Help - retraining tongue/latch after frenulotomy

(16 Posts)
ilovetosleep Wed 23-Apr-14 17:49:25

Hi there

I had my 10 day old DS2s 100% TT cut yesterday by independent lactation consultant.

The main problems we were having were v shallow latch and very painful nipples. The cracks from the early days have healed but they are still very tender during feeds particularly on one side.

I know I need to get his tongue down over his lower gum before latching on but he still holds his tongue back in his mouth. How can I entice it down?

I am doing the exercises she gave (stick tongue out at him, tickle around lips to encourage movement etc) but these movements have yet to transfer to his feeding

Luckily weight gain isn't an issue, he's gained 500g since birth weight and I seem to have a good supply so I guess transfer is good. So how much does a good deep latch really matter? Obviously I want to minimise pain to me. When I study his latch it looks like he is open slightly more than 90 degrees, perhaps only 100 though. And my nipples are still lipstick shaped. So its obviously not great. It feels like his gums are still grinding a bit. But there has been an improvement since the frenulotomy. His feeds are longer and more spaced apart, as he stays awake longer on the breast.

I had hoped the snip would be an immediate cure all like it was for my DS1 and I don't doubt things will improve, but I don't really know how to do it. Everywhere I look online focuses on identifying a bad latch - I know we have a bad latch and what it should look like, but I can't seem to improve it.

The Lactation consultant who did the procedure is not remotely local and the only local bf support is on holiday for another 2 weeks so can't get anyone to look at the latch (mws have been useless on that front telling me all looks great.)

Will he just learn on his own over time as he grows? What can i do to hurry it up?

Any tips welcome! Thanks in advance

Rrl29 Wed 23-Apr-14 18:04:24

My five day baby has also just had a frenulotomy as he had anterior tongue tie. I totally identify as know what the problem is but can't seem to get him to open his mouth wide enough. Nipples still very sore and cracked but am persevering. Midwife says the latch is now good but I'm still in pain...sorry I don't have any solutions just thought id let you know you're not alone!

mangofizz Wed 23-Apr-14 19:40:02

No advice but breaking bad latch habits after tongue tie is my issue too. Very hard. Ive been to my local breastfeeding cafe today for some support, which was helpful. Just need to keep persevering!

TheScience Wed 23-Apr-14 19:41:56

You can also try letting him suck on your upturned finger or a dummy and then slowly pulling it out of his mouth - he should extend his tongue to try to keep hold of it.

DS2 had his tt cut at 3 weeks and is now 7.5 weeks. It has improved his latch, but not fixed it - he still has quite a shallow latch and is noisy/clicky, falls off a lot. Not painful though at least. I find biological nurturing type positions and exaggerated latch/flipple helps.

Imnotbeverley Wed 23-Apr-14 19:45:09

Possibly some will disagree with me, but nipple shields were the answer for us. DS is now 19 weeks and we haven't use them for ages, no problems weaning off them once his mouth was a bit bigger and we had done lots of practising!

Imnotbeverley Wed 23-Apr-14 19:45:34

PS same situation- 100% tongue tie snipped on day 5

FrankelandFilly Wed 23-Apr-14 20:23:21

Reading with interest as 6 week old DD had her posterior TT snipped this afternoon. She's refused to latch back on to the boob ever since, though it's been a few hours since we last tried. She's had 2 bottles of expressed milk since the procedure so she's not going hungry but obviously I'd be happier if she'd feed from me.

ZenNudist Wed 23-Apr-14 23:48:01

It sounds like you know what you're doing. It's still early days and will get better. Babies learn to bf by bf-ing. Keep going and latch will improve and should get less sore. Keep focusing on technique to get good latch with nipple pointed to back of throat, rubbing on soft pallet.

It may take a few more weeks before he gets it. If problems persist keep ongoing back to whoever is designated infant feeding support in your area. Keep saying you have a problem if you do. Don't put up with sore nipples for weeks (at 10 days I'd think it could be awhile before it's truly comfortable) if the pain eases off during a feed then it's probably getting better and it's just residual pain from initial problems.

Focus on getting signs of good feeding (see videos on dr jack Newman website) and thAt should help a lot. You know when baby is Nibbling (bad) or taking good strong gulps (good).

Been in your position and it's taken til week 6 (twice) to get to a better place with bf).

I do recognise what you're saying about baby not getting it and holding back tongue. Ds2 did that until his 'mild' posterior TT wAs cut at 7wks.

Watch out does at tissue getting in the way or an additional posterior TT causing other problems. Speak to lactation consultant on the phone & ask them to confirm that there's no posterior TT. Keep in touch with them anyway. If they do this a lot they should be able to offer advice.

Best of luck. This is the worst time. You'll get through it then it will be lovely to bf your ds smile.

ilovetosleep Thu 24-Apr-14 12:23:12

Thanks for all the posts. Good to hear I'm not alone although sorry there are so many of us!

One nipple still looks cracked so that wld be why I'm stil is so much pain on that side. But what I don't get is why my nipples are still lipstick shaped. Does any one know exactly what it is about a bad latch that makes them like that? Is it gums? If I knew I might be able to work on it!

TheScience Thu 24-Apr-14 12:57:32

He's not getting a deep enough latch - he's compressing the nipple against his hard palate as it's not far enough back in his mouth. I think the answer is wider mouth and more breast tissue drawn in when he latches on.

ilovetosleep Thu 24-Apr-14 14:48:28

Ok thanks, that makes sense. Could it be something that improves as he as his mouth gets bigger? Could it be that he just has a high palate? As I really can't seem to get any more boob in there!

Also, apart from my discomfort, should it matter in the bigger picture? He's obviously getting enough milk but will it affect supply over time, if it doesn't improve? I had all these problems with ds1 but he fed til 22months so it obviously rectified itself but I just can't remember how/when!

ilovetosleep Thu 24-Apr-14 22:23:28

zennudist, what do you mean about tissue getting in the way? Because I'm a little concerned about the wound, it looks a bit 'flappy' if that makes sense, as if there it he white diamond is not fully attached to the tongue?

TheScience Thu 24-Apr-14 22:48:53

Is the white diamond not just the ulcer where the wound is?

Rrl29 Fri 25-Apr-14 02:41:30

I dis pair if seem to be doing everything suggested but nipples are killing me now . Is it best to have a break for today and cup feed with formula and/express for a day? This much pain can't be normal sad

zoemaguire Fri 25-Apr-14 03:53:27

Persevere! Dd had tongue tie cut about a month ago and now has a fantastic deep pain-free latch. A month ago I was totally shredded and in agony at every feed. I did the exercises with her but I think time, growth and practice did it in the end. Good luck!

DancingtheTittyTango Fri 25-Apr-14 07:56:21

I has my DDs TT and lip tie lasered at 9 weeks, we are now at nearly 15 weeks and her latch is still as crap as ever and yes it still hurts!! I'm just hoping it gets better on its own now. With my other DD it took until around 4 months before it was pain free so I'm clinging to the hope that DD2 will be the same!

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