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Thread: Tongue tied and nipple shields

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Tongue tied and nipple shields

    My son is 17 days old, and the LC at the hospital informed us that he is tongue tied. I nursed for the first week without the shield and was in pretty bad shape. The LC gave me a nipple shield which has worked well for us, or so I thought. At the 2 week check up the dr noticed that my son has lost wieght, and recommended supplementing formula. Since he can't latch properly I would rather use the shield and breastfeed and not suppliment. My question is this. My milk supply seems to be fine, but is he getting the same amount of milk with the shield on as he would with out? I tried to bf with out the shield today and he has no problem going with out it. However it was instantly painful. I just want so badly to be able to breastfeed and it gets a bit frustrating when the drs keep suggesting I suppliment.

    Thanks
    Ursula

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: Tongue tied and nipple shields

    Have you looked into having his frenulum clipped? DS was tongue tied and I know the pain you are in! Having DS's clipped really helped. Babies who are tongue tied can have trouble transferring milk effectively, and the shield might actually make this worse.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    14

    Default Re: Tongue tied and nipple shields

    The dr did try to clip and it did free his tongue up a bit, but they think he will need surgery when he is older. At this point the only way I can bf is to use the shield, pump or deal with the pain. I tried pumping but at the time I was super sore so I gave up on it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Tongue tied and nipple shields



    My DS had tongue-tie too. We had it clipped and BFing got much better after that. Perhaps the doctor wasn't able to clip it enough to free the tongue. I have heard of children needing to have it clipped more than once. Also, it can take a while for them to learn how to use the tongue properly. It may still get better.

    It took us about three weeks to be pain free while nursing, but my LO was 10 weeks old when we had it fixed. My LC also suggested tongue exercises that would help.

    I pumped after feedings and gave expressed BM first, then formula if needed.
    Melissa, mom to my very busy 4-year-old little man and super busy 2-year-old princess.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    50

    Default Re: Tongue tied and nipple shields

    I don't like the "shield"...

    I had been given a shield in the first two weeks too (for other reasons) and my LO lost weight too. I consulted a different lact. consult. and was told he was not able to draw out enough milk with the shield on, and I was advised to nurse without it and continue to work on latch-on techniques until LO got it right. In meantime to aid the nipple healing, I was given these plastic bra cups that hold the fabric away from your skin and allow you to heal (the bra "pads" didn't do much for this purpose until after the major leaking stopped). I strongly recommend the plastic "shells" (mine were by Medela) and using lanolin (mine was Lansinoh) in between nursings. I suffered two weeks before being given the tools that worked and within three days I was nursing comfortably and within a week I was sore-free. By the third week LO was a champion nurser.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: Tongue tied and nipple shields

    What are nipply shields for again?
    Hi! I'm Shelley!
    Feeling like a and lovin' it!
    Cloth Diapering Convert

    Married DH 8/5/2000
    DS 2/25/03 Always making me laugh!
    DD 1/23/07 Loves to Breastfed 15 months with no end in sight!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Tongue tied and nipple shields

    Thanks for the input.

    The shields are to help the nipples to heal, or at least that's what I was given them for. I did use the shells for a day, but they would fill up with milk in about 10 mins. At this point my nips are pretty much healed, but LO can't get his tongue over his lower jaw so he basically chews on me to get the milk out. We go in on Tuesday to check his weight, and I really hope that it's going back up. I will ask at that point about clipping again, but when he did it the first time he commented on how thick the frenulim (sp?) was. That was why the recommended the surgery in the first place. From what I understand they have to use general anestisia, so they would have to wait until he is much older anyway.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: Tongue tied and nipple shields

    Do you know how old they want him to be before doing surgery? That's such a tough decision to make about general anesthetic. The first ENT we talked to would only do it that way, but basically b/c that was his preference. The second did the procedure with local anesthetic, but it didn't have to be stitched.

    I just wanted give you some encouragement to keep working until you find a solution that will work for you and your family. It is so difficult emotionally when you are in pain and especially with your additional concern about your lo getting enough. If you do have to supplement with ebm, you can still maintain your nursing relationship. Making sure your baby is getting enough is always the first priority. Hope you get good news tomorrow!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Tongue tied and nipple shields

    Just an idea to help with milk intake. Have you tried doing breast compressions after your milk letdown is past? Here's some info on them. http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html

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