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Trouble feeding - lip tie?

(5 Posts)
xMamfax Thu 03-Nov-16 18:46:55

Hey everyone, I could really do with some help here..

My daughter was born at 30+4 and we've had quite a bit of trouble with feeding. She hasn't been able to latch on to breastfeed and can't seem to draw enough milk out when using a nipple shield.

I've had tonbottlenfeed expressed breast milk but I'm having issues with bottles too. She seems to gulp and choke when using slow flow bottles and if we use a really slow one (e.g. Dr Browns preemie) she doesn't do anything and falls alseep.

I've noticed that her top lip never really curls up properly when feeding and she has little blisters on the lip because of it. I wondered if she had lip tie but the GP says it isn't and doesn't seem to think it would affect feeding even if she did.

I was just wondering if anyone thought this looks normal or like lip tie? And if not, any insight into what's going on?

Thanks x

MrsPatrickDempsey Thu 03-Nov-16 20:35:31

I'd say it may be.

strawberrybubblegum Thu 03-Nov-16 21:47:48

I'm no expert, just a parent, but my DD had the same thing - which I assumed to be lip tie - and had similar feeding problems. My impression is that lip tie isn't very well understood (including by gps)

I wrote a post a while ago with a list of things I think NCT breastfeeding sessions should include, which you might find helpful here

I think the main things in your situation are:
1. Get help to improve the latch - that is crucially important. A paid lactation consultant is really worthwhile (I'm certain I wouldn't have succeeded at breastfeeding without one).
2. Shaping your breast will really help if your baby can't open her mouth enough. Also, you can gently pull her lower lip back to help give the 'special k' shape which she will struggle with. Top lip is trickier, but you may as well try!
3. If she's falling asleep, strip her right down before feeding. Switch sides frequently to keep her interested, and tickle her feet. Feed often (especially if you are struggling with supply because she isn't feeding enough) but be wary not to exhaust her.
4. Absolutely mix feed if that's what she needs. You can get back to ebf, but it will take frequent feeding (to increase your supply) and courage (to trust she's getting enough). Always breast feed before giving a bottle
5. Look out for reflux - if she pulls off during feeding, or cries. That can be another cause of poor feeding.

Hope it gets better. flowers

Piratepete1 Thu 03-Nov-16 22:02:21

Yep that's a lip tie. Identical to my DDs. It does cause problems feeding and we had to express bottle feed. Nhs won't ship lip ties but there are a few private doctors thAt will. It won't affect speech as top lip hardly has to move to speak. Have you checked for posterior tongue tie right at the back under the.tongue as many lip tied babies have this as well and that can affect speech. You can get tongue ties snipped on the NHS if you moan enough. My DD snapped her lip tie herself last week falling off her bike and banging her mouth just as my GP said she would. He said most lip ties are snapped by age5 due to accidents anyway.

strawberrybubblegum Thu 03-Nov-16 22:07:34

Oh, another thought: try some different holds.

DD (who had very similar difficulties) got on much better with the 'rugby-ball' hold. In fact, she was about 4 months old before we cracked the traditional cross-body hold. (Latching on becomes much easier as they get older and their mouth gets bigger!).

For rugby ball hold, you need lots of pillows. Prop yourself up with 2-3, so you're a bit forward. Then stack two up under your arm on the side you're feeding. Lie the baby on her back on those pillows, so her head is under your breast. Then she latches on from below. Make sure her head is tipped back. This gived a good chance for a decent latch. The bottom lip might not be quite right, but you can pull it back to improve the latch.

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