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To ask you how you breast feed (post TT)?

(44 Posts)
Meowstro Fri 22-Sep-17 13:13:23

My 7 week old baby had her tongue tie division on Wednesday by a private LC after painful breastfeeding. Thankfully the pain has gone and I am so grateful but there's still issues! I was aware we'd need to relearn how to do it because she's picked up bad habits but I can't for the life of me get her to take in enough of the areola to latch properly, I have to kind of push enough in but she slides back on to just past the nipple which has left a ring around where she always attaches. The clicking sound is driving me insane meaning she's not latched properly. I've got big boobs so I know she'll struggle, positioning was said to be fine and we adopt the cradle hold.

If I hand express, for me to get anything out, it's so far back up my areola that she'd never fit all of that in her mouth!

AIBU to be frustrated by the fact we're still having issues? (I'd never show it.) What on earth can I do?

Tinuviel Fri 22-Sep-17 13:56:14

Please call the Breastfeeding Supportline for some help. The number is 0300 100 0212 and they will be able to listen to you and help sort things out.

Writerwannabe83 Fri 22-Sep-17 14:02:28

My DS had his TT snipped at 9 days old, 4 weeks ago today actually, and we are still having problems.

He still clicks when he feeds and his attachment on the right side in particular is pretty rubbish and milk is always dribbling out the side of his mouth when he feeds. The pain however has completely gone.

When I had his TT done the LC told me that the procedure isn't a quick fix and it can take many weeks for the baby to learn how to feed 'properly'. She also warned me that even after the division some babies will always have some degree of problem with their latch and may never be textbook feeders.

I have come to accept now that things are never going to be perfect but as long as feeding is pain free and DS is gaining weight then it's a good enough outcome for me.

minipie Fri 22-Sep-17 14:06:50

Was it an anterior or posterior tt that was snipped? If anterior, did they check for a posterior as well (as these are often missed)?

Maybe try a completely new position for BF, so your baby has to "start from scratch" iyswim rather than using the same old technique?

TakeMe2Insanity Fri 22-Sep-17 14:08:05

Find a breast feeding consultant or milk spot or bf cafe. There must be one near you, just keep going keep feeding and keep at it. It is soooo hard when you have the division and everything doesn't fall into place. You are doing a great job.

headintheproverbial Fri 22-Sep-17 14:10:50

I have big boobs and my DS had a posterior tie which was snipped. My DD thankfully didn't have a tie.

When they were both learning (or relearning in my son's case) the rugby ball hold was much much easier for them to manage. YouTube is your friend and you'll need a cushion or pillow to help you. It's not so good for feeding out and about but I'd say by the time they're 8-12 weeks old you can move to cradle hold as they get better and their mouths are bigger.

Also - to get the boob in their mouth squash is down between your fingers. Sounds weird but think of the way you squash down a burger or sandwich before taking a bite. Do that and get it in her mouth - it should help massively and stop her nipple feeding.

Good luck!

KarateKitten Fri 22-Sep-17 14:17:18

I'll admit I'm a bit sceptical about tongue ties and their impact on breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is HARD, and painful at the best of times for the first while for many mums, even with no tongue tie at all. I don't think many babies are 'textbook feeders' at all regardless. How babies survived before all this snipping of tongue ties (and in the many countries where they do not do this at all) I've no idea but many little babies don't latch well and feeding takes time and energy and worry to get there, and often it's just time to grow into a stronger baby that actually makes them 'good' feeders.

I think mothers are overloaded with too much expectation about how bf should be and how to 'fix' unfixable problems with latch etc.

Bottom line is simply is baby putting on sufficient weight in the first 12 weeks (not average or perfect weight gain, sufficient!) and beyond that that it can be simply perseverance to get to a stage where baby is solid and strong enough to feed more efficiently and comfortable.

Good luck OP and try not to expect it all to be easy and comfortable for a good few months, it often is not (though practicing the best latch you can is of course a good idea, just don't stress when baby doesn't do it right).

BelindaBlinked Fri 22-Sep-17 14:19:53

Have you tried tickling her nose with your nipple? It gets them to open up their mouth wider, then you kind of shove your nipple in sharpish.

I'd try lots of different positions too.

FlaviaAlbia Fri 22-Sep-17 14:25:33

KarateKitten I'm not sure a time before tongue ties snips ever existed. I've read that midwives used to keep a nail sharpened to cut the tie at birth.

However I'm definitely not sceptical as I had a DS who couldn't latch at all before a tongue tie snip and who could immediately afterwards. There's a fairly long history of babies being unable to feed in my mother's family and being put on alternatives and it does make me wonder...

KarateKitten Fri 22-Sep-17 14:29:23

Flavia, you're probably right. I just hear so many mums struggling, then being told there's a tongue tie, it being fixed and then them being devestated and more distressed that feeding is still not 'working'. I guess the problem is that mums are rarely told what 'bf working' looks like and that it can be still painful and difficult despite baby getting enough food.

JustMeeAgain Fri 22-Sep-17 14:50:49

Kitten D'S had tongue tie which went to the very tip of gis tongue and feeding was extremely painful. He had it snipped at just 6 days old and the feed immediately after was pain free. I think we were lucky that he was so young when it was snipped and learned to latch properly immediately.

Anyway back to OP, dd1 struggled to latch and didn't have tongue tie. I found squashing the end of my boob helped, also laying down to feed, obviously no good when not at home but it may help your dc relearn latch.

Writerwannabe83 Fri 22-Sep-17 14:53:04

I'll admit I'm a bit sceptical about tongue ties and their impact on breastfeeding.


Have you ever breast fed a baby with a severe tongue tie? grin I can't even tell you how much pain I was in.

My nipples were absolutely shredded and they bled constantly, especially when feeding. When DS was in me the pain was AGONISING and I would be crying at every feed. It was unbearable.

I had breast fed my first son for 2.5 years so I knew the difference between the difficulties and pain associated with initial breast feeding and what I was experiencing with DS2. My contractions hurt less than breast feeding.

When the LC assessed him she said he had barely any tongue function and that when she put her finger in his mouth to assess his sick all she could feel was his gums grinding against against her bones. He'd basically been clamping him gums around my nipple and pulling the milk out. The fact that feeding was completely pain free after performing the division I my proves that his TT was having a huge impact on his ability to feed.

I had never fully understand the difficulties and pain involved with feeding a TT baby until I went through it with DS and I have a whole new level of empathy now for other women who have struggled with it because it can be excruciatingly painful.

KarateKitten Fri 22-Sep-17 15:06:11

Writer, all mine were checked for tongue tie and none had it. I have permanent white scars running across both nipples from deep splits when feeding on all three of mine. Scars on scars. Bleeding during feeds and babies vomit full of blood from my nipples. So you don't need tongue tie to have that much pain and difficulty. But I'll take both your points that in your cases tongue tie being snipped helped your feeding. Just the OP is not finding it's helped and is confused and upset about why she is still having problems. I'm telling her that feeding babies can just be like this for the first 2-3 months. I saw many bf consultants and went to groups with my shredded and toe curlingly painful nipples and was told by all that there was no tongue tie and the latch looked great 😅 I now know I need to go through about 4-6 weeks of agony and then suddenly everything heals and bf is easy and smooth. But those few first months are tough and there is no problem to fix. Maybe this is the case with the OP.

4sausages Fri 22-Sep-17 15:09:15

My eldest had a tongue tie (18 years ago) and midwife and health visitor both denied any connection between that and the problems I had breastfeeding!! Struggled on for 4 months but was so much with younger two and fed for a year each.

Other than getting help, the only little bit of advice I can offer is to put your finger in baba's mouth with your boob (iyswim) to stop baby latching before there's enough boob in, then whipping it (the finger) out.

SunnyCoco Fri 22-Sep-17 15:12:37

Completely agree with writerwannabe

Karate yes so imagine that pain you were in, times a million because for those with tongue tie that pain stays and stays until the tongue is cut, in my case my baby was 10wks due to fuck up after fuck up

I'm sick of people saying "oh well it's supposed to hurt" when those with Tt babies are in absolute agony every 2 hours

MotherofKitties Fri 22-Sep-17 15:26:18

My 7 week old daughter has mild tongue tie and along with my natural shape made it impossible for her to latch on until I used nipple shields.

BF without them is impossible for me, but by using them I'm able to feed her very successfully, she hasn't had to have the op (it is minor TT and won't affect her speech), so they've proved a godsend. I can recommend Medela which you can get at Boots or John Lewis. Hope that helps xx

Writerwannabe83 Fri 22-Sep-17 15:28:02

m sick of people saying "oh well it's supposed to hurt" when those with Tt babies are in absolute agony every 2 hours

With DS1 I had found feeding very painful at first and as the weeks went on my nipples got cracked and I had blisters on them but feeding was manageable. I got him assessed at 8 weeks due to the problems not settling and it turned out he did have a tongue tie but not one that was severe enough to impact enough on feeding to justify the division. The LC me to persevere and showed me different positions and gave me tips to help his attachment and I just continued to feed and at about 4 months old it settled. During all those months I was still having trauma to my nipples but enough to cope with.

With DS2 the feeding was fine for the first 5 days and then it went completely downhill. I knew the damage to my nipples and excruciating pain wasn't normal so I contacted a BF Supporter who came to the house and after watching me feed (whilst crying) she said he fed as though he had a TT and told me to have him assessed. The LC came to my house the next day and snipped or for me.

When the pain first started my husband gave for the 'breast feeding is supposed to hurt at first" speech and I felt like punching him. I told him that these pains were nothing like establishing breast feeding pains and that I needed to get help.

The difference between a tongue tie that doesn't effect feeding and one that does is that with DS1 I fed him until 8 weeks before thinking there was a problem and even then it was only minor discomfort I felt whereas with DS2, by Day 8 of life I was in excruciating pain all the time, crying at every feed and wanting to give up breast feeding.

I will admit that breast feeding can hurt at first.....but there's hurting and then there's being in fucking agony.

KarateKitten Fri 22-Sep-17 15:30:13

Sunny, tongue tie or not, we both had splits and bleeding and agony. I doubt yours was any different level (or times a million) Ethan mine though you have my sympathy that you suffered longer.

For some people, unfortunately 'it's supposed to hurt'. Whether that is the case with you or not, it is the case with others.

SunnyCoco Fri 22-Sep-17 15:53:48

Well karate as you haven't experienced it, you wouldn't know would you!

SunnyCoco Fri 22-Sep-17 15:54:06

Well karate as you haven't experienced it, you wouldn't know would you!

MagicMoneyTree Fri 22-Sep-17 16:08:56

Sorry, haven't rtft and also don't have experience with tongue tie, but my baby couldn't feed without using nipple shields for the first 5 months. My nipples and his tiny mouth were just not a good match. One day he just took it off mid-feed and we carried on for many more months. They are a faff but I couldn't have done it without them. Might be worth a try (or a re-try if you've had a go and it didn't work out- they can take a few goes to get used to) Congrats on your new baby btw xxx

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Fri 22-Sep-17 16:10:01

Karate I'm not sure it is supposed to hurt like that - I'm one of the lucky ones for whom bf has been easy, a week of pain/cracked nipples then all fine. I don't know many people who've had the trouble you describe, so it's definitely not the norm.

Monikita Fri 22-Sep-17 16:32:31

Both my DDS were severely tongue tied and it took a long time for them to relearn. Over that time I did loads of research on suck training and these are the methods that worked best for me:
Here are the suckling exercises: and (you need to scroll down to the last post).

Ideally you do it before every feed but before baby is actually hungry (You're probably thinking, when the hell do I get a chance to do that?). After a few days, they'll begin to associate the exercises with feeding.I also took DDs to an Osteopath. I'm not actually sure osteopathy works and there is no evidence that it does, but if you're interested, I would suggest asking a lactation consultant if she can recommend a paediatric osteopath.

I really struggled with milk supply especially as DD1'S tongue tie wasn't spotted until she was 15 weeks old, so if you have any issues, I can post tips that worked for me.
Skin to skin is important - I got so fed up about people going on about bloody skin to skin but it does actually work. DD1 had breast aversion from my low supply so I couldn't even practise the suckling and was solely pumping. That broke my heart. Rather than spending the day in bed with her (which didn't work for me), I actually had a breakthrough when I didn't pump for an afternoon, sat her on a cushion on my lap (with just her nappy on), and watched telly with my breasts out. I gave a formula supplement if she needed it and I didn't have enough milk. Crap TV took my mind off it and she would suckle when she was sleepy. I couldn't do the exercises at first but it did wonders for my supply.

Finally, I saw a lactation consultant who gave me a brilliant tip for latching. I don't know if your baby is still a bit small for this but one my problems was that when I'd do nose to nipple with DD1, she'd overshoot and take in too much from her upper lip. The lactation consultant suggested upper lip to nipple instead and said that her upper lip / top gum should just be over the nipple. That worked a treat for us.

I know how hard it is. You feel so alone and just wish you had your life back again.

You're doing an amazing job and it will very slowly get better.

Congratulations on your baby flowers and sorry for the essay!

Booboostwo Fri 22-Sep-17 16:37:15

Have you tried the exaggerated latch? If that helps you might want to try stopping and relatching her every time she undoes the good latch. It will take a few (awful) days for her to relearn how to latch properly, but when she does it should all be easier...and pain free.

MuddlingThrough1724 Fri 22-Sep-17 17:03:46

We had very similar issues. Top tips are to use the "flipple" technique to get maximum boob in mouth, and I found feeding rugby ball style easiest as baby less likely to skip from latched position.

......and remember, it will take time. Their tongues were tied for the time they were in-utero so it's not just a few months of bad habits" to relearn, but many months worth.

Good luck with your BF journey x

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