Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Help! Four tongue tie divisions and still bf problems

  1. #1

    Default Help! Four tongue tie divisions and still bf problems

    I've come here as a complete novice to posting on forums in the hope of getting some advice and suggestions! I feel really stuck at the moment... My son is now 19 wks old and is gaining wt well (he has followed the 75th centile exactly). I had some difficulties with bf initially (sore nipples, latching hit and miss) but then at 4 or 5 wks his latching deteriorated suddenly - it became very shallow and uncomfortable. The only position I could get him on was in underarm hold, if at all. He had a posterior tongue tie spotted at a bf support group and we were referred privately to have it snipped. In the meantime I started to supplement with pumped milk and formula. After the procedure things did not improve very much and I was becoming exhausted so we switched to bottle feeding for a few days and I continued to express. With support from a bf counsellor I managed to start bf again exclusively but still could only manage a secure pain-free latch in underarm hold. After a few weeks I noticed similar problems returning (slipping, pinching, clicking) and the bf counsellor found that the frenulum had regrown. It was cut again. Things didn't improve much and I spotted more frenulum. We went to a different lactation consultant for a 2nd opinion who confirmed the presence of the tongue tie and divided it again. Again after not much improvement I found more frenulum and the last bit was divided a few days later (after much agonising over whether to get it done at all!). She told us that there is now scar tissue under his tongue and his tongue movement still seems quite restricted. She was uncertain how much things would improve. That was 2 weeks ago. His latching has improved a bit since then but I can still only feed him in underarm hold. I am lucky that I have a very strong letdown so he is getting plenty of milk even though his latch is shallow. Sometimes, however, the letdown can lead him to pull off. I have been doing tongue exercise and massage with him. He has also had some cranial osteopathy which identified a misaligned jaw which was corrected twice - we haven't been back in a while.
    It has been difficult because, while he is thriving and is well in all other respects, I know he isn't latching on well. I worry that other people think there isn't much of a problem because he is gaining so well but I know how tricky it is to feed him! This has led me to feel really isolated and quite low.
    My problems are:
    - it is REALLY hard to feed a large baby using underarm hold when we are out and about and he is now refusing a bottle! Any suggestions how we could make this easier? I get very anxious about going too far from home for this reason.
    - he still slips off very easily and it can make it difficult to feed him, particularly in public - this might not improve I guess but any ideas are welcome!
    Thank you in advance of your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    1,575

    Default Re: Help! Four tongue tie divisions and still bf problems

    Have you seen a oral motor therapist, occupational therapist or even speech therapist with experience working with breastfeeding difficulties?
    My son had tongue and lip ties cut when he was 8 weeks old and we did have to have the tongue tie cut again but things didn't really start improving till we were seeing a speech therapist for a while. We did far more than just tongue exercises. My son still has a bit of a shallow latch but we are able to nurse in many positions and he normally doesn't cause me pain anymore (he used to clamp down on me something awful. I never experienced cracks or bleeding though.)
    My problem was his weight gain because of poor milk transfer and then subsequent dwindling of my milk supply. Between the Tongue tie correction and then speech therapy and finally I had to get on Domperidone to recover my milk supply because pumping and fenugreek just were not enough for us.
    He is now 7 months and we nurse basically hourly during the day and several times at night side lying (co sleeping) he has finally become efficient at nursing and my supply is now enough and his weight gain is now starting to work slowly back up the charts from near the bottom.

    Anyway, trying to nurse when out and about. Have you tried using a baby carrier like an ergo carrier and nursing standing up?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Help! Four tongue tie divisions and still bf problems

    Welcome to the forum, mama! I'm so sorry you're having a rough time with nursing. I do think you should start by patting yourself on the back, though- first off, you have stuck with nursing despite a significant hurdle and a lot of women don't. Second, baby is gaining well, and whatever else is going on, good gain means that your breastfeeding basics are in excellent shape!

    Given your descriptions of what is going on, I have to wonder if the problem here isn't the baby's tongue and a physical difficulty with latching, but rather a fast letdown issue. When a baby struggles with a fast letdown, he may do things like resisting latching, pulling off the breast, fussing at the breast, slipping off the breast/clamping down on the nipple, and clicking. So my first thought is that you might want to try reclining when nursing. Like laying way, way back, with baby almost lying on top of you. Or even lying down with baby on top of you! Reclined positions have a couple of useful features; first, they enlist gravity to slow milk flow to the baby, and second gravity holds the baby on the breast instead of pulling the baby away from the breast. That can reduce pulling off the breast or clamping down on the nipple.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help! Four tongue tie divisions and still bf problems

    Thank you for your responses and words of encouragement l! I hadn't considered an oral motor therapist - do you know how to find one? His latching has improved a bit but it's still now great. I have an ergobaby but not sure how i would manage nursing him in it - he's a big boy now... Any pointers would be great.
    I think the comments about my letdown are well made - it has certainly affected things but it has also ensured he gets fed! I have tried reclining but it doesn't always do the trick and is sometimes difficult in underarm hold. I have tried laid back bf but find it hard to get a good latch - he tends to slip off quite easily. Will keep trying though.
    I have managed to feed him in a cafe recently on a bench seat which felt like progress!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •