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Thread: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    7

    Default Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    My son Mason is having major latching issues that my 2 daughters never had.

    My nipples are bloody and raw and I cry from the pain when he latches on and nurses. At this point I am engorged and having to supplement with formula because even when I try to pump my breast milk (either by hand expressing or with my Medela pump) there is so much blood in with the milk that I cant feed it to my child.

    We took the baby to the Pediatrician today for a bilirubin check and I told him of the problems and he checked Mason and said that the problems were caused by his tongue and the lack of mobility. He suggested a procedure where they snip the tissue under the tongue to give him more mobility and solve the latching problems. The thought of causing my son pain was more than I could bear so we decided to wait on the procedure and do some more research.

    Does anyone have any experience or information on this procedure? From the reading I have done online so far it looks like this procedure may be necessary later on anyway because of speech issues.

    Help. I am beyond upset about my inability to nurse my son right now and don't know what to do to avoid engorgement and eventually losing my milk supply. I nursed my daughters into their toddler years and it was an experience I hoped to repeat.

    Thanks for any information!
    Kelley

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    My son was also tongue tied at birth and had many latch problems. He was unable to extend his tongue past his teeth. He had a hard time getting enough milk due to his incorrect latch. If you don't correct this problem it can lead to speech problems as well as dental because of the inablility to clear food from the front of the teeth with the tongue. Imagine also not being able to lick your own lips! Or lick an ice cream cone or kiss!! I have a cousin who is 30 and never had a frenectomy done and still talks with an impediment. So don't let people tell you it will stretch on it's own because it isn't necessarily true. Especially if it's a severe tie like my son had.

    My son had his frenectomy at 8 weeks( I wish it would have been sooner) and I nursed him immediately after it was done. I noticed an immediate difference and he was so much happier because he was so much more efficient at sucking and draining my breasts. Do not hesitate to have this done. It is really not a big procedure although more and more doctors don't do it. (don't ask me why, when my sister was a baby her doctor told my mom "oh she's tongue tied" pulled out a pair of scissors and clipped it right there in a few seconds. There were a couple drops of blood and she yelped a little but that was all. With my son the ENT gave him as injection of lidocaine under his tongue with a teeny tiny needle then clipped his frenulum. He cried but I know it was mostly from being held still. As soon as she was done he nursed and stopped crying. I asked my dentist if he does them and he said "sure all the time". So I'm definetely going to him if my next baby is tongue tied.

    Hope that helps. Feel free to ask for anymore detail if you want.

    P.S. my boy can give the juiciest raspberrys now!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    529

    Default Re: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    My second son was tongue tied also. It would take us a good 20-30 min to just get latched on, we were both so frustrated and my nipples were raw. At 21 days we decided to get his tongue clipped. It was very hard watching him be in pain, but it was quick and we nursed right away as pp said. Since then latching issues and sore nipples are a thing of the past. Hang in there!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    Thanks for the quick replies!

    Our pediatrician keeps Saturday hours so I am going to call in the morning and see if we can get in to have this done. Right now though my nipples are so bloody and sore that I can't imagine nursing him after the procedure though I would want to just for comfort.

    Any tips on dealing with the raw nipples and engorgement?

    Thanks!
    Kelley

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    Ansel also had a frenotomy done. The frenotomy is painless. There are no nerves in the frenulum of a small baby. Any crying that happens is because of a doctor poking around in his mouth, not from pain.
    it is well, well worth it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    kelly moms has good info on healing crackes and bleeding
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...lehealing.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    I had this done when i was 4 or 5 years old because i couldn't talk, i don't remember any pain at all...later found oput that is why it was so hard for my mom to nurse me as a child....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    We had our son's tongue clipped when he was 9 weeks old and wish we would have had it done much sooner. I'm glad to hear you decided to get it done. I understand about not wanting to cause your lo unnecessary pain. We had many discussions b/c of it, and I think the fact we had already decided not to circumcise made it harder. Ultimately, though, I really think the pain was very minimal for him (just made him mad), and it certainly improved my pain level and has allowed us to have a successful bfing relationship into toddlerhood. Be thankful you have a ped willing to clip it. I couldn't nurse right afterward b/c they used a local anesthetic. He ended up falling asleep in the car on the way home and just skipped a feeding.

    According to Dr. Jack Newman (who's a great bfing resource) you can still bf with bleeding nipples. Which, I know doesn't take the pain away, but at least you could use the milk. I would talk to an IBCLC or LLLLeader for help getting your nipples healed. http://www.kellymom.com/newman/12more_bf_myths.html#6

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    Thank you so much for the replies and insight. Our pediatrician's office won't be able to do this until Wednesday at the earliest so I will try to pump and hand express as much milk as possible before then for Mason.

    I was able to use my manual Medela today to relieve some pressure and express almost 2 ounces of milk without bleeding.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Lingual Frenectomy & Latching Issues - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by MasonsMommy View Post
    My son Mason is having major latching issues that my 2 daughters never had.

    My nipples are bloody and raw and I cry from the pain when he latches on and nurses. At this point I am engorged and having to supplement with formula because even when I try to pump my breast milk (either by hand expressing or with my Medela pump) there is so much blood in with the milk that I cant feed it to my child.

    We took the baby to the Pediatrician today for a bilirubin check and I told him of the problems and he checked Mason and said that the problems were caused by his tongue and the lack of mobility. He suggested a procedure where they snip the tissue under the tongue to give him more mobility and solve the latching problems. The thought of causing my son pain was more than I could bear so we decided to wait on the procedure and do some more research.

    Does anyone have any experience or information on this procedure? From the reading I have done online so far it looks like this procedure may be necessary later on anyway because of speech issues.

    Help. I am beyond upset about my inability to nurse my son right now and don't know what to do to avoid engorgement and eventually losing my milk supply. I nursed my daughters into their toddler years and it was an experience I hoped to repeat.

    Thanks for any information!
    Kelley

    I think you'll be glad about having this procedure done. Takes a few seconds. There really isn't much nerve supply there currently -- and blood supply is less now. So babies mostly get mad that they're being held down for the couple of minutes it takes to position them, pick up the instrument that isolates the frenulum for the doc to see, and then clip. If done when older, a child has to be anesthetized and it's bloody. Now there will probably be none to a few drops of blood. That's it.

    Re: engorgement and milk production -- if there are places to rent a hospital-grade, electric, self-cycling breast pump, e.g. Medela or Ameda/Hollister, please, please do so immediately! If engorged, prior to pumping place ice packs (e.g. bag of frozen corn, peas, etc. or crushed ice) on your breasts (with a towel or other cloth between ice pack and skin) for 20 minutes. Just after ice, do Reverse Pressure Softening (RPS), which is essentially the application of firm steady pressure on your areola back toward the chest wall -- as if trying to touch the areola to the rib cage for 2-4 minutes. Then pump, pump, pump. Repeat hourly until milk flowing well. Then repeat every 2-3 hours until engorgement lessens. Then repeat at least 8-10x/24 hours until able to breastfeed.

    Milk with a bit of blood in it is NOT a problem for most babies -- good stuff in milk gets digested; blood goes right through them. (Wil color poop, though.)

    This is a detour on the road to BF as per your daughters -- you will/can get back on the expressway to long-term BF again! In the meantime, it's important to move milk effectively and frequently -- while working on that tongue!

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