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Thread: Tricks for moving baby's tongue over gums?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Tricks for moving baby's tongue over gums?

    Hey everyone. Here is more of my story. I posted under "special situations, but then thought I would also share her. You just never know!

    Nursing started off rough with premie issues including torticollis and a short tongue. After completely exhausting myself, I regretfully gave more and more bottles as baby just wasn't growing and doc & LC said baby required supplements. I am successfully relactating and going to weekly physical therapy with my almost five month old. His tongue has grown but he doesn't move it forward to nurse. Additionally, he preferrs the left breast due to the tortecollis. (I will include the wikapedia definition at the end of this post.)

    I have read about the "charm hold" of putting baby tummy down and letting baby suck on finger until baby's tongue relaxes and drops forward over the gums. I am trying this - not successfully, yet.

    Any other techniques for helping get little tongues out over the gums? Much thanks in advance.

    Congenital muscular torticollis
    The etiology of congenital muscular torticollis is unclear, birth trauma or intrauterine malposition is considered to cause damage to the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck, this result in a shortening or excessive contraction of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, often with limited range of motion in both rotation and lateral bending. The head is typically tilted in lateral bending towards the affected muscle and rotated towards the opposite side. The reported incidence of congenital torticollis is 0.3-2.0 %

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: Tricks for moving baby's tongue over gums?

    Could you see an IBCLC? My best suggestion is to call around and find someone who is knowledgeable about torticollis and it's effect on breastfeeding, as well as someone who has experience working with babies with this issue and with relactation. I know it sounds like a tall order, but you might be surprised! Remember that IBCLCs usually do charge for their services. http://gotwww.net/ilca/

    Keep us updated!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Tricks for moving baby's tongue over gums?

    Well, I do have 2 IBCLC's on the case. I don't know that either thinks that I am going to be successful at this, but both are encouraging. One IBCLC told me that she had never seen a baby resist the breast more than my son. I laughed and said, "Well then, you didn't see my daughter four years ago." I got him comfort sucking shortly after she saw him.

    It was another IBCLC that suggested I talk to my doctor about tortecollis (she is also a PT) when he was just weeks old and nursing exclusively (but gaining weight too slowly). I just have found that sometimes other moms have as good if not better advice or ideas or resources.

    We go for CranioSacral Therapy weekly. I am also going to a new PT on Monday that has helped with nursing issues with other mothers. I am really excited about this.

    He comfort sucks, but it is painful to me. If we could get good positioning and proper latching, I just think he could bring my milk in quicker. He gets about 1/2 - 1 oz in each bottle. I am trying to teach him to finger feed with the SNS so I can feel what he is doing with his tongue and help him learn to move it forward. So far my poor baby is just confused. He is so sweet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Tricks for moving baby's tongue over gums?

    Just an update: The cranio-sacral therapy is awesome!!!! It helped move his high palate down. It is helping his neck. The PT got him to suck with his tongue forward. She and I both were teary eyed. She knows how much this means to me. I posted on another thread, but I am putting it here, too. He is latching on both sides and nursing with the SNS. I am just praising God from whom all blessings flow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: Tricks for moving baby's tongue over gums?

    I am so glad things are working out for you!

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