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Could this be tongue tie?

(48 Posts)
keepmumshesnotsodumb Fri 12-Aug-11 15:31:20

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Gillybean73 Fri 12-Aug-11 16:47:23

Not sure I can help you much but my wee boy has a tongue tie and I had the same problems with latching on from day one. Using nipple shields (which you can get in Mothercare and Boots) seemed to help him stay latched on a little better but it wasn't great and every feed time became a nightmare because it took so long and then I'd have to express milk to try and keep up my supply and top him up with a bottle. The whole cycle took over 3 hours and I just felt that it was almost time to start again by the time I got finished!!

I persevered for a few weeks and then put my son entirely on the bottle. I know you probably really want to breast feed (as did I) but sometimes you have to just say enough is enough if it isn't working.

Also, with regards to the pro breast and anti bottle feeding campaigners - I would mention that my big sister was breast fed and I wasn't (as I also had a latching problem due to a tongue tie as did my father when he was born so it may be heriditary) and out of the two of us my health is WAY better than my sisters. She has asthma, excema, thyroid problems which she is on medication for life for, severe migraines etc etc etc. So I reckon it's pretty good evidence that you are not doing your kids any harm whatsoever by conceding defeat and at least you can say that you gave it your best shot.

I couldn't believe the difference it made to my life and my son seemed a lot happier and more content on the bottle than he did with the 3 hour merry-go round that I was doing before.

keepmumshesnotsodumb Fri 12-Aug-11 19:04:26

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Lena83 Sat 13-Aug-11 00:11:25

I've no idea if it is going to help you, but although I did not have this problem, I've read that sometimes at the beginning of the feed there might be too much milk coming out of the breast and the baby is not comfortable with that and doesn't want to latch, because it might be difficult to swallow so much. What they advise is that before you nurse, express some milk from the breast first and only then give the breast to the baby. If the baby is happier and able to latch properly, then you know the cause of your problem. If not, then you don't loose anything....

Pesephone Sat 13-Aug-11 08:48:18

You could get him seen by a qualified LC ie IBCLC registered. TT can be quite hard to spot if its not an obvious one. This lady is a BFC but is very good with TT
if he's gaining fine then it sounds as though he's doing allright.
I know you've sought help previously but I really think finding someone who is good with tt can make the difference.

TheFrozenMBJ Sat 13-Aug-11 09:50:22

I second pesephone. TT can be very subtle and unless it is a IBCLC or BFC with a special interest in TT the less obvious ones can be missed.

It is definitely worth another look if you are not happy with the situation.

Mampig Sat 13-Aug-11 13:55:22

I'd be interested in the result!! My ds is 6 wo and although fine, his latch slips a lot and I find that he fusses quite a bit after the first let down- usually fine before this. I wind him at this point but he never goes back on the same and he hasn't drained the breast yet. I'm thinking I shud see lc too for advice or if anyone has any ideas will you let me know?

keepmumshesnotsodumb Sat 13-Aug-11 19:08:11

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Mollcat Sun 14-Aug-11 09:24:31

Worth getting checked out I'd say. Being able to protrude the tongue doesn't mean there isn't a TT - my son could poke his tongue out a bit but had a posterior TT which stopped him latching on and then when he did finally manage it wrecked my nipples. He had a posterior tie which has had to be divided twice now.

Wind, farting, flat/ducksbill tongue, falling off (especially with clicking as the suction breaks), shallow latch, sore nipples and long feeds which leave the baby unsatisfied are all characteristic of TT (though could also be other things such as poor positioning and attachment).

Have a look at this list of symptoms: TT symptoms

Even with TT some babies can BF fine, particularly when mum's supply is hormone-driven still in the early stages and there may be an oversupply, but hit problems when milk production becomes supply-and-demand driven around 3 to 4 months. If the baby has been gaining fine because of an oversupply, you can end up with low supply, because the baby isn't milking efficiently due to the TT (no demand = no supply).

I've seen Milk Matters recommended, but if they're not local for you, look for an IBCLC who specialises in TT (list here). Posterior TTs especially are hard to diagnose and even experts in BF will miss them sometimes if they aren't experts in TT as well. My baby's was missed by numerous BF experts until I called a specialist IBCLC at 6 weeks. It had to be redivided at 12 weeks which wasn't nice for him at all but a good IBCLC will be able to help you decide way to do if there is a TT.

I hope you get the help you need, if you think you need it.

keepmumshesnotsodumb Sun 14-Aug-11 18:05:07

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keepmumshesnotsodumb Sun 14-Aug-11 18:09:45

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Mollcat Sun 14-Aug-11 19:36:11

Great, would love to know how you get on. My son is nearly 13 weeks old, and we're still not BFing really (though there have been massive improvements and I'm hoping we'll eventually get there), so if I can help someone else keep on BFing if they want to that makes me feel better! You've done pretty well to get to 14 weeks - everyone I know, including the ones who found it easy, has jacked it in.

I nearly called the Chiltern guys (ladies?!) but I'm a bit out of their range (North London).

keepmumshesnotsodumb Sun 14-Aug-11 20:51:43

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keepmumshesnotsodumb Tue 16-Aug-11 12:22:21

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keepmumshesnotsodumb Tue 16-Aug-11 12:23:58

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Mollcat Tue 16-Aug-11 12:51:19

FFS indeed - I "gave up" breastfeeding at 3 weeks because I had such cracked nipples I couldn't feed him (I did feed him on them for 2 weeks (1st week he couldn't latch at all, then only with nipple shields)). No-one could tell me what was wrong. No-one could help, and I sought all the help I could (didn't know about IBCLCs then).

I'm so glad you got some decent help and I hope the TT division makes all the difference for you.

Mampig Wed 17-Aug-11 13:41:54

Thanks keepmumshenotsodumb and mollcat... been on the ball this am, and been told that TT is a relatively 'new' thing, not routinely heard of/ diagnosed, so I'm thinking I have difficult road ahead to get any satisfaction...., anyhow, when i read that TT link I was flabbergasted by how many symptoms ds has, I've now checked my other kids, and they all have one!!! No wonder i could'nt bf any of the older ones, as no one is looking for TT!!! Keep you posted and thank you op of I'd never have thought of this!!!

buttonmoon78 Wed 17-Aug-11 14:23:08

Oddly enough, after diagnosis of ds yesterday (snip tomorrow) I checked my older 3 and they all have one too! Managed only one of the three past 10wks. Hoping tomorrow will see a marked improvement smile

keepmumshesnotsodumb Wed 17-Aug-11 19:51:24

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Mollcat Wed 17-Aug-11 22:47:12

Totally agree with you about the need for a campaign. I know of women who've got TT added to the newborn checks in their hospital through the local maternity services liaison committee, so that could be a good start. But it shouldn't just be a local issue where some hospitals check and some can't be asked.

I'm seeing the IBCLC again on Friday - I should ask her about national campaigns as she is one of the TT experts (goes all over the country and world treating them).

TT is hereditary - it's more than possible that your DD has it and it can impact on solids feeding.

We may yet get there with our breastfeeding and be able to breastfeed properly at least partially - yes it's been a crappy 3 months but I've learned a lot about myself and about my baby. I can't honestly believe I'm still trying! Though I've heard they can't form a latch once they get their adult teeth through so I guess I'll have to give up then...

keepmumshesnotsodumb Thu 18-Aug-11 20:13:51

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Wholelottalove Thu 18-Aug-11 22:41:00

Hi, sorry I'm a bit late to this. Both mine had posterior TTs and both had them snipped, but it still took some time to get pain free with DD and with DS (now 8 months) it's never been 100%. I'm now having issues as he's cut top and bottom teeth and feeding isn't that comfortable at times as he retracts his tongue sometimes. I saw the Chiltern BF partnership LC who was lovely, but it was a long drive away from me and so when it became clear DS' TT had probably re-formed after the division, I decided not to go back to get it snipped again.

DS at least has a high palate and they both have issues with a thick frenulum or whatever the bit at the top is called and gap between two front teeth which they've inherited. I had to fight for referrals both times and went private both times - the TT was missed by MW, HV and with DS by two peads although I've since had an apology from the hospital.

I'm now a BF peer supporter and regularly see/hear of babies with TTs that were missed.

I would definitely support a MN campaign to encourage improved training and diagnosis. I went through the mill with both of mine with pain, mastitis etc and it makes me really cross that I just didn't get the support I needed and had to fight for it every step of the way.

Anyway, all this is a long winded way of saying that with TT you have to feel inside the mouth, not just look, as sometimes they aren't obvious. DS' tongue tie was very thin, but tethered his tongue right down and he was actually assessed as having the most severe type in terms of lack of mobility in his tongue, even though it wasn't visually obvious right away. I would really recommend the Chiltern clinic at Princes Risborough, the lady (Luci Lishman) is lovely. Good luck with it, hope you get it sorted.

Mampig Fri 19-Aug-11 10:13:00

Hi ladies! Just an update... So I saw gp yesterday who looked and said ds seemed ok!! I then asked him to run his finger under the tongue and he said he did feel something. No diagnosis though. He has referred ds to pediatrician do seeing them today. Hoping to clear things up but given lack of knowledge out there among hcps, I'm not overly hopeful!! Fingers crossed ......

Mollcat Fri 19-Aug-11 14:47:47

Right, spoke to the IBCLC this morning. The problem really in her view is that you need people who really know what they're doing providing the support, and proper follow-up after the division - presumably there is no funding available for the sort of training and resources required for that. It's also difficult to diagnose by feeling inside the mouth because in a lot of cases BFCs etc aren't supposed to do anything invasive.

However, I think what would be useful in the interim is more awareness that it could be what's causing problems. I think the issue is that a lot of people providing support don't seem to recognise what they don't know. If you're the infant feeding coordinator you're hardly likely to want to say that you've very little idea about diagnosing posterior TT. However, you really ought to be able to go through a list of symptoms with a mother and identify where there is a need to get someone who can diagnose to have a look, at least.

If you're on FB, have a look at The Analytical Armadillo's page (she writes a great blog if you haven't already found it).

Mampig Fri 19-Aug-11 15:34:13

Update... No joy, as expected. Said no evidence for TT. I'm not so sure.. Good news is that he's put on 1 lb since last Wednesday!!gringrin

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