Baby with tongue tie - any experiences?

(172 Posts)
Sparkeleigh Wed 06-Nov-13 12:00:00

My baby has been diagnosed with a tongue tie. He wouldn't bf at all on hospital unless the midwives squished my boob and shoved him into it and they were concerned about him not feeding so eventually I gave him formula to get home.

Since then my milk has come in and I've been expressing. I saw a Lll leader yesterday who diagnosed tongue tie, and said clipping it could improve how he feeds.

Does anyone have experience with a baby with tongue tie and did you get it clipped?

My DH feels that if it's just to make our lives easier and get more sleep it's a bit selfish to put him through it. He's been feeding and changing DS at night while I express but I'm worried at how practical this will be when his paternity leave is over.

I don't know what to do, it seems easier to do it now when he's only a week old than later and I'd really like to breastfeed him, even if that is a bit selfish. I've tried nipple shields and he seems to be able to feed through those but they're so fiddly and need constantly sterilised they're not practical for all feeds.

Thanks to anyone who read that essay!

sheeplikessleep Wed 06-Nov-13 12:10:16

Have you googled about it? Sorry can't write much as ds3 asleep on me an I'm not good at 1handed typing!

Firstly, tongue tie can cause later problems with speech. Ven things like licking an ice cream can be difficult. It's. much bigger deal when older - general anaesthetic.

Secondly, it is a very quick procedure on young baby. Their rev endings ar much more underdeveloped than an adults.

Ds3 was tongue tied, snipped at 2 weeks old. He was out of th room for les than 5 minutes and whilst crying as he was carried back down corridor, he stopped crying as soon as he got back in theoom. I fed him straight away, bit of blood bu not much.

You ar not being selfish in the slightest. Breastfeeding brings so many benefits for your baby.

To me, there aren't any 'cons' of snipping tt. Ther are lots of benefits to baby and breastfeeding being a major one, given you ar so keen.

Please look into it, I really urge you to get it done.

FurryGiraffe Wed 06-Nov-13 12:16:10

My DS had a posterior tongue tie which we had snipped at 10 days. It was quick, he barely cried and feeding improved loads within a few days. He was EBF until he started solids last week.

I know it seems a scary thing to inflict on a newborn but it isn't selfish. Efficient, pain free breast feeding is good for you both. And more sleep is NOT a selfish desire- it's often the difference between enjoying your baby and being a weepy mess! But if you want a selfless reason to snip, then bear in mind tongue tie can cause speech difficulties so you may be saving your baby from that. Honestly, get it snipped- it's really a tiny procedure and can make such a difference.

shelley72 Wed 06-Nov-13 12:22:39

I've had two dds with tongue tie - both snipped, one at three days and one at two days, by our midwife. I didn't really do it for my benefit, they were having problems feeding and the youngest one wasn't putting on weight as she should. It instantly made feeding more efficient, and less painful too.

Oh and if it makes you feel better, dd1 never slept through until she was 3!

TimeIsAnIllusion Wed 06-Nov-13 12:25:08

I won't go into the long details of my experience with my dc - but I do think its best to get it snipped as early as you can. Leaving it may mean your baby can't easily bottle feed, or even eat solids properly. Leaving it could result in a speech impediment too.
Having it snipped in later years could mean needing general anaesthetic.
I would honestly - from my experience of the tongue tie not being dealt with promptly advise you seize the earliest opportunity to get it snipped.
It wasn't my choice to leave it with my dc. It was the way of the nhs locally, current thinking on these matters at the time, delays in getting an appointment after my child had failed to thrive, been switched to bottles - continued to fail to thrive, been out onto solids at 16 weeks - continued to fail to thrive (and endured choking on her food as unable to eat well also due to tongue tie). At 1y my child was about the size of a 6/7m old!
To this day my child (now nealy 10y old) doesn't recognise hunger pangs as hunger was "normal" while unable to eat. I wish the tongue tie had been dealt with when discovered - at birth!

nextphase Wed 06-Nov-13 12:26:30

Both mine TT, snipped around 3 weeks.
made a massive difference to reducing feeding times, and improved weight gain (neither regained birth weight til 6 days after tie divided).

DS1 more fussed about being swaddled than the divide.
DS2 just to laid back to care either way.

I'd do it again in a flash. It is possible they will grow back, but the thought of putting a 3 year old under GA to get it divided would make me get it done before they hit 13 weeks, or whatever the cut off is in your area.

TimeIsAnIllusion Wed 06-Nov-13 12:41:20

My dd had hers cut at 10m in the drs office at the hospital using blunt ended scissors. The dr and 2 students wrapped her tight in a sheet and I had to wait outside the door while they did it.
Usually the cut off point in my area is "when they cut teeth" as they may bite the dr!shock
She was given calpol as pain relief beforehand.
There was a fair bit of blood. Also her sheets were bloodstained the next couple of nights.
It did immediately improve her ability to eat and drink adequately. It wasn't nice but it was necessary to have the procedure.

TimeIsAnIllusion Wed 06-Nov-13 12:42:54

At 10m she did put up a fair fight, and protested a lot!

readysteady Wed 06-Nov-13 12:47:10

Mine clipped at 3 weeks all 3 kids apparently genetic none noticed as so quick done by consultant at hospital changed everything for me and my babies! Honestly get it done smile

colafrosties Wed 06-Nov-13 12:48:54

DS had his tongue tie snipped at 10 days old - he hardly even made a sound so I don't think it hurt him. And he could feed much better afterwards!

Thanks goodness I found out about it early enough as I think I would have given up bf'ing if the problems had gone on any longer.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 06-Nov-13 12:50:32

My DS had TT and had it snipped in hospital at 15 days old. It really is a very quick operation and the improvement in his feeding afterwards was very good. There was a lactation consultant at the hospital to help the babies feed after their TT had been snipped.

I was told that having a TT snipped before, I think, 4 months of age is relative simple. After that if snipping is needed it much more complex and painful. Breastfeeding a baby when it is going smoothly is so much nicer than expressing so I would really look into your DC having the procedure.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Nov-13 12:53:00

My ds's tt was snipped at four days. I was in the room. He didn't even cry or bleed!

It isn't selfish to want to fix this imvho - it would be sensible. Wanting to breastfeed is a very valid reason as is wanting a bit more sleep smile

DS2 had it snipped at 8 days old, and DS3 at 4 days old. DS3 couldn't latch, had dropped 9% in 3 days, was clearly dehydrated and my nips were cracked and bleeding! After it was snipped he put on a pound in 6 days! The procedure is incredibly low-tech, DS3 didn't even flinch and there was no blood. The midwives helped us get a good latch and have a good feed before we went home, and phoned a couple of weeks later to check how we were doing.
Ask your midwife for a referral and be insistent. Good luck!

isitwineoclockyet Wed 06-Nov-13 12:53:22

My DD (11) has never had hers snipped & I wish she had. If I could go back to the moment the midwife said "Oh look - she's got a tied tongue!" I would have made sure it was done as early as possible. I don't know why it's not done routinely any more, & it has caused her problems, notably with talking and eating. I have also seen some research linking it with dental problems & to some extent she has had those too (the only one of my kids who has)

DD would like it to be done (though she's nervous). I'm a rubbish mum who just hasn't got round to looking into it even though I DO believe it would benefit her.

Fishandjam Wed 06-Nov-13 12:57:59

Both my DC had thick posterior tongue ties. DS's wasn't diagnosed at all by the useless midwives, but his breastfeeding was terrible. He looked like he was latching well but my nipples were raw and bleeding, it was agonising to feed, and he just wasn't getting the milk. He lost loads of weight and became jaundiced, and had to be bottle fed. I cried buckets over how I was failing my baby. I did eventually manage to breastfeed him but it took around 12 weeks of expressing round the clock before his mouth grew big enough to overcome the tie. (Not that we knew it at the time - his tie wasn't diagnosed until he was about 2!) And because of the lack of decent feeding in the early days, my milk supply packed in 6 weeks later.

With DD, I was forewarned - we got her diagnosed and snipped at 3 weeks. It was done by an independent LC/HV, on my kitchen table with DD wrapped in a towel grin, as the waiting list to get it done on the NHS was very long in our area. There was a tiny amount of blood but it soon stopped, and she was feeding immediately after. Really no great drama at all - the various vaccinations were more traumatic! It didn't make an immediate difference but aftera few days she was feeding a lot better. She weaned herself off the boob at 12 months.

So I would be squarely in favour of getting it snipped, and the sooner the better.

mrsyattering Wed 06-Nov-13 13:01:31

Get it cut as soon as possible, it is a quick procedure and my ds fed immediately after, with a huge improvement. He was 10 days old. You don't even have to stay in, over in seconds.
Dd didn't get hers done till she was past 2 years, had load of problems feeding and had to have an anesthetic and a day in hospital.
You are not being selfish, you are being sensible.

3sonsequalschaos Wed 06-Nov-13 13:08:37

my child was 11 weeks old before it was done but so glad we did. Breast feeding was a very dribbly, painful and long-winded affair before and so much better after, he absolutely thrived as he could finally suck properly. I cried when he had it done but it did not seem to bother him much at all! He is 5 now and perfect, no problems although speech a little unclear so I think it would have been a lot worse without the snip.

OpenMindedSceptic Wed 06-Nov-13 13:47:42

DS- posterior tongue tie, snipped at 13 days (iirc). Made absolutely no difference at all.

ProcessYellowC Wed 06-Nov-13 13:50:40

Hi there

Just to share my experience - got DS' tongue tie clipped at 8 weeks - it can take a while to get the referral through...

It only took a second, DS cried more because he was hungry and taken away from me for a minute (he had to be hungry so he'd feed straight afterwards) and after that not one whimper; we were out and about for the rest of the day afterwards and he was a happy baby.

It eventually cleared up a lot of pain that I had been experiencing while feeding him and I went on to feed for another couple of years or so!

I don't see it as selfish, the baby has to work extra hard to mine the milk when they have a tongue tie so it is making life easier for them too. Despite appearances I am sure they appreciate a bit more sleep too!

Good luck whatever you decide.

Thumbwitch Wed 06-Nov-13 14:02:37

OK, not read other responses but here's my experience:

DH has tongue tie and I knew there was a chance that our baby would too.
DS1 was checked by 3 staff who missed it, but he couldn't latch on well at all. About 15h after he was born, the lactation expert came around and manually checked, rather than just visually, and diagnosed partial posterior tongue tie. She showed me the best way to get DS1 to latch (lying down for us) and offered to refer immediately. I wasn't sure, so left it to see how we got on now we had a better latch.
3 days later, the home visiting MW (also a BF expert) watched me feed DS1, saw how hard it still was and made the referral. I was very lucky that the hospital I had DS1 in had no issue with getting tongueties snipped. We saw the paediatrician within the next 2 weeks, and he discussed it with me and explained that as it was only a partial TT, then snipping might not make any difference, but it might. So I said "Do it".

A nurse came in, held DS1 wrapped tightly in a blanket, they gave him a drop of sucrose solution to make him relaxed and a drop of novocaine under his tongue, one snip with surgical scissors and it was all done. Took 5 minutes at most. He didn't even whimper. They gave him back to me to feed, which he did without any sign of distress - and within 2w, the feeding and latch had improved immensely.

DS2 was born in Australia. I suspected he would also have TT and asked for it to be checked immediately - another partial posterior TT. He fed differently but still had a very clicky latch and took in an awful lot of air, so also had reflux. Had the referral sorted immediately but it took 5w to be seen, and so Ds2 had longer to form bad latch habits. Same procedure but without the novocaine; still not even a whimper and DS2 fed straight away with no problem (although he bled a little longer - maybe half an hour instead of the 10 or so mins with DS1).
Again I was very lucky to have had a paed who was willing and able to do the division - friends of mine here have not been so lucky with theirs.

I am actually of the opinion that it should be a standard post natal check, along with eyes, ears and hips and that it should be automatically dealt with if found and the mother is having troubles feeding.

If it is left, and later causes problems with speech or eating, the division is so much worse: a friend of mine's DS had severe TT that wasn't spotted until he was 3 - he was having troubles talking clearly and had grommits and excessive wax in his ears - it was a GA and a week of discomfort to get that TT dealt with.

southerngal Wed 06-Nov-13 14:09:07

Yes - I'd agree with most of the people here. I had my daughters tongue tie snipped at nearly 3 months - much older than most of the babies at the clinic. Just a look at all the women with newborns bleeding nipples was enough to convince me it was the right move.

My baby was feeding well, but the windiness caused by the strange latch made her sick about 10 times a day - and very colic prone and I felt the snip really sorted it out.

I had a great breastfeeding counsellor (at Kings, London) who recommended I do it and sorted it all out for me.

It was a tiny bit upsetting as a process but she has no memory of it at all and was a really early speaker (I mention this due to possible later speech issues). Apparently if you don't get it done for breastfeeding reasons it can be harder to convince doctors to do it later on...

Thumbwitch Wed 06-Nov-13 14:09:44

Have now read the rest of the thread! smile

It is far from selfish to get this done now. It is as much, if not more, for your baby's benefit as yours. It's quick, it's almost painless (babies cry if they get cold, they don't tend to cry for this, it's therefore not really registering on their discomfort scale, let alone pain!) and it saves so many problems later on.

OK, not everyone with TT will have all the problems but they could have speech problems, eating problems, ear problems (apparently excessive wax is linked), and dental problems (because if you can't use your tongue to clean around your teeth, as we all do probably without even thinking about it, you're more likely to get dental caries).

For a 5 minute snip, that doesn't hurt, all those problems could be solved. It's not like circumcision, for goodness' sake! (In case your DH was thinking they were at all similar - they're not even close).

Wingdingdong Wed 06-Nov-13 14:20:01

DS had 65% PTT. He couldn't breastfeed efficiently or bottlefeed at all - I tried expressing due to the extreme pain and to give myself a break for a couple of hours and he just flicked the bottle teat out again, couldn't get a grip at all.

We got the tt snipped at 8w, by which time I'd had mastitis twice. I'd definitely do it earlier next time, it made a huge difference to DS. For a start once he could feed comfortably he didn't get quite as much wind and reflux, and it wasn't taking him as long to feed so he wasn't as frustrated.

ksrwr Wed 06-Nov-13 14:22:29

my dd had tongue tie, i was expecting it as both my mother and brother have it. she had hers snipped at 6 days.
it bled, she cried, but 5 mins later she was fine.
she didn't have problems feeding, and i know from my mum and brother they never had problems with speech or anything else in life, so i didn't have any real reason to get it snipped, but i just wanted to get it done so she would have the risk of any of those problems removed.
the procedure itself took about one second.
but agree with everyone else - the younger the better - the first few days or weeks if you can.
the tt snip isn't for your benefit!! its for the baby's!!

flatmum Wed 06-Nov-13 14:30:49

Yours and DHs concerns are completely normal and understandable, But my advice is do it now while he is tiny and will not be badly affected - honestly.

It's not just issues with feeding that are involved. 2 of my sons had tt and were snipped at 3 weeks and 1 week. One's was so severe (he had a very noticable forked tongue) that they said he would very probably have a speech impedicment and require speech therapy if it was not snipped. Some children have problems eating as well due to not being able to stick their tongue out fully (or at all in my son's case). Teher will be other issues along the way (there always is) and if you have problems with bf or feeding later on it will have been eliminated as a potential factor. If ou don't do it in th efirst few weeks and they later need it addressed for some reason it will the require a general anathetic and hospital stay (no fun at all with a toddler).

I totally understand why you feel bad doing it but I promise you that it was not too traumatic at all. There is a little bit of blood and they may yelp a bit (one of mine did, one didnt cry at all) but the midwives advised me to not feed for awhile so that they were hungry before the (quick) procedure, the theory being that you can then immediately give them a bf which has soothing, anaethetic properties (or a comforting bottle) - so he was crying anyway before they started.

I can honestly say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I now think it is the right thing to do it as early as possible. Good luck!

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