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Tongue tie - should we have it snipped?

(19 Posts)
AJH2007 Wed 20-Jul-11 17:14:36

We saw our second lactation consultant today and she has picked up a tongue tie in DS1, who is 11 days old. (The LC we saw last week did not spot this.) Should we get the tie snipped? It is quite wide and I'm really worried it will hurt him. I had bad nipple damage at first though have improved the latch enough that they are not so bad. However, he struggles to get enough milk out of me - gets tired trying to feed for hours - so we have been topping him up with formula as needed. He lost about 8% of his birth weight at the 5 day check and has not lost or gained any since then.
Any experience with having a tongue tie snipped? I would like to keep bf'ing if possible...
Thanks in advance.

Lizzun Wed 20-Jul-11 17:42:38


Although my LO didn't have a tongue tie, several of the mws in hospital thought she did and talked about getting it snipped. The specialist had a look and said not a tongue tie and no action required... But I seem to remember them saying the procedure wouldn't be done before 6 weeks, so you have some time to see how he gets on and whether you feel he really needs it or not...

Hope things work out well for you, best wishes.

Oblomov Wed 20-Jul-11 17:50:10

I had ds2's tongue snipped. twice. first one didn't do it deeply enough. It is a tiny amount of pain, but only for a few seconds. And then straightway we breastfed. no more crying. fab. glad i had it done. it is recommended. or alternatively, what's stopping you ? why 'wouldn't' you ?
not true about 6 weeks, in my county. they do it as soon as they can. especially if problem, sore nipples, baby lost weight, or getting tired from strain of feeding. they say that the babies have to work doubley hard, to feed, if they have tt. no one wants that for their baby, do they ?
SO SO glad I had ds2 done.
Ask away.

MigGril Wed 20-Jul-11 18:02:48

If it's coursing feeding problems then yes I'd get it done. It's a very simple procedure just a snip with surgical scissors. TT can course other problems latter on with speech and dental decay (they can't always clear the food from round the mouth). It you leave he could end up having to do it latter anyway and once passed babyhood could require a general anathetic.

RitaMorgan Wed 20-Jul-11 18:05:27

I would (and did!). Much better to have it done now when they barely notice it, than risk having to have it done under a general anaesthetic when they're a toddler if it interferes with speech or eating solids.

I had ds's snipped at 3 weeks, he woke briefly and cried for about a minute. Literally a drop of blood. I think his mouth may have been a bit sore the next day but it was difficult to tell - certainly didn't upset him much. The doctor just cut it with ds lying on his dad's lap.

RightUpMyRue Wed 20-Jul-11 18:07:57

Here is the NICE guidelines on division of a tongue tie.

I would say definitely have it snipped and the sooner the better.

peedieworky Wed 20-Jul-11 18:36:48

I agree with Rita. Our DS had a TT picked up at birth and was cut when he was 6 days old. It seemed he was feeding OK but I was getting the telltale lipstick nipples & since my milk hadn't come in yet (I had an ECS) I couldn't be sure. They assured me the nerve endings there weren't fully developed and he certainly didn't even flinch when getting it done. Unlike his Mummy, who was sobbing throughout!

pearlgirl Wed 20-Jul-11 19:00:30

DS4 had his cut at 8 weeks as it was only small according to the local NHS consultant, so we had to go elsewhere. Was so glad we had it done - as bf was hurting and I had a baby who was struggling to gain weight and getting tired very quickly and generally very fed up. It was a very quick procedure - his dad held him and he fed straight away after - didn't cry for more than a couple of seconds. I wish we had had it done sooner.

iloveholidays Wed 20-Jul-11 19:46:35

Both my DD's had TT and both were snipped on Day 3.

DD1 couldn't stay latched on at all, and it took 48 hours before a midwife suggested she might have TT - consultant snipped the next day. He took her away, but was back within 2 minutes and she latched on straight away - I cried!! smile Fed her until 17 months.

DD2 (4 months old) - we were more aware this time and asked the midwife to check her straight after my EMCS (for breech). She could latch on, but was really "clicky". Had to wait a couple of days for the consultant but again all done within a couple of minutes and then she latched on correctly.

Neither of my DD's were crying when he brought them back, so can't have been too painful!!

After trying to breastfeed DD1 for 2 days with absolutely no luck I was desperate to try anyway and was pretty much begging the consultant to do it (not that I needed to, but I had to consent to be being done).

As others have pointed out, it can lead to speech problems if not done and would need GA to have it done later. It is so quick and IME the baby doesn't seem bothered by it. The only downside I believe is that there is a tiny risk of infection, but I remember it being tiny (can't remember exactly).

Personally I would say go for it whilst its an easy thing to do.

Good luck

bigscarymum Wed 20-Jul-11 19:50:06

There was a thread about this a couple of weeks ago. My DD didn't have hers cut until she was 12 - with hindsight I wish we had done it before.

bigscarymum Wed 20-Jul-11 19:55:17


LisMcA Wed 20-Jul-11 19:59:24

DS is 11 weeks, they noted in hospital he had a tongue tie, but didn;t tell us. I then had problems feeding him, shredded nipples, taking ages to get him to latch etc. It wasn't until I went to our BF clinic and I asked if they thought he had a TT that they looked at his notes and they said yes he did, but it was mild. I asked to get it snipped as I really wanted to continue BFing and it took 6 weeks to get an appointment.

I had hired a pump to keep my supply going while we waited for the appointment and I'm now exclusively expressing. They snipped his TT and we did get him to latch pain free, but other things conspired against us establishing BFing directly, thrush, mastitis, my FIL passed away. So we are now in the routine of me expressing which is working well.

When we got it done, we weren't in the doctors room long enough to warm the chairs and DS was more upset at being woken up for them to do it. It will be harder for you, trust me smile

I just wanted you to know that you can still BF even if its not direct. It was only meant as a stop gap for us, but has become the norm.

AJH2007 Thu 21-Jul-11 09:27:28

Thanks for all the responses; the consensus definitely seems to be that we should have it done. The lactation consultant says she can do it at home, to save the delay of going through the NHS. I am still nervous about it, but if it will help our DS to bf more successfully, it will be worth it

Kestryn Thu 21-Jul-11 09:43:07

I'd definitely get it snipped now. My tongue tie wasn't diagnosed until I was 11, which meant GA and a night in hospital. I had speech problems up to then and years of speech therapy after. It's not worth the risk.

TittyBojangles Thu 21-Jul-11 09:47:45

DS had TT snipped at 8do, I wasn't in the room and it took about 20 secs, by the time I had gone to sit in the waiting room they were bringing him out to me, he wasn't even crying. For me the short term pain for DS was worth the improvement in bf (he had lost 10% and wasnt feeding effectively - though I wasn't sore at all). It did improve and he is now a strapping nearly 9mo.

narmada Thu 21-Jul-11 10:28:45

Definitely have it done. The lack of weight is a likely indicator that he's not feeding efficiently at the moment.

It might also be helpful if your lactation consultant helped you with a plan to wean your baby off the formula supplements (presuming that's what you want to do) and build up your milk supply post snip, especially if he's been having lots of formula.

Re the pain, DS had his done at around 9 weeks, and it didn't seem to bother him at all.

fluffyanimal Thu 21-Jul-11 10:36:54

I'd say get it done nice and early. Some doctors are now going against snipping unless there's a definite feeding problem, taking a sort of 'wait and see if it causes problems later' approach. But given how it's harder to sort out later, I'd go for it.

My DS2 had a tongue tie but he wasn't having any problems feeding at all. The doctors at my local hospital were quite reluctant to snip it, and obviously I was too - mums don't like to inflict any procedure on their child - so I dithered and said no. Fortunately when he was about 4 months old he ruptured it himself chewing on a megablock and it didn't bother him. In hindsight I'm very glad I didn't have to wait to see if he needed it sorting later.

NerfHerder Thu 21-Jul-11 10:45:19

DS had his done at 11 days, thank goodness because it made such a huge difference to his feeding. I was lucky in that I'd successfully fed my first, so I knew what bf felt like- and that wasn't it! It was over in seconds- he didn't cry once he'd been handed back to me. (It was weird when they took him away though, as he was so young... felt very odd)

DH still has a tongue-tie as it was never diagnosed, but it affects his pronunciation even now, and he cannot stick his tongue out of his mouth more than 4mm without pain.

ThumbsNoseAtSnapewitch Thu 21-Jul-11 11:08:37

I had DS's done at 2w. It was only a partial, quite minor apparently, but having it done made an enormous difference to his feeding and to my pain levels. The paed who did it said that in his experience, having a tonguetie snipped didn't always make a difference but that the level of tonguetie the baby had didn't always matter - sometimes a really bad one was snipped and no difference noticed, sometimes a really minor one was done and made a huge difference (like we had). It was impossible to tell before doing it.

Anyway - he had a drink of sucrose solution (natural anaesthetic) and a wipe of novocaine (dental anaesthetic) - a MW held DS and it was all over in seconds with not a whimper. Fed him straight afterwards, no problem - and as I said, it made a lot of difference.

I am SO glad I had it done - a friend of mine's DS had a tongue tie that wasn't picked up until he was 3 (when I was teaching him to stick his tongue out and he couldn't) - it had affected his feeding and also his speech. By then, he needed a GA and it was very sore for a couple of days afterwards.

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