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!

perfectstorm Fri 08-Nov-13 22:03:39

My DH had such a bad tt he was fed via a spoon from birth. Couldn't latch on a bottle. Had terrible orthodontic problems, and actually nasal problems as well that required operating. So yes, hereditary and why I am so anxious the new baby is checked by someone who knows their arse from their elbow as soon as possible after birth.

mawbroon Fri 08-Nov-13 22:27:16

DS1 is similar perfectstorm.

His ties had caused a narrow high palate and at 7yo his orthodontic problems were becoming apparent. His bottom jaw was becoming bigger than the top one from mouth breathing. His high palate was restricting his nasal passages.

He is undergoing orthodontic treatment just now to widen his palate and this will hopefully avoid the need for extractions when he is a teenager, and he wears headgear at night to draw out his mid-face and open up his nostrils.

Tongue tie really is a whole body and overall health issue.

mawbroon Fri 08-Nov-13 22:29:22

Not as bad as needing spoon fed though, but he was really inefficient at breastfeeding.

I used to complain that he seemed to need feeding all the time, and was assured that "babies do feed all the time", "it's normal" etc etc, but he was sometimes feeding 16hrs out of 24!!

Mayweed15 Sat 09-Nov-13 09:36:19

Have registered especially to say DO IT! My DD was a brilliant and efficient bf-re from day one, so when DS was born and feeding him was excruciating I was sure there was something wrong. The mw said he had a slight TT but nothing that would cause any problems, but by day three I had really badly bleeding nipples and feeds were taking four hours! (he was a really big baby so was very hungry) so I asked the HV to take a look. She said straight away she thought it was very severe and spent twenty minutes on the phone finding me a midwife who could do it ASAP. It was snipped the same day (mw and HV worked late to do it) and it turned out he had no movement at the back of his tongue at all. Feeding was immediately better although it took a week or so for him to fully relearn his latch. But much less windy, faster feeds, more sleep, he barely cried, and it didn't hurt anymore. I would tell anyone who asked to get it done, no question.

Mayweed15 Sat 09-Nov-13 09:42:57

Also, thanks to this thread I've just noticed he's got a bit of a lip tie too, so will ask the GP about that at his six week check!

mawbroon Sat 09-Nov-13 10:12:10

Expect for the lip tie to be dismissed by the GP btw.

Breadandcakes Sat 09-Nov-13 14:34:18

Posterior Tongue tie snipped at 3 months after difficulties feeding. I saw a specialist in Southampton with my dc Mr Griffiths who is very interested in this area.

perfectstorm Sat 09-Nov-13 15:30:02

Mawbroon my MIL had no idea (still doesn't - would hurt her too much) that my DH's problems were fixable, and even avoidable. Our generation are luckier - the internet meant I could research, educate myself and take DS to Southampton and the Oxford breastfeeding clinic. I took DS to Tooth Beary (specialist paediatric dentist) last year as well to ensure his jaw is developing properly and his teeth are unaffected by any of it, and luckily they are. So even from a purely mercenary perspective, ties need addressing, as the long-term outcomes are pretty expensive if you don't. My husband's surgeries have cost the NHS a fortune, and orthodontics cost parents a fortune, too. Plus the pain and suffering - sod lollipops and icecreams, some people can't French kiss or have oral sex, which is not ever mentioned except by knowledgable HCP - and all because babies don't get a tiny snip as newborns.

It's extraordinary that there is such a wide-ranging health issue possible from this, and it's so easily and cheaply and non-traumatically solved at such an early stage. People think breast-feeding is the only concern. It really isn't - though as someone whose son was totally dehydrated to the point it was dangerous, because I had no idea he wasn't latched at all and not getting any milk (that was better than when he had the initial, failed cut, still couldn't feed, and decided chewing the milk out was the best way forward...) it's a pretty bloody enormous concern in its own right. If he'd been effectively and correctly cut in the first few days, then I'd have been spared 8 months attached to a breast pump and an awful lot of time, money and misery.

perfectstorm Sat 09-Nov-13 15:33:09

Oh, and we drove from Cambridgeshire to Southampton, and frankly I'm really tempted to do the same this time from the start - I'm not altogether convinced a local midwife will be able to correctly assess and treat a tie as severe as my husband's and son's appear to have been. (MIL was very motivated to breastfeed and hired a pump for 6 weeks even in the 1970s - yet my husband couldn't latch on a bottle or breast at all and nobody knew about cutting at the time - very much fallen out of favour. Hence the spoon.)

Bubbles1066 Sat 09-Nov-13 17:00:30

My DS had a very bad TT, he couldn't latch at all and even struggled with bottles - a small bottle feed could take over an hour. I paid to get it done privately at 4 weeks as NHS wait was months. It was done by an ENT consultant with just a pair of sterile scissors. Took a second, there was a spot of blood and that was it. He cried for a second and that was it. His bottle feeding improved so much after that (he was mixed fed formula and EBM by then). Definitely do it.

lightahead Sat 09-Nov-13 20:46:57

My DS2 was born with tongue-tie in 2001, he was operated on at 6 months old in hospital. The E.N.T surgeon said that due to major blood vessel in tongue they should not just be snipped. I did bf him for 12 months after seeing bf counsellor who showed me different holding positions. Also to consider possible speech problems if not dealt with.

Helenc19 Sat 09-Nov-13 21:47:34

My DS is now 5 months, he has posterior tongue and lip tie which have not been revised.
When he was born he couldn't latch on, I had a few people check his tongue but no one spotted it. I started expressing which was fine while dp was off work but once he went back I just didn't have the time so was using formula for half of his feeds.
At about 3 weeks old he began to latch on and gradually was able to breastfeed although it was painful and he developed other symptoms associated with tongue tie.
When he was 7 weeks old I had him checked professionally and they recommended to not have his tongue snipped as he had good movement and was gaining weight fine.
Since then feeds are still uncomfortable, sometimes painful.
If it had been spotted at first I would have had it snipped and still might, I would urge you to get it done as soon as possible or at least get it assessed to find out how severe it is.
Yes it Will make your life much easier but that doesn't mean you are being selfish, it will benefit your baby as well.

timeforacuppa Sat 09-Nov-13 22:25:38

Breast feeding my first was absolute agony - I was utterly committed to doing it but I used to cry with the pain when he was feeding. I went from clinic to clinic but they just said I was one of those "unlucky" women who find breastfeeding painful for six LONG months!!

The second was diagnosed within a few hours of being born and was snipped on day 3 (no pain, no hassle) and breastfeeding was a doddle. Still a bit blooming irritated that it was only through number 2 that I realised that the first was massively tongue tied. Saying that, he never had it snipped but now can stick his tongue out and has great communication (he's now 3 years old). I've taken him to see a specialist and he said that most kids work through the tongue tie (ie tongue extends despite the tie) - however, given a choice, I would still snip. It doesn't hurt and lasts forever.

mawbroon Sat 09-Nov-13 22:29:35

It's not too late to have your ds1 revised.

Unrevised TT can cause many problems that you would never imagine were related to TT.

TwinkleSparkleBling Sat 09-Nov-13 22:54:58

Just wanted to say thanks to those who replied. lookout I'm going to look on the fb page now. If it does turn out that DD1 has TT too I'm going to feel really grrrrr.

As it is I'm a bit hmm that the paedatrician that diagnosed DD2 was so non plussed about it. I really would have preferred to have got it sort soon after birth as looking at the posts it does seem to be something that needs sorting rather than just leaving.

Thumbwitch Sat 09-Nov-13 23:08:20

lightahead - I don't know which blood vessel your ENT surgeon was talking about but in most cases, the frenulum is just tight tissue and the bleeding is minimal when snipped - which rather belies the idea that a major blood vessel is being cut, doesn't it?! I fear he was being a touch pompous about it. Or maybe he was talking about your child's specific case. But as you can see if you read this thread, most TT snips do NOT result in major bleeds (if any, in fact)

48th Sat 09-Nov-13 23:54:13

Tbh your basic anterior tt can be nibbled away with a maternal finger nail, beats an ent wait. Maybe the old ways should come back!

Honestly, get it done! It's not selfish at all. I was diagnosed at 11 after years of speech problems and had the snip under GA with a night in hospital. It was sore afterwards but that was it, and I then had lessons to learn how to speak properly. Still can't blow up balloons. I wish I'd been snipped as a baby.

minimalisthoarder Sun 10-Nov-13 09:18:39

DD had a tongue tie at birth. Painful slow BF, no sleep, worries about speech and eating: I googled it and found good info on the WHO website. GP had to refer us to the local hospital (QMC in Nottingham) where there was a paediatric registrar with a special interest in tt. Turned out the GP's DS had TT too, not treated and slow feeder, which helped.

DD was 9 weeks and cried at being held on my lap, snip snip all done, straight to feed her afterwards, hour and a half feeds to half an hour that week, sleep for us both! 15 minute feeds by 6 months (ebf till then). Loved seeing her have fun poking out her tongue after it was done.

Do it do it. Best for both of you. Good luck!

HarryElephante Tue 12-Nov-13 22:06:26

Just to add my twopee. Our little one had a tongue which was snipped at 4 days and again at 11 (or so) days. It was painless and she went on the breast after and didn't cry at all.

My advice is get it done.

Sparkeleigh Mon 09-Dec-13 09:37:29

Hi,
OP back with an update, thanks to everyone who replied to this flowers it really helped us make the decision.

We decided to wait for the hospital referral and so DS's tongue tie was clipped last week. The interim was made slightly more stressful by my HV insisting he didn't have a tt, so it was great to have this thread to read back on for reassurance!

The clip was very quick and didn't seem to bother him as much as the Dr's fingers in his mouth beforehand. It's made a massive difference already and he's breastfeeding at nearly every feed, even if it's not for the whole feed, and he's discovered he can really stick his tongue out at us grin

We're still learning the ropes of bf at the minute but it's lovely to have 'normal' bf problems instead of a complete inability to do it!

Standingonlego Tue 07-Jan-14 10:10:45

sparkle only just spotted the update. Great news, and glad that all the advice on here reassured you. Hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and start 2014 full of optimism and happiness.

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