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Thread: partial tongue-tie??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default partial tongue-tie??

    We have been having difficulties since birth trying to breastfeed. I have actually seen two lactation consultants in my home without a lot of improvement, some but not enough to facilitate the enjoyable breastfeeding experience. The last had thought that maybe my baby has a type 3 tongue tie which is very hard to spot. She only really sucks on the nipple and no matter what position I try or how I give it to her or let her latch herself she will not take more than the nipple. She also spits up after almost every feed and has milk pooled in her mouth. Which both the LC and pediatrician said isn't a problem.

    However, she went from 5lb 6oz to 6 lb 13oz in 13 days. I have all of the symptoms of a baby with a partial tongue tie EXCEPT poor weight gain.

    Symptoms of partial
    tongue-tie in breastfed infants

    • Nipple pain and damage

    • Misshapen nipple after

    • Compression/stripe mark
    on the nipple after

    • Loss of suction while

    • Clicking sound while

    • Failure to gain weight

    Infant symptoms and signs include:

    poor latch and suck

    clicking sound while nursing (poor


    ineffective milk transfer

    inadequate weight gain or weight loss

    irritability or colic

    fussiness and frequent arching away

    from the breast

    fatigue within one to two minutes of

    beginning to nurse

    difficulty establishing suction to

    maintain a deep grasp on the breast

    gradual sliding off the breast

    “chewing” of the nipple

    falling asleep at the breast having

    taken less than an optimal feed, as
    proven by “test weight” on a digital
    scale (experience of authors)

    I took her to her regular pediatrician who said there was nothing wrong and everything is normal then gave me very crappy breastfeeding advice (ie. there's no milk left after 15 minutes, they refill every hour and to pump after feeding to help with my nipple pain/soreness). The LC wanted me to see a specialist who is unfortunately unavailable until august. I really want to get this corrected ASAP. My husband thinks I am being a hypochondriac and am trying to find a problem where there isn't one.

    Does anybody else have experience with this? Am I crazy? If the baby is gaining weight should I just bite down on a towel and suffer the pain? I really want to breastfeed her but it's been almost 4 weeks and I am dreading each session and not looking forward to my "bonding" time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: partial tongue-tie??

    Sorry to hear of your issues! I don't think you are being a hypochondriac - you are having pain and that is causing you to look for answers. I'm sure others can comment with more helpful info, but to avoid being redundant in my own response I'm posting a link to my answer in a separate thread that I think is related to yours:


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: partial tongue-tie??

    Sorry to be brief I'll be back later but have you checked here for a surgeon? http://lowmilksupply.org/frenotomy.shtml
    Married to my High School sweetheart 5-15-04

    SAHM to:
    born 6/1/10 tongue and lip ties nursed 13 months with sore nipples and mutually agreed it was time to quit!
    born all natural 1/27/12 nursed for 16 months and lost interest
    born all natural 11/4/14 nursing like a champ and growing like a weed!

  4. #4

    Default Re: partial tongue-tie??

    I have the same story (and the surgeon here in Phila is also booked through august!). Can you ask that office, though, for a recommendation of another Dr who would do the surgery?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: partial tongue-tie??

    Plenty of babies gain well with tt, at least initially. This is because every mom has a different milk making capacity, so some babies are able to get enough milk even when nursing really poorly. Eventually this will probably impact milk supply, but of course many moms stop nursing by then due to the pain.

    You are not crazy. Keep seeking help. Breastfeeding should not hurt you like this, if it does, something is wrong. It may or may not be tt, but something is wrong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Dallas, TX

    Default Re: partial tongue-tie??

    Dude, your husband for saying you are a hypochondriac!

    I would see if your LC can recommend a different specialist (i'm assuming an ENT) to get that TT looked at ASAP. The first ENT my LC recommended wasn't available for 6 weeks, so I asked about seeing another one. DD's tongue tie was so "minor" that at first the ENT didn't even see it. But after I told him I had 3 LC consultations plus a consult with a speech language pathologist, he looked closer and became more and more convinced there was a posterior TT. Then he recommended clipping it, we got it clipped that day, and BFing became a whole lot easier!

    So, I would explore that option first...see if your LC or a different LC can recommend another infant-friendly ENT. You shouldn't have to be in pain.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: partial tongue-tie??

    Who is it that saw someone who was trained by Dr. Kotlow http://kiddsteeth.com/articles.html in diagnosing and treating posterior tt? She had a heck of a struggle getting her baby treatment but eventualy got it taken care of.

  8. #8

    Default Re: partial tongue-tie??

    My baby had the same thing. The tongue tie wasn't as bad to where he couldn't transfer the milk, so he was gaining weight and doing just fine. However, he still had a lot of the symptoms above and it was terribly painful for me. Everyone I talked to recommended it be taken care do ASAP and so I did with my pediatrician. He did a great job and all the symptoms and problems associated with the tie went away instantly. Keep trying to find someone to help. It's a simple procedure that a lot of pediatricians perform in my area (Phoenix).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: partial tongue-tie??

    Based on the list above, I am not sure I would assume that tongue tie is necessarily the problem. A lot of the things on the lust can be symptoms of problems other than tongue tie- for example, loss of suction, a clicking sound, "slipping up" on the nipple, compression of the nipple, fussiness, arching, and pulling off the breast can all be associated with overactive letdown/oversupply of milk. And oversupply one matches well with good weight gain when nursing is otherwise difficult.

    Did you do just one test weight at the LC's office? If so, you might want to consider getting a scale for home use, and take more measurements. A single snapshot of intake at the LC's office is not that informative, since intake varies widely from feeding to feeding. If you had a better sense of what your baby's average milk intake was, maybe you could figure out if her feeding is really being impeded or not, and that might help you decide whether or not the issue here is likely to be a tongue tie.

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