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Thread: Lip Tie in almost 1 Year Old?!?!? Please help.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Lip Tie in almost 1 Year Old?!?!? Please help.

    It appears my almost 1 year old has has an obvious lip tie.

    I had a very painful week or more that I initially attributed to many things like multiple incisors and multiple molars coming in, typical toddler latch issues, acrobatic nursing positions, perhaps hormonal fluctuations in me (I deal with autoimmune diseases.), maybe dehydration in me, plugged ducts forming, blebs or milk blisters that formed on both breasts (This is the first time I've had blebs/milk blisters.), and the beginnings of possible thrush because of my baby's increasingly shallow latch with razor sharp indentions almost constantly hacking just above my nipples (Various positions and encouraging deeper latches helped, but has not entirely solved the issue.).

    During my research to solve the problem, I finally stumbled upon the lip tie and tongue tie possibility in older babies and kids. My husband looked at my baby's upper lip and agreed that a lip tie seems obvious. I'm wondering if the lip tie is extending onto the roof of my baby's mouth a little too. My husband and I feel a little emotional about this lip tie finding.

    Upon finding out what a lip tie and tongue tie was, my husband said, "I always thought this was normal!" He then proceeded to flip up *his* upper lip and show me a flap of skin that is clearly a former lip tie. He thinks it must have broken on its own at some point in his infancy or childhood. He says it's been like that for as long as he can remember, and he would play with the flap of skin left on his upper lip by putting it in between his two front teeth as a kid. He was not breastfed, and I wonder if maybe his lip tie might have been caught sooner had he been breastfed (I could be very wrong about this though!).

    Furthermore, my husband actually did have speech problems, dental problems, allergies, and maybe food intolerances that still somewhat affect him today (http://themilkmeg.com/when-unexplain...-and-lip-ties/). Perhaps the undiagnosed lip tie was a contributing factor to these issues. I wonder if he still has a bit of a tongue tie too, but I'm unsure just how far a person's tongue should extend, and he feels like his tongue extends normally.

    Continuing, I feel like we're especially observant parents, but somehow this was missed by us and others.

    I was also not familiar with tongue ties and lip ties until now, and I still feel like I've got a lot of researching to do to fully understand the issue. In the newborn days, I would search these forums for info, but it seemed that the babies whose moms were wondering about tongue and lip ties were almost always moms of newborns, the mothers were in serious pain, or the babies weren't gaining weight (I could be wrong about these observations!).

    There were numerous *subtleties about my baby and my baby's latch that *I had in fact noticed all along* throughout this first year such as:
    the way my baby's upper lip never truly flanged out when feeding (sometimes it would flange out, sometimes it wouldn't), the stiffness of my baby's upper lip, the upper lip indention sometimes when feeding, the way I sometimes had to prop up or support my breasts in order for the breast to stay properly latched in my baby's mouth, and, as my baby has gotten older, the twisting and turning at the breast, the ever increasing pain for me when my baby is teething, the gap between my baby's two front teeth that I've wondered about, the ever increasing tooth indentions on my breasts, and an increasingly shallow and low latch near my nipples.

    We did have some challenges along the way as well:
    issues with plugged ducts early on and the beginnings of plugged ducts occasionally, one bout of mastitis, thrush that I had to make sure to keep at bay, gas, frequent feedings, maybe some sensitivities to some foods I was eating early on, and over active letdown in me. My baby spent its first few days in the NICU, and I had to pump; my baby was given a little formula in the hospital to my dismay, but we were happy to get our baby out of the NICU and home. Most of these issues can be normal breastfeeding/birth challenges or can be caused by various factors. I wonder now if the lip tie was maybe not the sole cause of these challenges, but again a contributing factor.

    ***However, since my baby has been gaining well, meeting developmental milestones, and has been super happy and well adjusted, I didn't think a tongue tie or lip tie was a possibility; nobody else did either (http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/bf-...tch-resources/). I do have a high pain tolerance from years of dealing with chronic pain, but, on the whole, even despite the challenges and occasional pain (I know persistent pain is not normal when breastfeeding!), I felt our breastfeeding relationship was going really well.

    Honestly, it's when my baby's teeth started coming in that these lip tie symptoms became much more noticeable. I thought the pain I was experiencing from the teething was probably normal. I had read where some women were sore for a few days when the baby's teeth would come in and that a baby's latch often had to be adjusted with each new tooth. I thought the pain could also be due to my sensitive skin, excess drool, or hormonal or health issues in me. However, each new bout of teeth has increased my pain when feeding.

    Nonetheless, just when I would begin to feel like, "I don't know how much more of my nipples being raw and in pain I can take," and, "Surely, this pain for me from my baby's teething might be a little excessive," my baby's latch would somehow adjust, and the feeds weren't painful anymore. As more teeth are coming in now (multiple teeth at once, multiple incisors and especially the molars), this seems to be what led me to finally seeing a significant issue as the problems have increased. Even so, this past day or so has not been as painful when feeding. Again, it is like my baby's latch has somewhat adjusted. There is still pain sometimes, but not as bad. I still have teeth indentions on my breasts though.

    My husband and I feel like my baby's seemingly slower weight gain lately (which has previously been in the middle or the highest end of the growth charts, but now is lower) could possibly be because of this. I waited and watched to see if my baby's weight gain would improve; plus, my baby was so happy and well adjusted. I knew growth often slowed around this time, and sometimes breastfed babies put on weight differently.
    My husband was also a tall lean baby. I also wondered if the slower weight gain was due to perhaps my baby's numerous teeth coming in at once, and maybe my baby walking like crazy, climbing, and even doing a type of toddler run and burning calories and changing how the weight was carried on the body.

    Even though my baby's growth has slowed, my baby's meeting other milestones, and looking at my baby's growth chart over time, my baby's growth is doing a slight curve that may be typical for breastfed babies. I'm still unsure about this. http://kellymom.com/images/growth/growthcharts.gif

    ***My milk is still my baby's main food source, so I'm a little concerned. I've seen women call their babies "lactivores" on here and my baby is still definitely a "lactivore."***

    My husband and I are concerned that by not having noticed this until now that perhaps some long term consequences in our child's body have been put into motion. Any thoughts on this?

    ***How can I minimize trauma in my child with this procedure, especially as an older baby?***

    How can my husband and I remain strong while watching our baby get cut on? The NICU was a really rough experience for all three of us.

    Will my baby look like a different kid after this procedure?

    Are there any negative consequences to clipping a lip tie or cutting it prematurely?

    ***After such a procedure, will offering my baby my breasts for comfort, which I would normally do, create an association of pain with my breasts? Could a nursing strike or aversion ensue?

    I imagine nursing might be painful after a mouth procedure. How can pain be minimized both pharmaceutically and with natural remedies? (My family tends to do better with natural remedies although I'm not opposed to other approaches.)

    Is there ever an instance where it would be better to wait to clip a lip tie? Are there instances where it would correct itself eventually? The past two days haven't been as painful during feedings. My supply seems to have regulated some too. My breasts are floppier and the plugged ducts seemed to have diminished. However, my baby's upper lip looks swollen, and at times the suckling is softer; maybe my baby's upper lip is hurting in addition to desiring to comfort nurse. My baby is feeding more frequently too, which could be entirely normal given the molars and maybe an impending growth spurt. Are there growth spurts at one year?

    I've set up an appointment for evaluation by a pediatrician now that we have discovered the lip tie, but I still feel so mildly informed. I wish there was more time to get a clearer understanding of this tongue tie and lip tie issue, so I could walk into the doctor's office well informed and prepared to make the best decision for my child. I also feel like permanently clipping or cutting anything on a child is an irreversible thing, and, thus, proper information is needed to make the best individual choice for each child. I feel like I'm running out of time for research.

    Do we need to see someone who can diagnose palate and tongue issues too? I saw where these can go together.

    Do you know of any resources that can quickly inform me about this issue? I seem to be finding more info on tongue ties, but not as many on lip ties.

    Thank you for reading or skimming all of this. I truly appreciate it. I really want to make an informed decision about this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Re: Lip Tie in almost 1 Year Old?!?!? Please help.

    P.S. My previous post was long enough, but I wanted to add that this seems like really bad timing to have to get a lip tie clipped, you know? My baby has several incisors all at various levels of growth and molars coming. I imagine the molars might take a long while to come in. My baby is nursing more as well probably for comfort due to the teething (and maybe because of the lip tie?) and probably due to a growth spurt or just new toddler-like nursing behaviors. However, I wonder if waiting to take care of this might be more traumatic as my baby gets older. I wonder how this will affect nursing after the clip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Lip Tie in almost 1 Year Old?!?!? Please help.

    Whew, that was a long post!

    Okay, here's what I'm thinking:
    1. Back off on the tie "diagnosis". Props to you and your DH, but you're probably not experts in normal mouth anatomy, nor have you seen a zillion different lip frenums. Before you decide that a tie is 100% what is going on, take your baby to see a pediatric otolaryngologist and a dentist. They should have the requisite knowledge to make an actual diagnosis. Please note that I don't doubt your conclusion- but before you let this make you sad and emotional and freaked out about potential sequelae from a tie revision, you need confirmation.
    2. If your baby has gained weight normally throughout her first year, there is no reason to be concerned about the tie hurting her ability to gain weight at this point. Ties tend to be problematic mostly during the early weeks/months, because that is when they are most likely to hurt a baby's ability to latch and transfer milk. Once a baby grows, her bigger mouth is likely to compensate for any deficits in latching ability related to a tie. This is why many pediatricians and dentists recommend that moms simply wait out lip and tongue ties- which is a controversial recommendation considering that ties can cause a lot of pain and other problematic symptoms even when they don't affect a bays ability to gain weight.
    3. Please note that some of the things ascribed to ties- clicking, gassiness, and poor weight gain- are merely things that can be mistaken for ties, and here I am thinking of allergies. Ties do not cause allergies, nor are babies with ties more likely to be allergic.
    4. It is 100% normal for a baby's rate of weight gain to decrease over time, with many babies actually dropping percentiles after around 3-6 months. You only need to be concerned about weight gain when a baby is dropping percentiles giving you clear signs of not getting enough to eat. (This would be something like a baby who isn't growing in height or head circumference, and who seems constantly hungry, unhappy, and unhealthy.)
    5. Before you start worrying about consequences from a tie revision, you need to make sure there is actually a tie present (see point #1.) That being said, negative consequences from a tie revision are: pain from procedure which can lead to decreased nursing, nursing strikes, and food strikes; infection; impact on tooth placement (sometimes positive, sometimes negative).
    6. Lip and tongue ties OFTEN self-correct, as your husband's may have. Either the tie stretches out naturally with time, or the child breaks the tie in some childhood accident.

    My experience with ties comes from my older daughter, who has a lip tie at went undiagnosed throughout early infancy despite the fact that she caused me severe nipple trauma, multiple plugged ducts, and was unable to nurse well enough to maintain supply for the first 3 months or so. Nevertheless, she eventually got better at nursing, stopped causing me trauma, and we nursed happily until she was 3 years old. No-one picked up on the tie until her permanent incisors started to come in at age 7. The dentist observed the gap between them and said "Yup, look at that, she has a lip tie. If it continues to cause issues with tooth spacing, we'll zap it with a laser. See you in 6 months!" She is now 9 years old and the tie has not caused any problems with spacing; as her other permanent teeth cqme in, the gap between her incisors vanished.

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