however, I am 99% certain now! I just want a referral and let an ENT decide. And I am really certain she has a lip tie too! Thanks for posting this article...you may have just helped me more than you know!!!!!! Now if I could just find a better pediatrician......

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