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Health visitor won't refer for suspected tongue tie

(11 Posts)
Wholelottalove Wed 05-Jan-11 19:24:09

Just wanted to moan and also wondering if anyone ese has had this? DS is 3 weeks today and we have finally over the past week got him off bottles of epxressed milk and fully onto the breast. He is doing very well but I am still really sore. He gums/bites and tongue thrusts at my boob and even the times when I can get him to latch with wide gape he slides back and gums the nipple after a couple of minutes.

Has visit from BFC the other day and after we tried a variety of positions she wondered if he has a posterior tongue tie. DD had one which was missed by all the HCP and finally diagnosed and snipped privately at 8 weeks. We went on to BF to ten months pain free.

DS has a stringy, hard, tight bit under his tongue. HV felt it today and now agrees it could be a tongue tie, but won't refer us to be looked at because he has put on 14 oz this week. I have made appointment to have him looked at privately next week, until then just varying positions, using nipple sandwhich and breast compressions etc to minimse pain when feeding. Nipples pretty beaten up though.

Am really annoyed they won't see me on NHS, we have very little money to spare to travel and pay £80 privately as DH self-employed and has already taken more time off work than we planned due to the feeding issues.

japhrimel Wed 05-Jan-11 19:25:06

I'd ask the gp tbh.

chibi Wed 05-Jan-11 19:30:59

Complain to the practice manager as well, be sure to ask why she is not supporting you to bf despite clear NICE, WHO etc guidelines

You deserve to bf without pain or chewed up nipples, and it is crap that you need to be running around trying to get this sorted when you are still effectively postnatal

I really am quite cross on your behalf! Please don't let them fob you off

bluecheesefiend Wed 05-Jan-11 19:31:10

can't you just make an appointment it the GP? once you're there in front of them, surely its quicker for them to just refer you than to explain why you need to go back to the health visitor and then listen to your complaint etc?

FakePlasticTrees Wed 05-Jan-11 19:35:02

Go to the GP tomorrow morning. My GP has actually got a fit of giggles half way through my discription of a conversation with my HV...

browneyesblue Wed 05-Jan-11 19:43:33

When DS was diagnosed with a posterior tongue tie, I struggled to get a referal. He was putting on weight brilliantly (95th centile), but it was painful.

In the end, I found the closest place to me that divides tongue ties (Mr Patel at King's College), contacted them directly to find out what I needed for a referal, then went to my GP armed with all the info I needed.

I presented the GP with the diagnosis, told her I'd spoken to Mr Patel's secretary, and that they had agreed to treat DS, but just needed a faxed referal from her. She faxed it the same day.

Do you know where the closest NHS tongue tie clinic is to you? If you let us know what part of the country you are in, someone here may be able to help. Mr Patel takes referals from all round the country, if you are able to get to him. He's pretty fantastic - he runs his clinic as he says TT is a feeding emergency.

chibi is correct - you should not have to put up with the pain. Very cross on your behalf.

browneyesblue Wed 05-Jan-11 19:48:14

In the mean time, it may help to try positions that allow your DS's tongue to fall forwards while feeding, eg lying back with DS leaning forward - let gravity work for you.

Wholelottalove Wed 05-Jan-11 19:54:14

browney I'm in Wiltshire, I believe my area refers to Southampton on NHS. Or I think there is one in Oxford although I couldn't get them on phone the other day.

I'm pleased DS has put on plenty of weight but I am sooo sore.

Wholelottalove Wed 05-Jan-11 19:55:10

Oh and <waves> to Japhrimel hope all is well.

browneyesblue Wed 05-Jan-11 20:51:45

The tongue tie clinic details are:

Southampton General Hospital
Contact: Helen Cei-Bangs (023 8079 6489; Fax: 023 8079 4750)

I've read on MN that Mervyn Griffiths is the expert in Southampton though - maybe someone has his details, or has posted them previously.

I also found details of Breastfeeding Babes at the Princess Anne Hospital. They treat tongue tie, so it may be worth giving them a ring: 07786 267584
Open 10am-1pm, Monday-Friday for face-to-face or telephone advice

Also, if you can make it there:

King's College Hospital: Mr Shailesh Patel, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon (Tel: 0203 299 3350; Fax: 0203 299 4021)

BTW, Mr Patel told me that it's quite common for TT babies to put on weight initially. He said that before 3 months, milk production is largely hormone driven. I had a bit of an oversupply, so DS was getting loads. He told me that it can become a problem after 3 months when babies really need to feed efficiently as it could have a negative effect on supply.

Congrats on your DS I really hope you manage to get something sorted soon.

Wholelottalove Wed 05-Jan-11 22:14:54

Thanks browneye. I will make some more calls tomorrow. Feeding really painful, not sure how can carry on for another week like this

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