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to wonder how at least 5 different midwives/HVs missed that DS has a tongue tie?

(41 Posts)
WhoopsieDaisie Thu 06-Oct-11 23:28:39

I had problems breastfeeding from the start and yes, he was latched correctly and positioned properly (had bf 3 before) but I still had bleeding nipples and was in incredible pain from day 3. I asked for help, saw different midwives and HVs, even saw a bf counsellor and not one of them suggested that might be the problem. They just said to carry on and it would pass. Unfortunately I got to the point where I could not stand the thought of feeding him because the pain was so bad so put him on formula at 6 days and stopped feeding completely at 8 weeks. I am sure it contributed to PND as I felt completely useless and counld not understand what I was doing wrong!

He is now 15 months and dribbles like a St Bernard and also chokes and gags on any lumpy foods so still has to have purees quite often.

I read up about in it and thought tongue tie might be the problem so when I saw the HV today, asked her to check and low and behold, he does have one and will need to be snipped.

Quite pissed off that it was never mentioned. I had never heard of it or seen it before.

AIBU to annoyed that this is not checked more often when bf is a problem?

thisisyesterday Thu 06-Oct-11 23:31:53


ds1 had/has a tongue tie and breastfeeding was excrutiating and i eventually gave up at about 4.5 months

i wish someone had spotted it sad it makes me really sad

TheMitfordsMaid Thu 06-Oct-11 23:34:17

I think the short answer is that there is a real lack of training for HV, midwives and other medical professionals. My HV was an older woman, in her early 60s, so she'd seen it lots of times before and recognised it immediately. The staff in the hospital were young, just qualified and therefore relatively inexperienced. That, combined with the fact that I didn't experience any feeding problems, meant that we only discovered it by accident.

I was told that doctors don't even routinely learn about it as part of their training. I don't know if any of the HV I'd had knew anymore about bfing than I did, so who knows what they'd look for.

groak Thu 06-Oct-11 23:34:57

Yep, our ds tongue was seen by the 'breastfeeding specialist' mw who declared it 'was only a little one' and didn't refer him. Your post reads how l felt, searing pain bleeding nipples as ds was trying to latch but couldn't do it. Luckily, when mw who saw me through pg saw me at home a week after birth she took one look and said 'I'm not suprised you can bf, that needs referring and sorting now' and it was snipped.. but ds just totally lost any latching skills and was ff.

Wouldn't mind but he was dc2, and i had issues with dc1 bf so the opportunity was there but because the fucking stupid first mw didn't want to spoil her lovely bf stats and not have me leaving hospital with a big gold star next to me as a succesful bf, she didn't refer him and fucked things up. Sorry for obvious vitriol in this post, but I place the blame soley at that stupid womans door.

BertieBotts Thu 06-Oct-11 23:38:48

My friend had this as well - 6 HCPs missed it, (including a BFC too!) - if the ages weren't different I'd be asking if you were her grin it was only found when she contacted a private lactation consultant, and even then she wasn't certain - friend had to drive miles to see a private consultant who snipped it there and then, but not an option for anyone. Her DS couldn't take a bottle either though so she was basically fucked confused

In our area even if it is diagnosed it's a fight to get it cut and you often have to go to the big university hospital rather than the closer local one. I have heard one woman who came into our BF support group said her midwife dismissed the idea of tongue tie as a "New-fangled obsession, babies never had them before!" shock shock (Interesting tidbit: before 1950s developments of sterilisation and infection, midwives used to keep one fingernail sharpened to feel for and sever tongue ties at birth. It was so routine it was never documented but knowledge has resurfaced recently due to being passed down in memory)

It seems so little known and yet it's actually massively common. Has he been checked for upper lip tie, too?

I've also been told that in boys, tongue tie is associated with having a tight frenulum of the penis, and in adolescence when they start to "explore" it can cause it to "snap" and bleed (known as snapping the banjo?) - a long way off of course but you may want to get your DH to have a chat with him when he gets older just to explain that this might happen and if it does he hasn't broken it!

BertieBotts Thu 06-Oct-11 23:39:31

anyone? everyone.

Suckstobeme Thu 06-Oct-11 23:41:43

I was at the birth of my best friends 1st DS, and the first thing I said once she was born was. "oh look she has a tongue tie".
After seeing all the dirty looks from the mid wives and the incredulous look in my Best friends face I really regret not saying how beautiful she was first! blush
I can't believe they would miss it OP?

Just to add, my friend had to wait two weeks for an appt in another hospital MILES away for a op to correct it. Her DS cried sooo much in those 2 wks. sad
I think in the past the midwives would just cut it with their nails at the birth.

Suckstobeme Thu 06-Oct-11 23:43:47

I meant DD. blush

browneyesblue Thu 06-Oct-11 23:44:10

YANBU. DS also had a tongue tie, and the pain was awful. It was really difficult to find someone who knew what they were looking for, and I had to travel to a different county to get it snipped as no-one snips them here.

Bonkers that it should be so hard to get such an easily remedied problem diagnosed and treated. According to the consultant who snipped DS's tie, when bf rates were higher health professionals were more likely to come across tongue ties as mothers would come to them about the pain. Now bf rates are so low, many health professionals know nothing about tongue tie.

Angry on your behalf

browneyesblue Thu 06-Oct-11 23:44:10

YANBU. DS also had a tongue tie, and the pain was awful. It was really difficult to find someone who knew what they were looking for, and I had to travel to a different county to get it snipped as no-one snips them here.

Bonkers that it should be so hard to get such an easily remedied problem diagnosed and treated. According to the consultant who snipped DS's tie, when bf rates were higher health professionals were more likely to come across tongue ties as mothers would come to them about the pain. Now bf rates are so low, many health professionals know nothing about tongue tie.

Angry on your behalf

WhoopsieDaisie Thu 06-Oct-11 23:45:16

Blimming Hell Bertie, have to remember that. Poor love would have a shock if that happened!! That is very interesting about sharp nailed midwives. It seems we have all the technology today but have forgotten the basics.

It is incredible it's not checked for more often. You often hear similar stories about women not being able to bf and makes you wonder how many are down to that. DS is my last baby and I still feel sad when I give his bedtime bottle that I missed out on feeding him.

Shakey1500 Fri 07-Oct-11 00:02:22

Goodness! It was NEVER explained to me that one of the possible reasons I had trouble bf was due to tongue tie! <feels robbed> sad

We were told ds had tongue tie but that it wasn't severe enough to need any correction. I had an awful time trying to bf. It didn't help that I had an awful birth (4th degree tear, separated from ds for several hours due to needing immediate surgery etc). I was in agony, remember clearly standing outside Boots waiting for them to open to get some pain relief and a breast pump to relieve the pressure. Ds wasn't feeding well so was ff as well as (what we could manage) BF wise. Two weeks later, and (from what they said and I concur) due to the shock of the birth trauma, my milk completely disappeared sad I tried relactating to no avail.

Ds hasn't had any problems, speech is fine, doesn't seem concerned but I wish I'd known this sooner sad

bobkate Fri 07-Oct-11 00:04:17

yep this sounds very familiar to me too. A friend's firstborn was tongue tied and she had a real struggle to get it dealt with. Then when my DD2 was born, it was the first thing I noticed about her. Mentioned it to the delivering midwife who totally disregarded and dismissed my pointing it out. Bitch. I found BF my first quite hard, but that was nothing in comparison to trying to bf my 2nd. Exactly as you described whoopsie and it made me so sad. I was so disappointed that 3 MWs either disregarded totally or said it's small so that won't be the problem with your feeding, blaming how I was holding her, my nipple size, anything but the tt. By the time we got referred, even though she was only 10 days old, my BF days were done. Although I did then express for weeks after ( trying to eek it out for as long as I'd fed DD1 for as I felt guilty that I wasn't giving DD2 the same as DD1 )
The MW who did the snipping said it was a severe one and would have had an impact on her feeding so I felt justified in being so pissed off with the MWs that had poohpoohed it.
She still has the slightly wing shaped tongue but she's got a lovely long one which she revels in poking out as far as she can and I love seeing it poking out smile
Groak I totally understand your vitriol. I feel the same about the MWs that didn't think it was a problem.

NatashaBee Fri 07-Oct-11 01:17:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

complexnumber Fri 07-Oct-11 03:42:50

Know one child where it wasn't picked up until half way through Primary School. He had seen about 5 SALTs by then. I agree with better training for HCPs.

WhoopsieDaisie Fri 07-Oct-11 10:29:53

Well GP said that he does not have a tongue tie and HV is wrong. He was dismissive from the start. Said he normally sees 'small' babies with it and it should have been picked up before now if he did have it. Said the incessant and excessive (enough to make puddles on the floor) dribbling from 4 months was normal as he will be teething and the choking and gagging on lumpy foods is normal as he is still young. He asked what I wanted him to say as if I was a paranoid mother with nothing better to do than bother him and I burst into tears and walked out.

Shit, shit, shit!

WhoopsieDaisie Fri 07-Oct-11 10:32:39

He could'nt even see inside DS's mouth as he was screaming from the time we walked into the office and would not poke out his tongue.

EllaDee Fri 07-Oct-11 10:38:21


I think you need a new GP! I cannot believe how rude that was! You have perfect right to 'bother' him when both you anmd the HV believe there is a problem and he made you cry! I am really angry for you.

I think you should complain about him to the practice. That is unacceptable.

BertieBotts Fri 07-Oct-11 10:41:26

That's awful! Can you get your HV to follow it up? Preferably with a different GP!

oldraver Fri 07-Oct-11 10:42:18

I havn't read all the replies but YANBU
I think this should be part of the newborn check, it takes seconds, could be dith straight away (if the parents so wish) and would save lots and lots of stress for both the mother and most importantly the baby.

DS's tong tie wasnt discovered until he was about 7/8 months old after I had read about it on another parent site. When I think back to how much DS struggled with feeding it really angers me

ElsieMc Fri 07-Oct-11 10:43:54

My GS who lives with me had a tongue tie which was not spotted at the hospital, but later spotted by the midwife. They are reluctant to snip tongue ties but my GS had to see a speech therapist who was also a little reluctant to recommend snipping the tongue tie.

We were in a difficult situation, although we have PR. The speech therapist referred us to a consultant and we decided that we would accept his decision before we went in. He said it was a very bad tongue tie and he recommended having it snipped. It was a minor operation and GS was up and about immediately afterwards. We do not regret getting it done for one moment.

There are other matters to consider. For example, we noticed he could not enjoy an ice cream and left them lying around - he couldn't lick them. Also, we thought of the possible impact when he got older and got a girlfriend. We were told of a fourteen year old who insisted on having his tongue tie fixed and we understand why.

When my GS went in for the operation, there were others on the ward whose children had awful feeding issues and the operation does not correct this immediately as it is learned behaviour.

I hope you can get a referral to a consultant - could your HV refer you or someone more sympathetic or even see another doctor for a second opinion - this is your right. Good luck to you. Please don't get too upset.

rookiemater Fri 07-Oct-11 10:44:17

YANBU, its ridiculous that they don't check for tongue ties as part of the checks in hospital and sort it out there and then.
I gave up bf really quickly as DS has a tt and the home visit midwife said it would be a two week wait to get it snipped which felt like an eternity at the time. It's ludicrous because everyone knows it causes trouble with breast feeding not to mention potential issues with letter formation when they are older and it is so easy to sort it out.

sparkle12mar08 Fri 07-Oct-11 10:44:36

If anyone needs a number for a trained and insured private midwife who does TT snipping, pm me and I'll give you her number. She's based in Herts but will happily travel and is very experienced.

biddysmama Fri 07-Oct-11 10:45:03

yanbu, i noticed my ds's tongue tie when he was 9 months,luckily had no problems with breastfeeding, got referred and they told me that because there was no feeding problems it wouldnt be cut... she also said if i'd done purees and not blw he wouldnt have managed with his tongue (so would have been cut) hes 13 months and doing ok, just starting to make tongue sounds like dddddddd etc, can only drink out of toddler cups with a long spout and struggles with anything sloppy, he cant stick his tongue out and its forked as its tied at the front

PetiteRaleuse Fri 07-Oct-11 10:46:41


I noticed DD's the morning we were due to leave hospital. They did the snip thing then.

It wasn't a feeding issue I just noticed it didn't look quite right.

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