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Thread: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    I need a bit of help here......I have a 16 month old. That 3 weeks from today is going to have to have not only one surgery but two.

    He was born with what is known as "BEING TOUNGE TIED". The flap of skin that is under his tounge is connected to his tounge all the way to the tip of it. So he is completely tounge tied. It has affected his speech. He can say about 7 words. But the way that he says them is affected. Like for "BALL" he says "BA". Cause he can't touch his tounge to the top of his mouth. Then ENT that is doing the surgery said that he was amazed that he was even able to latch on correctly as a newborn.

    (He is also having reconstructive surgery on his penis) he was born with way to much forskin. And he keeps yeast in it. I don't even know how many tubes of Nystatin that we have gone through.

    But he is not in anyway showing any signs of be ready to wean yet. And I surely am not ready for him to either. They Drs. tell me that he will be extremely sore and may refuse to nurse. Some one told me that I should just wean him and let that be it. But as I said we both are not near ready for that yet. And we found out yesterday that he has pneumonia and has become asmathic. So I feel that he still needs nurishment from me. And when he is sick he tends to want to nurse more and eat less.

    He has always been a comfort nurser aswell. Like if he wakes up crying in the middle of the night, or if he is teething. So will he still want to try to comfort nurse even if he is hurting? I am at a lose for what to do. And if he does refuse the breast will he want to resume his normal nursing after some of the pain has subsided?

    Is there anyone else out there that has delt with this or a similiar experience? Some advice or just a bit of friendly words would be great. Thanks!!!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    I suspect it will be okay. Most babies born with tongue-tie have tremendous difficulty with nursing -- their inability to extend their tongue causes Mom severe nipple pain. In those cases, clipping the frenulum (that flap of skin under the tongue) is a simple, easy procedure that usually corrects the nursing problems almost instantly. Done on newborns, the procedure requires only a local anasthetic and can be done in a doctor's office. I've read that a newborn will often begin nursing before they even leave the doctor's office, and these are babies who had never successfully latched on before.

    The fact that your 16mo has been able to nurse well his whole life suggests to me that the frenulum-clipping isn't going to keep him from nursing. I wouldn't let the doctors' guesses influence your expectations -- how many nursing toddlers do they see? People who haven't been closely involved with a long-term breastfeeding relationship are generally quite clueless about the whole concept. They tend, for example, to think that "Just wean him" is a simple task, like switching brands of juice or something.

    I would, however, advise you to call an IBCLC or a LLL Leader (perhaps a Leader will respond here) for advice about how to go about resuming your nursing relationship following the surgeries. Good luck and let us know how everything goes!

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
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    Default Re: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    Hi LCsmom,

    Here's a section from an article in LEAVEN about tongue-tie.

    "There are several treatment options for a tongue-tie. The simplest and most commonly used in infants is the frenotomy, in which the frenulum is snipped with sterile scissors under a local anesthetic. Frenotomy involves very little bleeding and is a low-risk procedure. The baby can usually go directly to breast after the frenotomy, and mother may notice an immediate difference in the effectiveness and comfort of breastfeeding. Other infants may take a week or two to figure out how to use their newly freed tongue. If the baby seems to need help sucking properly after frenotomy, the mother may check with myofunctional therapists, speech and/or feeding therapists, or lactation consultants to see if they have experience working with this situation."

    Here's the whole article.
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...rMay02p27.html

    Here's a page on LLL's website with other resources about tongue-tie.
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBsuckproblems.html

    Some other articles you might be interested in, too.
    Breastfeeding After Surgery
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBNovDec03p213.html
    FAQ - My baby is having surgery under general anesthesia. How long before the surgery can I breastfeed him?
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/anesthesia.html

    This sounds like a lot to go through all at once. But how great you have been able to nurse successfully through the tongue-tie issues!

    Keep us posted as to how it goes, OK?

    Mary

  4. #4
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    My DS is 3 1/2 and we just found out he is tongue tied too...he is no longer nursing, but he did nurse for 2 years and we never once had a latch issue. I was quite surprised. He is having surgery for tubes in his ears, and an adnoidectomy, so they will clip his tongue too, as it is giving him speech problems. Anyway, he had surgery to bring his testicles down at 14 months, and he had a VERY sore throat afterwards (they had major issues intubating him and there was a ton of irritation and swelling) but all he wanted to do was nurse. I would try not to worry, especially since he is a comfort nurser too...he knows what he is doing!

    Good luck!

    Sarah

  5. #5
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    Default Re: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    My ds was born with tongue tie. We had it clipped when he was one week old. He was not able to bf at all initially because of the tongue tie.

    Anyways, I wanted to let you know what it was like to have the tongue clipped...

    I was very worried about having the tongue clipped. My family doctor was out of town when my baby was born. His back-up physician visited us at the hosipital. He was against having the tongue clipped, stating that it is too painfull.

    One week later, we had our first visit to our regular family doctor. He examined the baby, and agreed that he was tongue-tied. He said he recommended clipping it if it was interfering with bfing. It was really no big deal at all! I think the baby cried more about having the doc's big fingers in his mouth that the actual snip. The cut was made with small scissors without anesthesia. There was one tiny drop of blood. Afterwards, he did not seem to be in any pain.

    I wish it would have been done immediately when the baby was born. It sure would have saved me a lot of trouble! (I had been pumping and not able to bring in a full milk supply. I was able to bring it in after my ds' tongue was clipped, but it took several weeks.)

  6. #6
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    I think he will be OK and will want to nurse. My kids wake up wanting to nurse right away after surgery and they still benefit from the pain meds for several hours. With meds for pain management he should do just fine at home.
    Breastfeeding itself reduces pain and lowers the heart rate and feelings of stress for the child. He gets so much comfort from nursing that I am sure he will want you more than ever.
    Sometimes surgeons do not want a child to suck after mouth surgery but in my reading on Cleft Lip Palate the breast can not harm sutures or other work done in the mouth like a thumb, pacifier, bottle or cup could do. The breast is very soft and molds perfectly to the mouth. The added benefit of the breast milk fatty lipids and antibacterial properties will speed healing as well.

    Wishing you a long and happy nursing relationship.

    momuvseven

  7. #7
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    Default Re: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    Thanks for the response. It really helps to know that others are out there with similiar issues. I wish that he was able to just have it done in the dr. office. But since he is as old as he is the ENT said that he would put up to big of a fight. And that he would have to be put totally under. And there is also a Pedatric Urologist that is doing about an hour surgery on his penis. He was circumsised at birth. But he still has way to much foreskin. Not only in circumfrence, but also on the under side of his penis. I wsih that they would have found this when he was born. But he never had an issue with latching on or sucking. He latched on the very first time just like a champ. That I guess that it wasn't something that they would have been looking for. My ds first ped. never found it. And to a degree that kind of angered me. We changed peds when ds was 12 months old. Not due to that, but because his and mine personalities just didn't click. But we love the new one. And couldn't be happier. DS is having the sugeries in two days. ANd YES I AM SCARED TO DEATH!!! I have a fear of putting him under. My husband is even more nervous I think thatn I am. But I guess that we are just in that. He had an aunt that had bypass surgery in Jan. And she never woke up . So it has put a fear in us. He took 4 years and 36.6 weeks to get here. He is an inseminated baby. And we love that little boy more thatn life. Just like any paretn does in this world.

    I am sorry I am rambling. This is my one place in this world were I came come to and let my hair down. And not feel like I am getting chastized for still nursing my son at 17 months old. And get unbyust answers to my questions and feelings. Thanks for listening......

  8. #8
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    Default Re: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    Hi LCsmom,
    Thanks for updating us. Keep us posted as to how it goes, OK? We will all want to hear.
    It can be scary to bring them in for any type of procedure. Last year we took our 2+ yr. old in for some dental work. It was nerve-wracking but the hospital staff took such good care of all of us. They really know their stuff because they do this every day. It's their job. Their obvious competence and caring helped to put me and my husband at ease during a difficult time.
    I was able to request to be with my dd all the way to the operating room. I had to suit up in all the blue cover-up gear, but I was so grateful to be able to hold on to her until the last minute. Maybe this option is available to you or your dh at your hospital as well?
    Nursing was a big comfort to her as she woke up.
    We'll be thinking of you!
    Warmly,
    Mary

  9. #9
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    my second daughter has a tongue tie, and it interfered with nursing a little, but positioning her in the football position helped, and now she's stretched the tongue a little and can stick it out, though she still has the trade-mark heart shaped tip. We continued the football position even until she was bigger, though people definately stared. When she was able to sit up, we changed the position a little, so that she didn't have to have her feet straight up in the air or dangling over the arm of the chair. She could sort of sit up in a reclined position and nurse.

    Our ped. told us that getting the tongue clipped was nearly painless, and would just use a little numbing and a quick snip with scissors. We haven't needed that yet, though she's having some trouble with certain words, she's only two, and it could be a normal part of her development.

    I think you should go with it, maybe with a little prayer, and if he doesn't nurse again right away, maybe treat it like a nursing strike... keep offering, and if he's not ready to wean, he'll eventually start nursing again. Maybe just after a few hours or a day. Hope everything goes (or went) well.

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Re: DS having tounge surgery/fear he will want to wean afterwards...

    Well it has been a week since DS had his surgeries. And I am happy to say that we are still a very happy nursing pair. I was amazed!!! Just minutes after he woke up he wanted to nurse. It was a bit new to him and me. He was learning how to use his tounge in a new way. And I was feeling a whole new latch by him. His latch was so much better. Not near as painful. And he is even able to get a letdown even faster from me. And he is even able to get more molk. The ENT told me that he would probably start to drw more molk now that he was able to latch correctly. It took us both a few times to get use to it. But we are doing great.

    I was expecting a nursing strike. But he has been wanting to nurse even more now. But he is still rather soar from the reconstructive surgery that they did on his penis. The only problem we have had is that he got a infection on it. But he is on an antibiotic and getting better by the day. I would like to that all of you who responded to my posting. And for all of the kind words and support.

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