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Nipple confusion - getting rid of the bottles post tongue tie

(4 Posts)
mrsjohno Mon 22-Dec-14 09:45:43

I've posted before about the awful bf journey I'm having with DD2 who is 11 weeks. I'm still feeding DD1 who is 34 months.

To cut long story short, posterior tongue tie, slow weight gain, sleepy baby, tie cut at 3 weeks, barely took anything for few days after, admitted to hospital for excessive lethargy and spasming in sleep. Put onto offer breast/ express/ bottlefeed top up regimen where we are still stuck.

Her suck was always poor due to TT (at 3 weeks she just tickled finger with tongue for example). Her tongue is now stronger but her suck is disorganised - some chewing, some tongue humping, some decent cupping of finger and drawing it back. Is she just utterly confused by never having had the opportunity to learn either breast or bottle properly?

She'll happily have one let down on breast but then seems either unwilling or unable to do more. So I pump and then top up. Have tried sns but with her disorganised suck she doesn't get all that she wants. When I've gone cold turkey she gets frustrated, nappies aren't as wet (she doesn't poo much at all) and weight gain tapers off.

Matters also complicated by recessed jaw, high spoon palate, a heart murmur, my inverted nipples and a laid back baby that doesn't seem to be bothered by milk that much (intake on lowest side of normal and weight gain slow even on bottles - from 50th to between 2nd and 9th percentile)

Feel so guilty that I haven't supported her learning at the breast by confusing her with bottles. Am incredibly down about the whole thing, exhausted by pumping and not a patient mother with a toddler who wants boob all the time while her little sister doesn't seem to know how to ...

Can anyone help?

beckworth Mon 22-Dec-14 09:57:59

Have you had the tongue checked recently for regrowth? We had my ds tongue snipped for the 4th time at around 12 weeks. I'm not convinced it was regrowth - his jaw was very tight at birth and loosened a lot naturally around 6 weeks, I think the 'regrowth' had been there all along, but not visible/accessible at the start (first 3 snips were 2,3 and 4 weeks, his jaw was too tight to do it safely in one go). In any case, his suck was also pretty disorganised for the first few months, but is now loads better - I think it's a combination of the last tt division and just naturally 'getting it'. I am still having to use nipple shields for latch, I suspect due to his high palate (which I only just found out about) and my small/flat nipples. I have had to ditch the bottles now, as he decided he preferred them and had a screaming fit when I tried to bf. I'm not sure if any of that is useful, but I wanted to reply as your story sounded like it could be mine exactly, and I would never have thought a few weeks ago that we'd be getting his tt done for the 4th time so it's worth checking.

mrsjohno Mon 22-Dec-14 10:09:55

That is so helpful and good to know you're 100% boob! How much bottle was your little guy getting?

TT was checked by woman who did it about 4 weeks ago, said was fine, still feels tight to me though but good movement. Never extends it past her gums when latching on though.

How many bottles were you giving? As mine is getting most of her nutrition from bottles cold turkey terrifies me. She genuinely doesn't seem to 'get it'. When did your little guy begin to work it out? Everyone keeps saying 'oh she just needs to grow and get stronger' but she is just learning to use her tongue on the bottle which as I understand is a totally different technique ... And she's still smaller than average and not growing very quickly at all.

Also - nipple shields - how the heck do you use them? Can't get enough boob in (she has small mouth, I need biggest size of shields), they come off when she's chewing/ squirming etc.

beckworth Mon 22-Dec-14 10:52:56

We were fortunate enough to be able to give up the top ups in the first few weeks, although feeds were then taking around an hour or more. We were still bottle feeding at night until the recent boob refusal, due to the length of each feed, but thankfully having to ditch the bottles coincided with the feed duration halving. I'd say he started getting a lot better about 12 weeks - actually just before he had the last division which is why I'm not sure the tt division was ultimately the cause of him finally 'getting it'.

He's not the biggest baby either - 2nd percentile, but he was only just above the 9th at birth so it's not been as much of a concern as it could be, and we get plenty of nappies etc.

As for the shields - I still hate them and they are a huge faff, but I am getting used to them. I find they stick better wet, and I tend to hold it with one hand while he is latching to stop him knocking it off. I also find the mam ones stick better than medela. I initially used the smallest size of medela shield because of his small mouth, but when he started opening his mouth wider I found he got more milk from the larger one.

If her mouth is small and she still doesn't open it wide have you thought about cranial osteopathy? I've heard people say it's made a huge difference for them. The lady that did our first tt divisions was also a cranial osteopath so I can't say how much was the tt and how much the osteopathy, iyswim.

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