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Thread: Tongue/lip tie, high palate, weight gain problems, etc

  1. #1

    Default Tongue/lip tie, high palate, weight gain problems, etc

    I went to a lactation consultant for help weaning my 7 week old son off nipple shields (baby wouldn't latch right away after birth so a nurse gave me one without warning me about nipple confusion etc) because he's been wanting to nurse constantly since birth and he lost more than 10% of his birthweight before leaving the hospital, so I was thinking it was a milk transfer problem caused by the shields. We hadn't seen the pediatrician in about 3 weeks (he had only just passed his birthweight then) and when the lactation consultant weighed him he had only gained a few ounces. She was right away able to recognize what somehow no one at the hospital (including the two lactation consultants I saw while there) or his pediatrician looked for or noticed: that he had both a tongue tie and bubble palate. The next day (Tuesday) I brought him to a different pediatrician who cut his tongue tie as well as a lip tie it turned out he had as well. He's been nursing better sometimes but I think he's used to nursing the wrong way at this point, and often either clicks while nursing/loses suction, or just doesn't latch deep enough. It's hard to really tell what's going on while wearing the shields. At the recommendation of the lactation consultant, I borrowed a hospital grade pump and have for the past 4 days been trying to pump and give bottles to make sure he's getting enough...problem is he's still wanting to eat constantly, probably to make up for not getting enough up until now. I have to pump while nursing him which is super hard to do (except sometimes I can get a pump session in at night if I sneak away-we bedshare because of the constant nursing). I don't often get to finish pumping all in one go because I'm holding him so I usually get around 2 oz by the time I give up, though last night I got 5 oz when I snuck to the foot of the bed and double pumped after he had been asleep for a few hours, and this morning got 3 before I had to give up to give him more attention. I can't seem to keep up with him, even that 5 oz bottle he finished then cried for more so I nursed him too. I'm trying to drink mothers milk tea and eat oatmeal, but what makes everything even harder is I'm pretty much doing everything on my own-my boyfriend has cyclical vomiting episodes that are triggered by stress and not sleeping well, and he just started working after being unemployed most of my pregnancy, so at most I can sometimes get him to wash my shields/pump/bottles or maybe bring me a water but at this point he only does that once or twice a day if I'm lucky. He's not comfortable holding the baby (doesn't help that he smokes so I make him change and wash his hands before touching him) and the baby cries after a few minutes of me putting him down, if not immediately. I can barely find time to run and pee, or try to grab some snack to cram into my face, not to mention having to wash all those things when he isn't around or can't help. Our family and friends all live on the outside coast. I'm seriously run down at this point and struggling to do anything. What now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,746

    Default Re: Tongue/lip tie, high palate, weight gain problems, etc

    Hi, I am sorry you are having such a rough time. Here are a few suggestions for your situation.
    1) call LC back and explain that the pumping is not working for you and ask for her help getting a different plan in place. Every plan can be tweaked. Also, tell her how much volume you are pumping. Those numbers do not suggest low production IMO. Also ask her about suck training and post-frenotomy exercises and/or body work and see if she has any thoughts. If you can get baby transferring milk normally, then you can stop the pumping and supplementing. Some moms can sustain pumping and supplementing long term, but it sounds like that is not going to be possible in your situation. So IMO that is the direction efforts need to be going- back to exclusive nursing ASAP.
    2) Can you reduce the size of the bottles? 5 ounces is one and a half to two entire meals, not a 'supplement." Of course baby cries to nurse after bottle of any size, baby wants to suckle a certain amount of time so baby can suckle to sleep.
    3) If BF is smoking outside, as would be the safest compromise, will he wear a smoking jacket and gloves he can simply remove when he comes back in? If BF is smoking in the house around baby, then the additional exposure of him holding baby is not going to matter much, is it? Just be sure baby and BF do not sleep together in close proximity. Also, I suggest, do not over exaggerate the risks in your mind. 40 years ago, both parents smoked, routinely, in the house, and no one thought a thing of it. Second hand smoke around a baby is certainly unhealthy, we know that now, but that is happening anyway because baby lives with someone who smokes. If it is going to help you nurse longer, then letting BF hold baby without all the washing might be a smart tradeoff. You might want to read Jack Newman's thoughts about breastfeeding and MOMS who smoke. He makes a strong argument that baby is better off breastfed than not, even when, or maybe especially when, baby is exposed to smoking. Alternatively, BF could do more to take care of you- prepare your food, etc.
    4) Is there anyone else who can help you- friends, a paid mothers helper, or doula? You have a newborn, and would need more help than you are getting even if everything were going perfectly with nursing. It sounds like BF is dealing with some serious health problems himself and may just not be able to take on the responsibilities of new parenthood at this point. Would you have any family you and baby could go live with temporarily who would be any more supportive and helpful?
    5) Washing up tips- keep a big bowl of soapy water in the sink, drop used bottles/pump parts in to soak. Then just rinse and have a drying rack or clean towels on which to air dry.
    6) Find a baby carrier you and baby like so you can hold baby while having hands free.
    7) You can only do what you can do. What if you had to stop pumping- you find it just is not sustainable, but baby still needed supplements. Would you be ok to formula feed? Look for donor milk? Would you be ok with that knowing that your milk production would eventually be compromised, leading to less and less nursing? Would that be preferable to stopping nursing altogether right now? What about using an at the breast supplementer for supplements. Would that make your life easier, maybe? These are just a couple of alternative paths to take. There are many possible paths to take, and whatever one works for you is the right one.

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

    Default Re: Tongue/lip tie, high palate, weight gain problems, etc

    with the excellent suggestions above!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tongue/lip tie, high palate, weight gain problems, etc

    Thank you for the advice...things have gotten a little easier since I posted. Unfortunately my boyfriend lost his job (I found out right after posting) which is terrible in general because I won't be returning to work since my income doesn't justify paying for childcare, but at least he's been around to help a little more with cleaning bottles, pumps etc. We are super broke and like I said have no friends or family in the area, so that's another hurdle to overcome but I'm trying not to dwell on it. In addition, baby has become a little more independent as he's started to finally put on weight from the bottle feeding. I've also purchased milk storage bags that I can pump directly into which makes it much easier to pump while nursing on the other side, because they can lay on top of baby unlike pumping directly into bottle. So as of now I can put baby down for maybe 15 minutes at a time and get small tasks done before he gets fussy. I have a Boba wrap which has put him to sleep on a couple outings so far, but when I try to use it in the apartment he gets upset. We are still having problems with him getting extremely upset after finishing a bottle (giving him 2.5-3 ounces each feed generally) but I've just been nursing him immediately after finishing his bottle and he'll scream and fuss for a few but usually he'll start nursing and go to sleep. We went back for his follow up appointment after the tongue and lip tie cut and they're going to refer us to a speech pathologist to work on his milk transfer problems. Fingers crossed!

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