Can a tongue tie cause bottle feeding problems?

(19 Posts)
LittleMissP81 Fri 28-Feb-14 17:19:58

My 16 week old baby boy was 5 wks prem and weighed 3lbs. He was tube fed initially, breast feeding didn't work out so was on ebm until supply ran out at about 6wks. Along the way it was mentioned he had a tongue tie but no one seemed very concerned. He's always been quite a fussy feeder- takes ages over bottle, very gulpy, chews on teat, doesn't form proper seal around teat etc. and is getting worse. He'll be happy and hungry but as soon as I put the bottle to his mouth he screams for half an hour before eventually guzzling it down- nothing else obvious wrong, he's not over tired, he's winded and obviously hungry as he has it in the end. Wondering if tongue tie might be affecting feeding- making him frustrated etc. Anyone else had a similar experience??

purplemurple1 Fri 28-Feb-14 18:13:35

MIne was fussy at the breast and stopped breast feeding at 6 weeks like you (don't know if its tt). I do find he gets esp fussy with his bottle when its time to go up a teat size, and some babies need a bigger size from day 1 (I.e. should miss the newborn altogether) - could it be that?

LittleMissP81 Fri 28-Feb-14 18:19:16

He's already on the fastest flow teat. Did find that moving to the next teat improved things for a bit but then he goes back to fussing. Making feeds a bit of a nightmare!

Dysgu Fri 28-Feb-14 18:34:19

My little boy was 6 weeks prem and was on formula via his ng tube from day one.
He reached the age of about 10 weeks before he even opened his mouth wide enough to scream, which is when I noticed he had a tongue tie. He had been discharged from NICU by this time but I called them up and we went in the same week. DS was dribbling from his bottle and was feeding every 2 hours day and night because so much milk was not making it down to his tummy. He did make a sort off rattling noise when he was drinking and had a very poor latch on the teat.
The doctor cut his tie straight away and when I gave him a bottle there was an immediate improvement.

I would suggest either speaking to his consultant, if e has one, or else speak to your GP or HV.

Good luck!

LittleMissP81 Fri 28-Feb-14 18:45:51

Thanks for that, planning on speaking to hv/ gp next week. Why they didn't just snip it as soon as it was spotted I don't know- hoping they'll do it without any probs but apparently they can be reluctant in some areas. Was problem solved as soon as your little one had the snip?

Dysgu Fri 28-Feb-14 18:58:33

The problem was solved straight away for my DS - they cut his tie, I put a bottle in his mouth and he drank it with no dribbling or rattling straight away. They did wonder how he had not been spotted before, but he had been such a quiet tiny baby and had never opened his mouth to scream!

I did do some research and knew that there was a possibility that they would refuse to cut it but it was very clearly causing him problems and I wasn't prepared to wait to see if it would cause him problems with speaking when he was older!

A friend of mine really struggled to get her son's tongue tie cut and was back and forth to the GP/HV and hospital clinic before they finally did it - and it really helped when they did. Another friend paid £40 and had it done privately.

purplemurple1 Fri 28-Feb-14 19:06:11

The only other thing that helps with mine is feeding when he is alseep, night feeds have always been much easier than day feeds, Not a long term solution but can make things less stressful sometimes.

mawbroon Fri 28-Feb-14 20:58:44

Yes, it absolutely can affect bottle feeding too and more.

InsomniaczK8 Sun 02-Mar-14 19:58:26

Yes in my DDs case very much so. She had an undiagnosed TT and would take up to 2 hours to finish a bottle as she'd keep falling asleep because it was hard work for her as she wasn't forming a good latch. She got very colicy because her poor latch was letting air in and she'd also gulp and splutter and frantically wave her arms whilst feeding as if she was drowning. She also made a strange clicking noise whilst feeding and had a heart shaped indentation on the tip of her tongue.

I became convinced the problem was TT after reading up on mumsnet when my DD was 8 weeks old even though I was told there was no TT by several midwives and my HV. I had a really hard time getting a referral because noone believed me, I was also told TT didn't effect bottle feeding and snipping the tie wouldn't necessarily help. I eventually got a referral and got her TT snipped and saw an immediate improvement. My DD was so much calmer. She started taking full bottles 3 hourly and her sleep improved she was like a different baby.

My DD dropped down from 98th centile to the 50th in her first two months and after her TT was snipped she stayed on the 50th centile and has been putting weight on nicely since.

Sorry for the essay but I feel quite strongly about the benefits of treating TT and don't think their is enough support for new mothers. If you think your DC is having feeding problems my advice to you is to pester and pester and pester untill you get a referral to get the TT snipped. It is such a quick and in my DDs case painfree procedure and the effect was immediate. Good luck

Purplelooby Sun 02-Mar-14 23:11:37

Yes it certainly can as it did with my DS. He was totally unable to BF despite the posterior TT being quite small and he suffered from silent reflux when bottle feeding which gives the symptoms you describe.

ZuleikaD Mon 03-Mar-14 13:35:02

Yes, absolutely - what you describe is very typical. You might have to wait ages for a referral to a consultant but a private lactation consultant can usually do it much faster. Sometimes they will do home visits, too. DEFINITELY pursue it. There is much ignorance about tongue-tie in GPs and HVs - you should chase it.

LittleMissP81 Mon 03-Mar-14 14:24:49

Thank you everyone, a lot of what you've described sounds exactly like my little boy- it's making me dread feeds.I'll definitely chase it up. Feel annoyed that a tt has already been diagnosed but no ones done anything about it. With everything else that went on when he was born its only recently I've started to wonder about it. Cannot understand why all tts aren't just snipped when the problems it can cause in the future are potentially so serious...

ZuleikaD Mon 03-Mar-14 18:41:07

It's not just with feeding, it can really affect speech. DS2's wasn't done properly and now he's 11 months he has big problems with eating solids and is clearly going to have speech issues too. We've asked for another referral but God knows when it'll happen. It's a full-on operation at this age too.

mawbroon Mon 03-Mar-14 21:28:15

It doesn't have to be a full on operation at any age ZuleikaD (I presume you mean under GA?)

There are a couple of dentists in the UK who use laser and local anaesthetic. They only operate privately, but having used one of them for ds1, I would have no hesitation to recommend it. They will also deal with an upper lip tie if there is one and it's deemed necessary.

You are absolutely right to say that it can affect speech, but it goes much further than that in some cases. DS1's whole orofacial structure was distorted by the restricted tongue movement causing mouth breathing, ENT trouble, snoring and bouts of apnoea as well as the tie itself causing gastric trouble. DS1 is 8yo now and 1.5years since revision, he is doing really well and responding to early treatment to amend his structure (braces and headgear)

Not everybody will be affected this severely by ties, but there is definitely WAY more to it than speech, feeding and licking fecking ice cream cones which is one that they like to highlight for some reason hmm

ZuleikaD Tue 04-Mar-14 06:43:20

That's interesting - do you have a link? We're near the John Radcliffe and there's a very eminent TT specialist there - unfortunately he's so eminent he doesn't spend a lot of time actually doing it. I'd be happy to go private if I knew where to go - DS2's tongue can't protrude from his mouth at all, and he has to use his fingers to move food around his mouth, he gags all the time, he can only do a DaDa sound by moving his whole bottom jaw - it's very clear something needs doing.

mawbroon Tue 04-Mar-14 08:06:03

Sorry not sure if you mean link to the dentists or info re other problems caused by tongue tie!

The dentists are Malcolm Levinkind in North London and John Roberts in Huddersfield. As far as I know, John only does under 1s and over 6s, so you would need to be quick!

this goes some way towards listing other problems that can be caused by tongue tie, but it is not complete.

Shootingstarsandcomets Tue 04-Mar-14 19:34:49

We have a posterior tt and ds2 is ff. he gulps loads of air and only drinks 3oz at a time. It's a nightmare but no one is interested. We gave a consultant appt tomorrow but I know they won't cut it as he is gaining weight well and that's all they care about.
If we get nowhere tomorrow we are going to see dr levinkind.

LittleMissP81 Thu 06-Mar-14 18:11:34

Went to gp today who told me he's not tongue tied and told me to try a different milk. Made me feel like a stupid neurotic mother! When I said he'd already had the diagnosis in hospital he just said again no, he doesn't have a tongue tie. At a loss now- any ideas?? Shall I go private? Or is there something else it could be? Hv suggested trying different bottles- he's on tommee tippee at the mo- could that make a difference? Any ideas gratefully received!

mawbroon Thu 06-Mar-14 18:31:32

Fucking doctors. They do my head in sometimes...

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