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Thread: My newborn has tongue-tie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    11

    Default My newborn has tongue-tie

    Hello:

    I am brand new to the boards and am so happy I've found you! I have attended my local LLL group for almost 6 1/2 yrs now (when I was pregnant with our first child).

    Our dd was diagnosed with a mild tongue-tie at her two-week well visit. Her dr. advised against clipping and we sought out a second professional opinion with a speech therapist (who has no experience BFing). She, too, says it should cause no speech problems, but that dd has an overactive gag reflex that is affecting her latch. She is basing the latching difficulty only on me telling her....she did not observe her latching on as she had just nursed prior to our visit. The speech therapist indicated that our dd would also have sensory issues due to the overactive gag reflex and that we should begin a regime of brushing her tongue, cheeks, and gums and also her hands and feet. She also gave me other advise that if you would like me to share, I will--has to do with sugar water!

    Our nursing journey (all three weeks of it) has improved significantly since her birth. She still has some latching issues with the left side, but is SO much better. At first she couldn't even get a latch, then we would only work on latching the left during the day with me pumping at night on that side only (she still nursed on the right at night), and now we are nursing multiple times on left during the day and usually once on left at night. She is doing great with the right side (except she will sometimes break her latch when my milk lets down forcefully).

    I would love to hear from other mothers who have experience tongue-tie with their own children. I am still debating as to whether we should go ahead with the clipping to avoid any difficulties in the future? I am hesitant simply because I would hate to have something done to her that isn't neccesary as we really can't say for sure that she will have ANY problems due to this (based on the opinions we've received, she won't have any).

    I read another thread about tongue-tie that says the baby in question should be evaluated by an ENT. I also read the wonderful article in the AAP newsletter that was referred to in the other thread. Based on the information I gathered from the article, my dd has a "simple" tongue-tie which is more difficult to diagnose and also could potentially cause more problems.

    My dd only lost 4 oz. at discharge from hospital and at her two week visit had gained 1# and grew 1/2" in length and 1" in head circumference. She has plenty of wet and poopy diapers and seems to be doing quite well. Is it possible if we don't have her frenulum clipped that she could regress in the future??

    Thanks to everyone in advance for responding and sharing their experiences!

    Chrystal
    dd 1-28-2007

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: My newborn has tongue-tie

    How is her sucking? Is she causing pain at all? DS would only chomp and at some point that would have probably hurt my milk supply (not to mention the fact that I was in constant pain.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    11

    Default Re: My newborn has tongue-tie

    Her suck is fine on the right. On the left, it is like she is chomping on the left until she either gets so mad, we switch to the right, or until she finally manages to latch on. When she does latch, it usually is uncomfortable until my milk lets down, and then the discomfort subsides.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    24

    Default Re: My newborn has tongue-tie

    My daughter (now 2.5 months old) was tongue-tied and my son (now 18 months was as well). My son's was VERY minor, but it did cause pain for me when latching. His frenulum was so thin, I nearly snipped it myself on many occassions. It was still taught enough to make that heart shape. I asked the Pediatrician, the ENT and even the Pediatric dentist to snip it. The ENT told me to deal with the pain :-{ and no one else seemed to feel it was their area to touch. If he could move his tongue past the gumline, it would not affect speech. No one seemed to concerned whatsoever with breastfeeding. We nursed through the pain and somewhere between 4-6 months it tore on its own.

    Now my daughter was also causing me quite a bit of pain with her latch, and I noticed her tongue-tie as I was dressing her after her 4 day check-up. I asked the nurse to get the Doctor back in to look at it. I asked very tactfully if he would snip it, and he did resist at first with the same argument about it not affecting speech. I gave him my story about no one helping with my son and we went through weeks of bad latching and pain. My words exactly, although not 'entirely true' were "I just don't think he was nourished as well as he could have been because of the tongue-tie causing the poor latch." My way of suggesting speech had nothing to do with my request.

    He snipped it that day in the office. Pinched it off with a pair of Hemastats for a few seconds, removed them, and snipped with some scissors. She never even flinched even though it did bleed briefly. Her's was slightly thicker then ds. He prepared me for what was supposed to be painful to her. It did not look to me that it was going to be any more painful than a circumcision on a boy. Turned out in this case it wasn't.

    I happen to have a very good pictures of my son's tongue-tie when he was about 6 weeks old if you are interested, front and side view.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    76

    Default Re: My newborn has tongue-tie

    My 3 year old was also tongue tied, and they did clip his because he kept choking, his was severly stuck down. The clip was very small, and it barely bled, it did improve his latch alot, also his weight gain/growth. As he grew his frenulum again became really tight, and just when we were going to take him to have it clipped again, at appx 2 1/2 it tore on it's own and is now farely released. He is 3 1/2 years, and his speech was affected by it, in fact only recently has he begun to catch up, until it tore further on it's own, he barely even tried to talk. Now that it has torn he's jabbering up a storm, although he is hard to understand it's getting better. His tongue is still heart shaped too at the tip, it looks like a little tiny butt lol! I'm glad he had it clipped, and will do it again if need be in the future. My doctor is pretty good about letting us decide what we will and will not do with our children so i guess we are lucky that way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: My newborn has tongue-tie

    Quote Originally Posted by Momma2three View Post
    When she does latch, it usually is uncomfortable until my milk lets down, and then the discomfort subsides.
    That part will prolly change as you continue to nurse, sometimes in the begining your let down its self can give off a pinching sensations as the milk gets shifted to the front of the breast. See here for what thats about: http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/pa/pa_syntocin_hhg.htm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    8

    Default Re: My newborn has tongue-tie

    Hi! Two of my three littles one's were tongue tied. I had both snipped and would do it again if we were in the same situation again. It was really a nothing procedure and we were in and out of the Drs office in less than an hour for the whole thing each time assuming you have an experienced doctor in the process (that is the key). With both times my LO's were experiencing great difficulty with latching on and being good nursers. Once they were snipped though we were both professionals in no time. I definately recommend it as long as you have a good Dr who does these all the time. I have heard that if you don't get them snipped that depending on the severity of the tie it could cause speech issues down the road and they may potentially need to get it snipped later in life anyway...

    Best of luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,064

    Default Re: My newborn has tongue-tie

    Hi and welcome to the forum!! Congratulations on your new LO. I do not have personal experience with tongue-tie, but I have done some reading on the subject and have seen several threads on these forums. I'd suggest consulting with a board certified lactation consultant. You want to find someone with the IBCLC credential. It seems that professionals outside of those with extensive knowledge of breastfeeding are often unaware of the significant impact that even mild tongue-tie can have on breastfeeding and tend to dismiss the problem and be reluctant to correct it (even though everyone I've ever talked to who has had the procedure done has said it went very well and caused little pain or trouble for the baby). In your case, your LO is gaining well and it sounds like you are having only some mild pain (which may well get better as baby grows) so maybe clipping won't be necessary. However, I think it would be good to consult with a professional knowledgeable about breastfeeding who can better evaluate baby's latch and suck. Sometimes the LC can then refer you to a doctor who is more knowledgeable about breastfeeding in relation to tongue-tie if needed.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2007
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    11

    Default Re: My newborn has tongue-tie

    What would you consider an experienced doctor with frenulum releases? Do you base it on how many they have performed? If so, how many procedures is a good amount?

    Thanks to all who have responded thus far. I greatly appreciate it!

    Chrystal

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: My newborn has tongue-tie

    I personally would look for someone comfortable enough with it to use local anesthetic and do the procedure in his office. It is hard to determine that over the phone, though, so I would try to talk to some moms in your area to see if you can get a feel for the ENTs. We ended up having office consultations with 2 before we had the procedure done.

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