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Thread: 3 week old with tonge-tie

  1. #1

    Default 3 week old with tonge-tie

    My son is 3 weeks old today, however they didn't catch his tongue-tie until he was 2 weeks old. His pediatrician wanted me to wait until next week for a feeding study after another weight check. I chose not to, and am glad I did, as the lactation consultant found that he was having a difficult time transferring milk. I'd already started to supplement with pumped milk because of the nipple pain (he's chewing my nipple at this point to aid in transfer), and the LC told me to continue with that.

    This was this past Thurs, 2 days ago, now I am so sore, I am finding myself supplementing nearly 1/2 his feedings. He will stay at the breast for 1-2 hours, and then be hungry again in 30 mins. I'm concerned that I'm going to start losing my supply or that I didn't get much of a supply to begin with due to inefficient feeding.

    We see the pediatrician on Tuesday, and hopefully will get the arrangements made to have his frenulum clipped ASAP. The LC has advised it needs to be done soon or I will be having supply issues if I'm not already.

    I'm wondering if anyone has experience with a tongue-tied infant, how the clipping went, and any advice to help with the possible supply issue? (I try to pump as often as I can, but it usually only ends up being twice a day, and I get around 60 mL, more or less each time).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: 3 week old with tonge-tie

    My son was tongue tied and was clipped at almost a week old. It took him another 2 weeks to latch. The procedure wasn't horrible but like anything with your newborn breaks your heart a little.

    As for pumping, you really need to increase the amount or it will be harder later. You should pump whenever he eats, however that may be. Formula or breastmilk. Because once your baby is ready, willing and able you don't want a low supply to frustrate him and increase your problems. It's such a short time in his life. I really encourage you to stick with the pumping. It's worth it, trust me.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 3 week old with tonge-tie

    Good advice from the PP. You absolutely should pump every time you give a supplemental bottle. And I have BTDT so I know that it is challenging, but also that it can be done.

    One thing you don't have to worry about is not getting a good supply to begin with due to poor feeding. It's possible that this happened, but if it did it's not an unresolveable problem. A lot of moms think that a milk supply is something you get just one shot at, and that if you don't establish a good supply in the early days/weeks of breastfeeding, you're just doomed to have low supply forever. But that's not true. You can increase milk supply at any time by nursing or pumping more. It's often easier to increase supply when you first start out, but it can be done at any time during your life. Seriously, even if you've dried up compleely or never even nursed a baby, it is possible to build a good milk supply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: 3 week old with tonge-tie

    i used nipple shields - midwife advised not to, but it enabled us to continue bf and to heal once tongue tie was resolved. (I was bleeding and had blisters.) I think they helped DD suck more efficiently. Once all sorted it took about 3 weeks to wean her off the shields. I had two, in a cup of sterlising fluid - I rotated. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 3 week old with tonge-tie

    All great ideas above. One thing about nipple shields is most LC’s recommend that moms pump after nursing if they are using shields just fyi.

    For an excellent discussion of tongue tie, it's various types/degrees complete with pictures, and an explanation of frenotomy & why clipping is often vital and helpful for breastfeeding, see the new, 8th edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding pages 428-430. If you do not have this book, you may be able to borrow it from your local LLL Leader, your local Library, or you can purchase it-it retails for $20.00 but you can certainly find it for less online, it is sold on this website, at Amazon etc. and your local bookstores or even health food stores may carry it. Make sure you get the 8th edition (2010.) This info might be a helpful to bring to your pediatrician if they are hesitating to clip. Also the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has info online on tt written for doctors.

    If I understand it correctly, moms usually feel at least some relief right after clipping but there still may be latch issues/pain in nipples while baby adjusts and the site of the clip heals. So keep getting help from your LC and/or local LLL Leader or here & don't give up! Also I once heard Dr. James Murphy, a tt expert, speak at a conference and as I recall he suggested lightly pressing the spot of the clip with a clean finger a couple times a day to help prevent scar tissue. This was a couple of years ago, maybe just something to ask about.

    Also have you tried biological nursing positions? (aka 'laid back'.) Can be very helpful with latch pain. See http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/ and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    re: pumping: Until you are able to nurse fully (no longer supplementing) it is a good idea to pump as much as you can. The more often you can nurse effectively, the less you will need to pump, so hopefully once the frenotomy has been done and your nipples heal, you can up your nursing sessions and back off on the supplementing and pumping. When pumping, don't worry about how much you get each time. Many times moms agonize over the amount of milk and make each pumping session last really long so they 'get more.' But actually more frequent pumping even with shorter sessions tends to be more effective in building supply than long, occasional pumping sessions. To help pumping fit into your life, try using this pumping chart (the amount of pumping sessions you personally ‘aim’ for as your goal will depend on how much you are nursing and how well milk is transferring wehn nursing) http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...umpigchart.pdf For frequent pumping in order to build supply, it is important to use a new, effective, double sided personal use pump or better yet rent a hospital grade pump. Make sure your breast shields/flanges fit properly, a poor fit will affect pump performance. Pumping should be comfortable also, if it isn’t, that needs addressing.

    Also, if you would like, you might consider alternatives to bottles for supplemental feedings (such as cup feeding) or maybe using the paced bottle feeding method, to help cut down on the risk of ‘nipple confusion’ or ‘flow confusion’ that could possibly complicate getting baby back to the breast with a comfortable latch. This might be too much to think about at this point but if you would like more info let us know.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Dallas, TX

    Default Re: 3 week old with tonge-tie

    We had a milk transfer problem too. My DD had her frenulum clipped. It's a fast procedure, and for us there was a bit more blood because hers was a mild tongue tie. I held her while they did it, looked away, and when I looked back she was crying with some blood in her mouth. I immediately breastfed her, and she calmed down and was fine after that, and there was no more bleeding. I noticed immediate improvement and then it got better over the next week or so.

    As for the supply issue, you need to pump as much as you possible can. Rent a hospital grade pump too. It sucks but it is really the only way. You'll be able to get back up to no supplements or only supplementing with expressed breastmilk.

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

  7. #7

    Default Re: 3 week old with tonge-tie

    My son had his tounge clipped on 10/26, he was 3 weeks. We had it done by an ear nose and throat dr. The first dr we went to wanted to put him under anistesia and book an OR.. Needless to say we got a second opinion. It was done in the office, they orally numbed under the tounge. Then cut it with a scalpel. It was a bit heartbreaking, he bled a little bit. He was just a bit fussy for a day or two but other than thar I think it was more traumatic for mom than baby. I am still working on latch issue but am hopeful they will resolve. I didn't suffer from supply issues, so I hope that the pumping will help u!! I just wanted to share my experience!!

  8. #8

    Default Re: 3 week old with tonge-tie

    We go to the oral surgeon on Thurs to have the frenulum clipped, hopefully it makes it easier for him to eat. Currently he's getting about 1/2 his feedings from a bottle with pumped milk. Now that I've been able to pump more, I'm getting less at a pumping session than I was when i pumped less. It is difficult for me to keep up with his needs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 3 week old with tonge-tie

    Now that I've been able to pump more, I'm getting less at a pumping session than I was when i pumped less. It is difficult for me to keep up with his needs.
    How many ounces per 24 hour day is he taking as a supplement, and how many times a day are you breastfeeding? How often are you pumping and about how much are you able to pump each time you pump (it may vary?) What is baby's output (poops) per day? (How many the size of a US quarter or bigger.) What has his weight gain been like? (Since lowest recorded weight.) I ask all this because what you are describing is extremely common and may have to do with baby taking more from the bottle than he needs, a common occurance. Also sometimes moms have unrealistic expectations about how much they "should" be able to pump. In these early weeks especially, it is not uncommon for a mom to need to pump twice to make enough for one feeding. Pumps don't work as well as babies.
    Here are good tips for bottle feeding the breastfed baby that may slow down feedings a bit and conserve your pumped milk, should that be appropriate. Only consider this if baby is gaining well. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    And this article discusses pumping-what is normal output, and how to improve output. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

    Are you still working with the LC you mentioned above? Is that going well? It would likely help you to have at least one (more is fine) trusted knowledgeable person (professional or volunteer) with first hand knowledge of your situation who can help you as you work to move toward fully breastfeeding (or breastfeeding more, whatever is your goal) once baby has had the frenulum clipped.

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