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Thread: Low supply due to infant lip tie

  1. #1

    Default Low supply due to infant lip tie

    I am hoping someone who has been through this before can help me. I am a first time mother and my LO was diagnosed with lip tie at birth. A tongue tie was never diagnosed, but I am skeptical that she has a posterior tongue tie. At our first peds appointment, I asked about getting the lip tie clipped. My ped said breast feeding issues with lip tie rarely occur and it should stretch. I trust him completely, but I am now having issues.

    When my LO turned 5 months old, I noticed that she was more fussy after nursing and eating every 2.5 to 3 hours. As a working mother, I was concerned I wasn't pumping enough at work as well. To see what she would take, my husband gave her six ounces. She took the whole bottle and didn't eat again for four hours. At the next feeding she took almost six ounces again. At best, I was pumping 3 ounces total each pumping session and I ended up having to supplement with formula when I was working due to the freezer stores being depleted. I also noticed a slight drop in her weight.

    So, I decided to pump for 10 minutes after she nursed with each feeding to see if I could increase my supply. After about 3-4 days, I could tell a big difference. She was nursing longer with the deep pull lasting longer and happy to eat every four hours. I also pumped more at work with the average being four ounces with eat pumping session.

    With the lip tie being in the back of my mind all the time, I started to think maybe it was causing the issue. However, I am also new at this so I thought maybe it's something you normally have to do to increase the supply. So, the next week (because pumping after nursing is time consuming and I am not a big fan of pumping in general) I figured I wouldn't need to pump that much. Just enough to cover what was needed for my next shift at work. Well, my supply went back down to where it was and my LO regressed back to every 3 hours and fussy. So here I am again pumping after each feed and frustrated with myself.

    I began to delve deeper into lip ties, and I am almost certain my supply issue is from the lip tie. Although I have worked with her, I can't get her top lip to flange out without her losing suction, getting frustrated, or it eventually curling back under. I have watched the video of how to flip the nipple in and use your thumb to flange the lip out but it doesn't last long. I am hoping my pediatrician will agree that it needs to be clipped, but I just wanted to know if anyone else has had any similar experiences with lip ties.

    Thanks,
    @llli*katwell03

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Central FL
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    1,012

    Default Re: Low supply due to infant lip tie

    you might want to look for a pediatric dentist who believes in tongue and lip ties. Unfortunately many doctors don't believe that tongue and lip ties affect breast feeding.
    http://www.lowmilksupply.org/frenotomy.shtml

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,006

    Default Re: Low supply due to infant lip tie

    Welcome to the forum!

    When my LO turned 5 months old, I noticed that she was more fussy after nursing and eating every 2.5 to 3 hours
    2.5-3 hours between feedings is actually significantly longer than average for most nursing moms. And fussiness after nursing is normal in babies who are teething, and also in babies who get a lot of bottles and expect the steady flow delivered by the bottle.


    To see what she would take, my husband gave her six ounces. She took the whole bottle and didn't eat again for four hours.
    Don't read anything into this. 6 oz is a HUGE bottle for a breastfed baby. Babies will almost always take significantly more from a bottle than they will from the breast due to the mechanics of bottle-feeding. Bottles deliver steady flow regardless of whether the baby is sucking eagerly from hunger or lazily for comfort. And even the most sensitive bottle-feeding adult will do things like encourage the baby to finish the last little bit from the bottle, tip the bottle up to make the feeding go faster, and replace the bottle in the baby's mouth after she has released it.

    At best, I was pumping 3 ounces total each pumping session and I ended up having to supplement with formula when I was working due to the freezer stores being depleted
    3 oz is totally normal output when pumping. When a baby is nursing, she will take just 2-4 oz. An appropriate bottle for a breastfed baby is therefore just 2-4 oz.

    I also noticed a slight drop in her weight.
    Did she lose weight, or did she simply decline in percentile? Losing weight is not normal, but dropping percentiles is. Breastfed babies gain fastest during early infancy, and often drop percentiles around the middle of the first year as they become more mobile, putting more calories into action rather than packing them on as fat.

    he was nursing longer with the deep pull lasting longer and happy to eat every four hours. I also pumped more at work with the average being four ounces with eat pumping session.
    Again, this is a extremely long interval between feedings, and your pump output is more than average. It sounds like you pumped yourself into a larger supply, but that was probably unnecessary.

    Basically, unless your baby is actually losing weight, I think what needs to be adjusted here is not your baby's lip but your expectations about what is normal. What do you think?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    NY
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    Default Re: Low supply due to infant lip tie



    Sounds like everything was going pretty well until you introduced the giant bottles, mama! I would definitely go back to the more breastfeeding friendly way of feeding expressed milk that you were doing before.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Low supply due to infant lip tie

    So, you are telling me that she should be eating every three hours until she quits breast feeding? I was under the impression that once she got older, she would transition to every 4 hours. Anyhow, I am still not sure that I would be producing enough milk, but I am willing to try. As for the bottles, there isn't another way for my husband or caregiver to feed her when I am away so they use the"closer to breast feeding" bottles. She is exclusively breasted if I am around. Maybe I am being too defensive, but what I am hearing is that my supply is low because of something I am doing and not because of her lip tie. Is that correct? I am more than willing to try almost anything and don't want to cause her any distress due to my ignorance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,006

    Default Re: Low supply due to infant lip tie

    So, you are telling me that she should be eating every three hours until she quits breast feeding? I was under the impression that once she got older, she would transition to every 4 hours.
    Every 4 hours- which means nursing just 6 times a day- might be normal for an older baby/toddler who is eating a lot of solids and is well on his/her way to weaning. The vast majority of exclusively breastfed infants need to nurse a minimum of 8 times a day (i.e. every 3 hours) and most need to nurse more frequently than that, especially during growth spurts or when an increase in supply is required.

    As for the bottles, there isn't another way for my husband or caregiver to feed her when I am away so they use the"closer to breast feeding" bottles.
    There's more to bottle-feeding than the brand of bottle you use. Is your husband or caregiver using paced bottle-feeding techniques? Breaking up the feeding by switching baby from side to side or offering 2 small bottles instead of 1 large bottle? Doing things like swapping in a pacifier after the baby has had a couple of oz of milk?

    Maybe I am being too defensive, but what I am hearing is that my supply is low because of something I am doing and not because of her lip tie. Is that correct?
    That sounds mean! And we definitely don't want to be mean. The goal here is to support moms and babies. I think that sometimes the problem is that accurate information comes across as harsh... Anyway, my apologies if we've dented your feelings. We all know just how hard it is to be the mama and to have a tiny baby dependent on you, and how easy it is to feel judged when you are trying your absolute hardest to do the right thing.

    What I think about your supply is that it sounds like you don't have any sort of supply problem at all. You can produce 3 oz at the pump, which is great, and you're not mentioning any pain with nursing which might indicate that the lip tie is a problem. I really think that all you need to do is to adjust your expectations about how often your baby should nurse. Once you do, upticks in feeding frequency won't throw you for a loop and make you doubt yourself or your supply.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Low supply due to infant lip tie

    I certainly hope I didn't contribute to making you feel bad. Definitely not my intent, I'm sorry!

    I was just trying to communicate that it sounded to me as though everything was going just fine, and that your supply actually is probably completely fine. Your pumping outputs do indeed sound normal. Almost no one except a mom with oversupply or a large storage capacity could pump enough milk to provide 6 oz bottles every couple of hours, so that is not an admonition at all! Generally speaking, a breastfed baby can be expected to take in 1-1.5 oz/hr of milk during a separation from mom, and most commonly these feedings are small and frequent. Which is exactly what it sounds like you were doing before.

    And for what it's worth, my daughter never, ever, ever went longer than 1.5-2 hours between feeds throughout her entire first year. And even THAT was a long interval, for her!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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