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tongue-tie baby

(19 Posts)
grumpygoat Thu 23-Jul-09 00:24:56

*HELP - Really struggling to feed my tongue-tied baby*
My 7 week old daughter had her posteior tt cut at 5 weeks but as yet no improvement & still can't latch on so feeds for an hour at a time and it really hurts.She also has really short tongue for a double whammy. I'm so distressed by this,dreading every feed & finding it hard to bond with her, my 3 yr old son is being neglected and dh wants me to give up and bf. Can anyone help me or should I just admit defeat, I loved bf my son and this is heartbreaking

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gaelicsheep Thu 23-Jul-09 00:34:16

Oh no, I really really feel for you. I went through something very similar with DS, although his went undiagnosed until I'd already given up.

You could consider trying nipple shields, as these may help you to cope better with the pain aspect. These helped me a lot, psychologically as much as anything. I know they're considered a really bad thing, but without them I would have completely given up. As it was I managed to mix feed for 5 months.

Mixed feeding is an option if you feel you can't continue with b/f all the time. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, you just need to be aware that your supply will diminish over time until you find yourself fully bottle feeding. My view was that any extension to b/f was good, and full b/f was no longer an option for me.

Last thing, you would not be admitting defeat. You're doing really well and knowing how much it hurts I admire you for lasting this long. But do consider trying one or both of the above before giving up completely. HTH. smile

hairymelons Thu 23-Jul-09 00:56:35

My son had a tongue tie too but got sorted at about 7 days as I remember. Good job too or there's no way I could've carried on- you've done amazingly well to get this far.
I was lucky in that once his TT had been cut, his latch was fine. I took painkillers and continued feeding until the nipples healed a couple of weeks later. If she still has difficulty latching on however that doesn't give your poor nips much of a chance to heal...
I'm no expert but from personal experience would recommend the following- paracetamol & ibuprofen taken regularly and a call to the La Leche League Helpline ( 0845 120 2918 ). They've helped me out at many a low point. The best time to call is just after the school run in the morning, there are more people manning the phones! If you don't get through, do try again it's worth it.
Would it be any less painful to express some milk and give in a bottle? Or even give a bottle of formula once a day to give your nipples chance to heal?
My toes are curling for you..I'll bump in the morning anyway. Hope you have an ok night

ruffletheanimal Thu 23-Jul-09 01:03:33

if you are in london call the maternity helpline in hackney at the homerton hospital and ask them to help you.
also try all the breastfeeding helplines, LLL, NCT etc.

Misspaella Thu 23-Jul-09 07:18:09

Grumpygoat I feel for you. I am on the exact same boat. TT cut for my DS when he was 6 days old and he is now almost 3 weeks and the nipples are still being pinched! OUCH!!!

I have been doing tongue exercises with him to help him get used to extending his tongue over his gums. I stick my index finger either on his gums or lips to tease his tongue out.

Also, I spoke to the lactation consultant who did the tt cut for us and said it can take 3, 4 or maybe even 5 weeks to notice a difference.

I find each day a struggle and have to physically and mentally prepare myself for a feed. I am taking painkillers 24/7 too.

Try the exercises and get your latch checked again if you can. I took my 2 older DC's to a bf group w/me yesterday so it is possible to do w/other LO's. The BF counselor adjusted my latch just a tad and although I am still getting pinched nipples it is slightly less.

I reckon we have to sit and wait this out for a couple more weeks....good luck.

Tambajam Thu 23-Jul-09 07:26:20

grumpygoat - I really feel for you. What sort of face-to-face support have you had? It might be that extra positioning and attachment advice makes all the difference. Are you using an asymmetrical latch? If you google 'Jack Newman' and 'latch' and read his handout on basic latching it talks it through. Were you advised to do exercises as the PP mentions? Have you ever used your fingers to shape your breast a little on latch and made a 'nipple sandwich'?

Misspaella - rather freakily, I am pretty sure I am the bf counsellor you spoke to yesterday. We talked about extending the baby's arm beyond your breast - superman arm - so the chin and chest could tuck in more neatly against your breast.

hairymelons Thu 23-Jul-09 08:59:12

Misspaella and Grumpygoat I think it was 3 weeks from my son's TT cut until my nipples were completely healed. We've had no probs since, still bf at 13 months!
Just wondering do you feel like you're neglecting your son because of all the bf problems or just with having a new baby in general?

Misspaella Thu 23-Jul-09 13:36:57

Yup that was me. Thank you again for seeing me without having booked blush

I have booked to come in again next week to do more tweaking if necessary. From what I have gathered here on MN is having the tt snipped isn't always an instant fix and can take 3 -4 weeks and in some cases up to 2 months to see the difference! I wish I had known that to begin with to prepare myself mentally (and physically!)

Tambajam Thu 23-Jul-09 19:14:23

No worries.
I won't be there next week and the staff who will be there are more experienced with TT so you will hopefully get good input.
As I mentioned yesterday some TTs (very few) do need redoing so it's important to bear that in mind. The vast majority do see an improvement by 2 weeks. I hope things turn around for you soon and for the original poster.

TurtleAnn Thu 23-Jul-09 19:29:25

Just a thought, but it might not be the tongue-tie.
This might sound strange but next time you go to the hospital ask to see the Speech & Language Therapist - feeding specialist for the neonatal unit.
There might be something other than the tongue-tie.
Everyone thought my DS's mild tongue-tie was the problem but it turned out he had no idea how to use his tongue and feed, just munching instead of sucking!
Most feeding issues can be fixed with the right support and you don't have to stop breast-feeding (I did for a host of reasons including this but combined with other issues).

grumpygoat Thu 23-Jul-09 23:54:31

*Thank you* for the tips and kind words-helps to know I'm not alone with this-hope we both get there Misspaella
I've seen a bf counseller twice who says the latch looks fine. However this was a.m when I have a decent amount of milk from constant nursing - baby doesn't need to work for it! she just can't generate any suction and her short tongue always sits back in her mouth and has little mobility whatever exercises I try.
May well have to express and bottlefeed but scared as her latch is so poor already.
(RE.neglecting my son, I literally do not enough time for him,she feeds for a very long time then usually vomits copiously because of all the wind she's swallowed and wants to feed again). Will take painkillers and try bf counsellor again.

hairymelons Fri 24-Jul-09 00:25:34

So, re. your son- I only have the one LO so not first hand experience but my sister feels exactly the same. Her daughter is 3.6 yrs and her baby boy is also 7 weeks so very similar ages to yours. She has had no particular feeding issues but still feels like she's spending every waking hour feeding/ burping/ being puked on and has no time for child no. 1.
Her one big tip was to rope in grandparents/ favourite aunties & uncles etc. to spend one on one time with her daughter so she didn't feel quite so neglected...must be really hard juggling the two of them though.
Hope things improve for you soon

Mummy369 Tue 28-Jul-09 01:01:00

Hi grumpygoat and Misspaella, have you tried an exaggerated latch? This involves helping your baby get more of the breast in to the mouth so your nipple ends up further back in the baby's mouth. I'm sure you'll find guidance on Jack Newman's website, but also try googling tongue tie + exaggerated attachment.

The following is an excerpt from "The Mothers Guide to Breastfeeding"

When to use an exaggerated attachment - If
your baby:
is unable to attach and feed
has a “tongue tie” and has difficulty
staying attached.
has a cleft palate
is premature
weighed a lot at birth and feeding is
painful, even if he looks well attached
your nipples are sore or cracked and
feeding is almost unbearable
How to use an exaggerated attachment at
the breast.
If you are going to feed from your left breast,
cup your breast underneath with your left
hand. Keep your fingers well away from the
areola (that is the brown area). There is
always a tendency you will want to move
your fingers up but if you do this it will affect
the success of your attachment. Your thumb
should tilt the nipple back so it looks like it's pointing away from your baby. This will have the effect of making the breast under the nipple bulge forwards.
The baby’s bottom lip should make contact
with the breast well away from the base of
the nipple. Try to imagine a piece of Velcro attached to your baby’s bottom lip and a matching piece attached about 2.5-5cm from the base of the nipple, this length will vary depending whether your baby is large or small. An easy way to measure this is to use your thumbs knuckle-to-nail as a guide.
These imaginary pieces of Velcro need to be
matched together first. Then your thumb
needs to QUICKLY roll the nipple forward
under the roof of your baby’s mouth
You must maintain the pressure with your
thumb above the areola until your baby is
rhythmically feeding. Before you remove
your hand make sure that you are holding
your baby really snuggly into you and you
can see that his cheek is touching your breast with his nose free to enable him to breathe.

Good luck to both of you

MrsOlf Tue 28-Jul-09 09:01:54

Hello all.
I had v similar problems with DD1 until tongue tie was fixed at 6 weeks. I did find 1 position helped with poor latching - the jockey popsition where baby sits astride your leg upright and feeds sitting up facing you was great as it provided a deeper latch and avoided some of the grazing, and thus the pain. It's best to get someone to show you this position as you have to pull baby in quite tight and support the head. I continued to use this position until I was completely healed.

Good luck - I kept feeding DD1 until 13 months after such a terrible start (mastitis twice, cracked nipples etc etc) so I hope you get through it.

determination Wed 29-Jul-09 21:59:55

Oh Grumpy,
I can remember the flattened white sandwiche looking nipples and the complete utter pain that came with them. This will pass though and it will get better. I used Silverette for my wide open gash on my areola and i was pain free immediately and COMPLETELY healed within approx 36 hours. I watched in complete amazement as the would healed in front of my eyes. They most certainly are the "must have" for bfing mums with cracked/sore nipples. You should give them a try, they are woeth every penny spent wink

Misspaella Wed 29-Jul-09 22:05:31

Grumpygoat if you are out there how's it going?

I have been to 3 bf groups in the last 7 days and my latch is good. I keep being told the same thing - it takes time for tt snip to take an affect! I even had someone check DS's tt snip to make sure it didn't need doing again and all ok.

Can only second what Determination has said. Silverettes are a miracle and without them I probably would have been mix feeding by now or even given up.

kateecass Wed 29-Jul-09 22:33:54

I had similar with DS who is now a healthy 3 yo. He had tongue tie but only ever found out his feeding problems were probably due to it until after. Thanks to nipple shields falling off nips healed and managed to get to 3 months exclusive breastfeeding and 8 months mixed. Actually come to think of it my nips still fell apart with DD who did not have tongue tie.

Re your DS can he sit next to you on sofa and cuddle and watch TV while you feed baby. Luckily DD was a good feeder but we sometimes used to use feeding time to have some cuddles even managed to look at a book some times.

Hope you manage to get support and carry on BF but do remember you have done an amazing job feeding your baby this long already so don't feel guilty if you do find yourself giving up.

Misspaella Fri 31-Jul-09 10:04:04

Grumpygoat have you checked that DD may need tt cut again? Yesterday, I FINALLY had someone (who knows about TT) really slide their finger across under DS's tongue and there is still a little bit there so we have to do itb again! Apparently it is NOT uncommon to have it done twice with posterior tt's.

Totally upset myself but at least I know why the improvement has ceased and there is still loads of pinching on the nipples (and pain!).

kw13 Fri 31-Jul-09 13:03:31

I'm going to comment from completely the other end of the spectrum. My DS had a tongue tie that was diagnosed at 5 weeks and not operated on until 8 months old. Like Grumpygoat I was really suffering physically and was finding it hard to bond. Having breastfed for 5 weeks I gave up and moved to bottlefeeding. It was the best thing I ever did. I fully support breastfeeding - but it is not for everyone. Not breastfeeding is not being defeated - bottlefeeding isn't evil or depriving your child. You've made the most fantastic effort and given your child the most fantastic start in life - but the mental wellbeing of your relationship with your baby and the rest of your family have to be considered too. I'm proud of the decisions I made and would always support women who have to or choose to bottlefeed.

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