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BF after tongue tie release at 12 weeks - anyone experienced this?

(19 Posts)
BongoWinslow Sun 09-Jan-11 18:47:08

DS wasn't feeding well and had a mild tongue tie so we decided to have it released. It was done on Friday - they said it was quite wide at the back and came about half way along the tongue from the back.

He's been happy in himself, but when feeding it's sometimes better, but sometimes he just gets so frustrated he's suddenly inconsolable. He wasn't like this before the release.

I can see him starting to poke out his tongue and I'm encouraging him to play with it which he is.

I know it might take a week or two for him to adjust.

Has anyone else been through this? What was it like? Any advice?

theborrower Sun 09-Jan-11 19:28:03

Not sure I can offer advice, but just to say that my baby's tongue tie wasn't fixed until 8 weeks, and although I saw a slight improvement straight away with latching (seemed stronger) I still felt it was a wee while before she seemed to master latching and sucking for long periods of time, I think. I do remember she couldn't poke her tongue out properly before the snip, but a short time later she was sticking it out all the time. She's 5 months now, so I can't quite remember the timescales (sorry), but it wasn't immediately, but fairly soon after. So, yes, maybe it will take a few days to adjust.

InspirationalBreadbin Sun 09-Jan-11 19:33:12

My baby latched on ok before the tongue tie was cut, but afterwards it was a nightmare and he never got the hang of it. I am afraid it was a major part of me giving up breastfeeding. I did continue expressing though so he got my milk for quite a while. I hope you have better luck than I did!

CarGirl Sun 09-Jan-11 19:36:57

dd was younger about 2-3 weeks. It was less excruitiating but she never latched on without there beign some pain as she just refused to feed if I took her off due to poor latch. I think with her it was personality - struggled to get her to take bottles, struggled to get her to eat food when weaned - she just didn't like change/to experiment. She's like that now aged 8!

browneyesblue Sun 09-Jan-11 20:48:49

DS was 11 weeks when he had his posterior tongue-tie snipped, so although there was an initial improvement pain-wise, it did take a while for him to adjust, and for feeding to become completely pain-free.

The doctor told me that by 11 weeks he would have picked up a lot of bad habits to compensate, and that it would be hard work to get him to re-learn.

It was frustrating for both of us initially, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be for him to adjust. If his latch was really bad, I'd unlatch him, but other than that I just let him feed and it improved over time. Within a few weeks there was a big improvement, and within a month or two (I think) we were frustration and pain free.

DS is now 9 months, and we are still going strong. I can honestly say that the pain is a distant memory, and DS feeds very happily.

Amandamumtothree Sun 09-Jan-11 21:12:12

Ds1 had unreleased Tongue tie and i gave up bf at 4 months due to protracted feeds, pain and unsettled bubs. Wish I'd pushed to have it released as couldn't have been worse.

Dd1 released anterior tie at 3 weeks and fed like a dream afterwards. Three hourly 30mins a feed, text book.

Ds2 anterior tie released 1 week due to breast refusal, poor weight gain, sore bleeding nipples. Only taking ebm. Post release bit better but took while to relearn how to use tongue. After few weeks back to square 1. bf team Noted posterior tie at 10weeks. Researched and found response to posterior release hit and miss as scar tissue can restrict movement more than the tie. Also can need redo. Declined release as ds2 very alert and would have required sedation/anasthesia. Ds2 5 months and really struggling. Refusing feeds, low supply, poor wt gain. Supplementing with ebm. Perhaps I should have tried.

Who knows what's right. They all seem to respond differently.

Good luck. The fact youre still trying is a credit to you. Well done.

Wholelottalove Sun 09-Jan-11 21:17:55

DD has hers done at 8 weeks, posterior TT, and it took about two weeks of gradual improvements before we were pain free. Before, nursing had been total nightmare of sore nipples, mastitis etc. I remember we were told to do lots of sticking tongue out and down with open wide mouth to encourage her to copy and after a few days she seemed to get it. We went on to nurse happily until she was 10 months.

Currently have DS 3 weeks with suspected TT as well, again nightmare to feed at the moment and going to see someone on Tuesday to see if he does have one and if so get it snipped.

Good luck with it.

BongoWinslow Sun 09-Jan-11 22:09:01

Thanks everyone, it's really helpful to hear your experiences. It does feel better and like he's learning to actually use his tongue, but he gets frustrated easily so hopefully it will keep improving.

smile

Amandamumtothree Sun 09-Jan-11 23:12:20

IMHO I'd strongly recommend staying away from artificial teats. I was advised babies who had had tt even if released were prone to nipple teat confusion for along time.when ds2 struggled again I started an ebm feed at night and it can't be much of a coincidence that he is increasingly fretful at the breast.

Good luck.

BongoWinslow Fri 14-Jan-11 21:59:11

Update - we had the release done and it didn't really help. Lactation consultant says he just still doesn't really use his tongue to suck. On top of that, he's clearly come to prefer bottles...

We're going to try suck training, but it's looking bad as BFing is becoming increasingly difficult as he just doesn't latch properly anymore. Very sad as I wish we'd had better advice and had it released earlier.

If it happens again, we'll have it done immediately (as it was pretty minor, fretted a bit straight afterwards but was right as rain soon after).

Wholelottalove Sat 15-Jan-11 16:30:55

bongo, sorry you're still having problens. DS has just had his done at 4wks and we are having some good and some bad days. DS also had bottles from days 4-2 wks ish and wouldn't latch at all but he is now. 1 week in is still relatively early days but I know every day feels looong when it is like this.

FWIW DS fed better immediately, then seemed to regress and get worse, had a really awful 24 hrs where he was back to gum chomping at most feed then suddenly last night he seems to have got it and is now feeidng with tongue out for most feeds. We are on day 4 since his TT release.

With DD as she was older it took even longer. How old is your little one?

Big sympathy, TT is miserable.

Wholelottalove Sat 15-Jan-11 16:34:24

Meant to say, I noticed DS getting quite tense and hunched for feeds partly I think due to me taking him off and relatching a lot. I've made a big effort to relax and talk to him soothingly through all feeds in last 24hrs and it does seem to have helped. I think he was looking at my face and picking up on my tension and then he tenses and latches badly and chomps more.

Amandamumtothree Mon 17-Jan-11 20:29:42

You're not having much fun. It's really hard so well done for persevering.

Ds2 is 23 weeks and still frequently breaks the latch. Gradually I have got less sore and he uses his Tongue more often than not. It has taken time tho.

My lactation consultant advised it would take weeks to relearn the skill as been using Tongue incorrectly in utero for half the pregnancy and to stick at it. He had anterior released at 1week but posterior not done. I'd given alot of ebm bottles and he much preferred them so it's taken longer than if I hadn't. The feeding def got worse the more bottles he had.

I've now stopped all bottles and gone back to just breast.

Main probs now low milk supply which frustrates him and discourages him from staying on. I found expressing after each feed helped as I made more milk available and he had to work less. Do you think increasing milk supply may help you?

Your doing brill sticking at it so well done grin.

molejazz Mon 17-Jan-11 22:56:55

My DS had his posterior tie cut at 21 weeks - quite late. I was convinced it hadn't made a difference and was quite down about it but then about 4 weeks in things got much better. I don't get compression at all now.

I was just wondering if there could be another reason for the frustration - 12 weeks is a growth spurt?

Good luck with it.

BongoWinslow Tue 18-Jan-11 15:19:43

Well, the sad news is i've decided to move on to just bottles (of EBM for the most part). Had a hideous weekend where DS started screaming every time he was handed to me to BF, screaming and pulling off during feeds, tears streaming down his face, as well as writhing miserably when we tried to do suck training and I thought that's enough, we're all miserable and it's no longer worth it after 3 months of struggling. Worst bit was DH, who was also near to tears every feed watching the whole thing. We have to do four long haul flights with him in the next three weeks and I just can't face doing this on a plane on top of everything.

I feel quite sad, but now that I'm just expressing, he's actually getting more of my milk as I have more time to pump (and also probably because I'm not in tears all the time). I don't think he was getting much from my breast by the end as he was mostly just sucking at the nipple like it was a bottle unless I kept relatching him (which would make him scream). He never gum-chomped, he just fell off the breast or fed for literally hours (our record = 8 hours straight). Then, after he'd had lots of bottles, he would try to make the latch shallower and feed like my breast was a bottle.

What I am going to do, though, is use the breast for comfort, so let him suckle if he feels like it (and encourage him to) but not rely on it as his food source. We've had a few goes of this and he loves it, especially in the bath - he latches in his not very effective way, suckles a bit then grins happily up at me. So we're getting the bonding without the tears! If this goes well, I'll try latching him better and trying to get him to feed again when we're both calm but if it doesn't work, that's ok.

He's only now, 10 days after the snip, starting to stick his tongue out. It's so annoying that we couldn't have it done earlier. I think he would have adapted faster, developed less bottle preference and wouldn't have been so distressed. So to anyone else thinking about it, just do it!

thanks for all your support and comments, it's really helped and made me certain that if it happens with the next child, we'll have it sorted immediately.

theborrower Tue 18-Jan-11 20:34:46

Hi BongoWinslow,

Sorry to hear that things haven't improved and that it makes you sad. I didn't mention it before because it wasn't relevant to your question, but just want to add that it was not long after her TT was snipped I really cut back on the BFing. I had been stuck on the BF/ Top up with EBM and formula/ roundabout and although I noticed a difference with her latch, by this time I was miserable and becoming depressed - it happened 8 weeks too late for us. However, instead of doing our BF/top up/express at every feed I cut back to BFing twice a day (I call them mini BFs as they don't replace bottle feeds but are in addition to) and bottle feed the rest of the time. Unfortunately I could never express more than an ounce in a session (it was normally about 10-20ml) so feeding only EBM wasn't an option for me. However, I'm glad that I didn't give up BFing entirely - we can get the closeness from BF that we both enjoy and even thought it's not her main source of food she does still get (a little) breast milk which I'm happy about - I guess every drop counts. She's nearly 6 months now and I'm glad to say that we're still managing our mini BFs. I was discussing all this with a counselor recently, and when I said stuff like "I'm not really BFing" she said "yes you are" and "stop thinking in terms of mls of milk and food, and start thinking about everything else you offer each other at those times" which I think is a good way to think about it.

Anyway, what I was trying to say is that I think it's great that you still want to use the breast for comfort, as you said. And you never know, he may well get better with his latch and you can enjoy some BFing, but without all the tears as you said.

And I'll be looking for TT with my next one and insisiting something is done about it immediately too.

Amandamumtothree Tue 18-Jan-11 21:21:03

Sorry to hear that. I think keeping a close eye for the next one is a good idea as all mine were tethered. Good luck with the comfort feeds, I'm sure that combination feeding will make bubs much more adaptable. Keep smiling as although it's been difficult, this will all be a tiny pin prick of time in you're wonderful lives together. smile

BongoWinslow Wed 19-Jan-11 14:14:57

Thanks theborrower - it's hard, isn't it! the BF/top up/express roundabout is very very wearing. I felt I just couldn't leave the house. Helps to know I'm not the only one who struggled with that - it takes so much time and effort, it's all consuming. Three days on and we're both much happier now.

I like the idea of 'mini-BFs'! I think that's what I'll think of it as.

thanks for the support, makes me feel better Amandamumtothree smile

AndyJohnsonCreek Sun 19-Feb-17 19:14:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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