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Thread: Breast refusal - tongue tie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Breast refusal - tongue tie

    I have had issues with breast feeding since my daughter was 6 weeks old - she is 16weeks now. She has been refusing the breast and very fussy. And i began supplementing with bottles of expressed/formula from time to time from 12 weeks. It got to the point where I had begun to wean her and reduce my supply which made me very upset indeed as I really didn't want to at all but couldn't take anymore of the refusal - if she would feed (awake) it would be for a short time and she would lose the sucking/swallowing/breathing rhythm and come off then refuse to relatch and there was A LOT of fussing. Most of the time awake if I offer she would be very tense/cry/pull away. I spoke to a bf support worker and she asked if she had been checked for tongue tie and sure enough she has a posterior tongue tie - booked in and had it snipped yesterday. I am hoping that this will help the feeding issues of sucking/swallowing and breathing. But obviously as feeding has been a struggle for so long I want to look at ways I can help her feel calm enough to feed. If I do skin to skin she gets stressed out and starts routing bobbing around my breast but not latch on - if I help her she gets even more stressed.

    I am making sure I stay calm, offer boob but don't force it on her, letting her sleep on me and feed her when she begins to wake and do lots of cuddles with my boobs out. Is there anything else I can do? I am hoping that having the tongue tie cut will help the underlying reason for the fussiness so I want to associate boobies as a nice place to be.

    I am also looking for anyone else's experience of feeding after a tongue tie division at 3 or 4 months old.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Breast refusal - tongue tie

    Have you seen an IBCLC about the post frenotomy care? Are you getting any followup care, exercises, suck training, anything?

    If I do skin to skin she gets stressed out and starts routing bobbing around my breast but not latch on - if I help her she gets even more stressed.
    what if you are not skin to skin? What if baby is in a onsie or something? Is that more comfortable? Skin to skin is about the skin but it's also about the positioning. There is evidence that at "laid back' nursing position also facilitates latch and more nursing. Are you leaning back in a comfortable position for you, with baby more or less 'on top' of you, in any position, baby's front to your front? Because rooting and bobbing is normal behavior of a baby trying to find the nipple, so I don't understand why baby does not then latch assuming baby CAN latch. What if you had express a few drops, or use a eyedropper or similar for putting a few drops of expressed milk on your nipple as you try to latch baby?

    Have you tried a nipple shield?

    Also it is important to bring baby to the breast when baby is calm. Better yet, just hold baby most of the time. No need to wait for feeding times or cues to have baby on you, skin to skin or lightly dressed.

    What about when baby is asleep, just waking…I just don’t know what you have tried.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 15th, 2013 at 10:52 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Breast refusal - tongue tie

    My favorite latch and positioning articles:

    Laid back position http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Laid back video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html this website also has pictures

    Here are two simple pictorials, one on latch, one on tongue tie. In the latch one, Notice that the mother is in a “slightly” laid back position, looks like on a couch? This is a very “adjustable” position, play around to find how you and your baby are most comfortable. http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

    latch and 'Breast sandwich' article http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar04p3.html (probably only needed if baby cannot latch or latch is hurting mom)

    Feeding cues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Unhappy Re: Breast refusal - tongue tie

    I try offering the breast any time, when she is showing no signs of hunger, when she chews her hands and at any other point. but if she is fully awake pretty much any time i offer she gets very upset. She gets very tense around my breasts routes but won't latch on, if i help her by positioning for her to latch on she gets upset. If she has just woken up she will feed but only if i catch her before she is fully awake and if she wakes up fully during the feed she will pull off. It took me a long time to find out what the problem with feeding is (if it was related to the tongue tie) so there have been 10 weeks of generally poor association with feeding for her. To be honest at the moment its much more than perfecting latching on, if she even licks my nipple its more than she usually does, i did find those pieces useful though. I was told that she would be unsettled for a few days after the procedure so i guess its one day at a time. I am hoping in the not to distant future breastfeeding willl be a little more straight forward.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Breast refusal - tongue tie

    OK so you are dealing more with breast refusal, sorry, now I understand.

    This article is the best one out there I know of for specific tips for encouraging baby to nurse, I am sure you have already read it, but now that (presumably) baby is more capable of latching, it may be of more help now. http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    Here are two more articles about breast refusal. They may offer some insight if you have not read these yet. http://www.llli.org/nb/nbjulaug01p136.html
    and http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvoctnov99p99.html

    I don't think the issue is necessarily a 'poor association' with your breasts. I think of these situations more like baby has, by necessity, learned to get sustenance from one place and now has to relearn the biologically instinctual way to eat. This is why nursing when baby is sleeping or otherwise particularly relaxed can help so much in such situations, as it meets baby in her instinctual place rather than a learned place.

    She gets very tense around my breasts routes but won't latch on, if i help her by positioning for her to latch on she gets upset.
    So baby is rooting, which is instinctual, but then instinct goes out the window when you 'position her to latch on.' I am not sure how much you are doing to get her into position, but maybe doing less-basically, getting baby's face in nipple vicinity but otherwise, leaving her be, would help?

    Another option - try a lactation aid? again, as sort of an instant reward idea.

    Breast refusal is very, very difficult. But it can be overcome in many cases. I hope you have found good support in your area and we can offer you support here too!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Breast refusal - tongue tie

    This is a great resource! Many many women on the site with your exact question and lots of info available from moms going through what you are going through. It's a closed group so you have to request to be in it. https://www.facebook.com/groups/tonguetiebabies/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Breast refusal - tongue tie

    Thank you for those links. i don't think she prefers the bottle as such, at times she finds that more difficult than breastfeeding, over the last couple of hours i tried breast feeding her which got her stressed out, i then tried bottle as she refused breast and she had massive difficulties taking it and then tried breast again and she took it and fell asleep. it is 4 pm an so far she has had 30mls from a bottle then slept then short sleepy feed then 80 mls from bottle and another sleepy feed. it is a battle to feed her every time. i just want to get to a point where she will take a feed without it being a battle. i took her to see a cranial osteopath who said although no pressures on her skull she has a lot of tension in her upper spine - he thought she may have had her head pushed back during birth. i guess maybe it could relate to that? Also thinking aboutut buying a sling i can breastfeed i n so she feels fully supported in it when feeding and i can try breastfeeding while rocking her to see if that sooths her. are there any good ones for this?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Breast refusal - tongue tie

    Many slings or carriers work well for breastfeeding, but it's very individual...and personally nursing in a sling or carrier was never my strong suit!

    You might get more ideas if you start a thread specifically looking for sling/wrap ideas. Also if you have a LLL meeting near you, call ahead of time to check on what the meetings are like with the Leader but often at LLL there are many baby wearing moms there and you can try a few different carriers...

    Some stores carry a selection you can try ahead of time as well. Not many, but...

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