Question for moms that have a tongue tied baby - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 05-23-2009, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 5 day old baby is tongue tied. We have been seeing a lactation consultant since he was 3 days old. We've gotten him to latch on pretty well now. He's gaining weight now and is getting a lot of milk when he nurses. He actually gained back 4 pounds over just 2 days. I'm working on healing my nipples as he had been attaching to the nipple only which caused my nipples to become sore and cracked. I think that after my nipples are fully healed it won't hurt anymore to nurse because it's gotten that much better already.

So I haven't had his fraenum cut yet, and I'm not sure I want to. If he nurses well I'm tempted to just leave it alone. I worry about how the tongue tie will affect his speech. I am not tongue tied, but I had speech articulation problems as a child and went to speech therapy from the age of 3 until 12 years.

So I'm curious as to what helped you make the decision of whether or not to cut your baby's fraenum or not.

Carolyn
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#2 of 18 Old 05-23-2009, 08:32 PM
 
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My 5 day old baby is tongue tied. We have been seeing a lactation consultant since he was 3 days old. We've gotten him to latch on pretty well now. He's gaining weight now and is getting a lot of milk when he nurses. He actually gained back 4 pounds over just 2 days. I'm working on healing my nipples as he had been attaching to the nipple only which caused my nipples to become sore and cracked. I think that after my nipples are fully healed it won't hurt anymore to nurse because it's gotten that much better already.

So I haven't had his fraenum cut yet, and I'm not sure I want to. If he nurses well I'm tempted to just leave it alone. I worry about how the tongue tie will affect his speech. I am not tongue tied, but I had speech articulation problems as a child and went to speech therapy from the age of 3 until 12 years.

So I'm curious as to what helped you make the decision of whether or not to cut your baby's fraenum or not.

Carolyn

I just couldn't do it. The MW suspected a tongue tie after looking at the placenta, and DD seemed very sleepy at the breast, latching onto just the nipple. My milk also didn't come in until day 4 I believe.

Anyways, she gave us the name and number and urged us to get it cut. Every day after scheduling it, I spent hours lying around, doing nothing but relaxing with my top off and urging her to latch. The day we were scheduled, she latched beautifully and my milk came in.

Looking back, I think I got a lot of pressure and stress but there was never a problem. She might have a tongue tie; it's not surprising as most of DH's family does (including MIL who spaced her two bottom teeth for it). I have it too and have a high/narrow roof as well.

What helped me the most with feeling confident in breastfeeding was 1) following her signs. She never seemed sick, starving, dehydrated, etc. I pumped colostrum and gave it to herin a dropper and she ate so little lol. 2) Dr. Jack Newmann's website with videos. I am a visual person and watching how to keep a baby awake, do breast compressions, latch properly etc was great.

I also wanted to add that if you are concerned about later speech development, you could always get it clipped if you come to that problem. At an older age, they could use a local which some might see as a detriment but IMO seems much more humane than clipping a newborn.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#3 of 18 Old 05-23-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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My dd was tongue tied. I had her frenum cut. It was a difficult decision, but her tongue was tied so completely that it was impossible to nurse. Nursing was terribly painful for me and frustrating for her. She literally slept throught the procedure. When she woke up later, we nursed and it was so much better. Before, she would nurse for 45 minutes and cry, after she nursed 20 minutes and went to sleep. It was the right decision for us.
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#4 of 18 Old 05-23-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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My 7yo is tongue tied. We nursed until she was 15 months but I didn't find out about the tongue tie until she was two. It was very painful nursing in the beginning but after I healed we had a great nursing relationship.

I decided not to get it fixed. If she wants it done when she's older that's fine.

She did need speech therapy but the therapist said it had nothing to do with the tongue tie. She just dropped off all her ending sounds like my other two kids.
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#5 of 18 Old 05-23-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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DS#1 had a "tight" frenulum but it streatched and we never had any bf issues.

DS#2 had a tongue tie but we didn't really have any issues bf until he began to grow and then he began nursing less and less, he would pull off the breast and look around, I just thought he was distracted. By 3 months he had completely weaned himself : His tongue also began to have a "forked" looked. I had his tongue clipped after that because I was afraid it would effect his speach and we had already lost the bf relationship, I tried to get it back after the clip but he prefered the bottle by then. The clip itself wasn't very much. I can write you about it if you are interested in what happens.

hth

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#6 of 18 Old 05-24-2009, 12:22 AM
 
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Liv was clipped at 5 wks, we knew since 10 days but we wanted to make sure it was a problem. It helped us out and I'm glad we did it.

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
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#7 of 18 Old 05-24-2009, 12:50 AM
 
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DS#1 had a "tight" frenulum but it streatched and we never had any bf issues.

DS#2 had a tongue tie but we didn't really have any issues bf until he began to grow and then he began nursing less and less, he would pull off the breast and look around, I just thought he was distracted. By 3 months he had completely weaned himself : His tongue also began to have a "forked" looked. I had his tongue clipped after that because I was afraid it would effect his speach and we had already lost the bf relationship, I tried to get it back after the clip but he prefered the bottle by then. The clip itself wasn't very much. I can write you about it if you are interested in what happens.

hth

Aww that's so sad!

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#8 of 18 Old 05-24-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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DS1 was tongue-tied. Nursing was extremely painful for me and exhausting for him. A night-time nursing session would last over 90 minutes, and during the day he'd just try to be latched on non-stop, and yet he was just not gaining weight and he was hospitalized for jaundice at a week old.

I finally found a ped who would clip his frenulum when DS was 6wks old. He did it there in the office - it took all of 30 seconds and DS nursed right away. His latch was much better immediately and he started gaining weight but nursing was still pretty painful. We went in for another checkup 2 weeks later and the doc clipped "just a little more" and within a few days (after the bruising on my nipples healed) nursing was wonderful.

If DS's tongue-tie hadn't been affecting our BF relationship I probably wouldn't have even known about it, but I'm so glad we had it clipped.

Mama to two crazy boys (8/05 & 9/07) and happy wife to one wonderful hubby.
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#9 of 18 Old 05-24-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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my 6 year old son had his frenulum cut at 4 days old. It makes me sad to think that he was basically starving those first three days. I told the ped and the lc in the hospital that I thought something was wrong with his mouth (had no diea what) because nursing was going so poorly. A home nurse came on day 3 and looked and immediately said he had a tight frenulum. It was obvious once it was pointed out to me (most babies aren't born with forked tongues, duh) and she recommended having it cut. I also spoke with a trusted friend who also happens to be an IBCLC and a 20+ year LLL Leader. she told me lots of midwiwves used to keep along fingernail on their pinkies for just this reason. So I took him to a FP doc and had it done. He did cry, but stopped immediately,and when he nursed right afterward, it was the first time I had ever heard him swallow. I felt bad about it, but I also felt like it was medically necessarym unlike circ which we did NOT have done, but which is done routinely and without anestesia and for no good reason.
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#10 of 18 Old 05-24-2009, 02:18 AM
 
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My husband is tongue tied and he HATES it. I think he may even have it clipped at some point. So in DD's case, it was an easy decision. It was a super easy procedure and it didn't even bleed.
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#11 of 18 Old 05-24-2009, 04:28 AM
 
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My DD had was tongue tied (with a posterior tongue tie too) and we got it clipped twice.

Lucy was so inefficient at breastfeeding that we were breastfeeding literally 18 hours a day, and she was still losing weight. And since she couldn't use her tongue to compress my breast, she had to get the milk out just by sucking, which injured my nipples pretty badly. I cried in pain every time we nursed. I learned how to scream without making any noise, so I could scream without scaring her away from my breast.

We finally got an appointment to get her tongue clipped around 3 weeks, and it helped somewhat. My nipples hurt less, but she still wasn't gaining weight. We went to an IBCLC who said her frenulum was still too tight to breastfeed correctly. Sooooo, we got it cut again. And after that, things work perfectly! No pain, she's gaining so much weight my wrists hurt from holding her, and she can stick her tongue out to make cute faces!

DH is pretty tongue tied. He doesn't have any speech issues, or really any issues that are obviously caused by his tongue tie. He's planning to get it clipped soon anyway though. (The very, very pretty ENT who cut Lucy's convinced him!) And I'm not complaining, because I think it will help...um...certain "husbandly" things his tongue can't currently do!

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#12 of 18 Old 05-24-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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DS has tongue-tie, but it never interfered with nursing or speech, so we left it alone.

If it had interfered with either, we would have had it clipped, and if DS decides for cosmetic or comfort reasons that he wants to have it clipped when he gets older, we'll support that.

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#13 of 18 Old 05-24-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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I'm the tongue-tied daughter of a speech therapist who (we are pretty confident - she's deceased so we can't be sure) nursed me until I was past the age of 2.

I have no speech problems.

However, DS was tongue-tied and "clicked" when he nursed. He tore up my nipples horribly, and we decided to have the tongue released so that I could nurse pain-free.

Honestly, I'm not sure whether the cause of the pain with nursing was the tongue-tie or some muscle-tone issues (we think due to a somewhat traumatic birth) that we also worked through. He stopped latching altogether after his tongue was released, and I had to use nipple shields to get him back to the breast (luckily, we NEVER used bottles - we cup fed him - so there was no nipple confusion to deal with). It was very difficult, and I can't say what caused the pain or what caused him to stop latching, but it all worked out in the end.

Anyway, if we have another tongue-tied baby, and I have nursing pain that seemed to be related, I would definitely have the frenulum snipped. The possible benefits outweigh the costs, IMO - the procedure was really no big deal.

B, happily married to M. Mother to two boys: B (3/08) and A (9/10)
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#14 of 18 Old 05-25-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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Both my guys are mildly tongue tied (the second more than the first). It's never been graded or anything by a specialist. With DS1, nobody even presented clipping as an option, I was just told it would stretch as he grew. We ended up doing fine, he always got lots of milk and after a couple of months, nursing was comfortable for me (it hurt but didn't cause any cracks or bleeding or anything, it was strange). With DS2, I was looking for a tie and saw it right away, like within a couple of minutes of his birth. I got the name of a doc that will clip ties, and took DS2 for a consult, but the doc didn't feel it would really help the nursing. She was happy to try it if we wanted to, though. We decided not to do it. Just like the first time, we grew into it and all is fine now.

BUT....both my boys have some mal-alignment of their bottom front teeth. They are turning inwards a little bit to form a V. From my reading, this isn't unusual and is another reason besides breastfeeding or speech issues to consider clipping. I haven't broached the topic with my dentist yet, but I do know of a dentist here that is up on this stuff and might call to book an appointment at some point. My oldest is now almost 4 and I would hate to put him through it....but then I wonder would it help him avoid a lot of orthodontia in future?

Sorry so long. Just giving another perspective...
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#15 of 18 Old 05-25-2009, 02:07 AM
 
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Ds2 had a severe tongue tie. He couldn't move his tongue at all. It was causing nursing issues, but we maybe could have worked through them. It seemed like a no brainer to me, though. If it will probably make thing easier & it's not painful (it really wasn't, he was too busy being mad about being swaddled to even notice), why not? And given he has speech issues even with having it done at 6 weeks, I'm very glad we did it. He was so happy to be able to move his tongue, too. It was like he had a new toy for awhile.

Ds3 might have one too, but it's so much less severe than ds2's that it's hard to tell. If he does it's not really causing problems (our nursing issue is from him not opening his mouth wide to nurse, he only gets half my nipple in his mouth on the right side).

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#16 of 18 Old 05-25-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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DS had a tight frenulum and we couldn't get any latch for the first 24 hours (not even on the nipple). The LC in the hospital reluctantly started us on a nipple shield which was amazing. He went from not being able to eat anything to nursing just fine. However, I was concerned about the supply issues related to the shield and it was kind of annoying to have to put it on everytime he nursed, so we got the frenulum clipped when he was 10 days old (he's 22 days now). We have slowly been weaning off the shield and he is doing great (we still use the shield sometimes at night, if I'm really engorged, or if we are in a hurry because he still is getting the hang of latching on his own). It is very cute to watch him stick out his tongue now . As far as the procedure goes, it was really very simple, and not scary for me or him at all. His daddy held him with some help from a great grandmotherly nurse who held his head. It took about the same time as an injection and caused no visible bleeding. He nursed after (with the shield), and was asleep in 5 minutes. My SIL who is a pediatrician recommended getting it down early before the blood vessels and nerves multiplied in the frenulum. If you wait until they are older they often have to go under general anesthsia which has it's own drawbacks (much worse ones in my mind then having the procedure done early without any anesthsia). The doctor who clipped DS said that it was impossible to predict the future speech problems. He said some babies who nurse fine end up with articulation problems while those who have problems nursing have no speech difficulties, and some babies end up with both or neither problem. He was really great at giving us good information and not pressuring us either way (and had been really accomodating by squeezing us in at the last minute the day after I called), and I am really glad we got it done. HTH

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#17 of 18 Old 05-25-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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My son and I had a lot of problems breastfeeding from the beginning – sleepy newborn, poor transfer of milk, bleeding nipples and on and on – but the half-a-dozen doctors, lactation consultants and nurses we saw couldn't agree if his mild tongue tie was the culprit or not.
I pushed to have it clipped and it made NO difference at all, sadly. But fortunately for my mama guilt it really didn't seem to bother my son. He cried less than he did for a diaper change.
I'm glad I had it done, if only to avoid potential problems with teeth and speech. I had both, perhaps due to my tongue tie which wasn't clipped until I went to a new dentist at about age 5. I found it shaming to be sent out of my elementary school class for speech therapy.
All that to say, I think it's worth a try to have it clipped. It's really no big deal.

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#18 of 18 Old 05-25-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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I did clip my sons frenulem when he was about 10 days after much umming and aahing. It took a couple of seconds and my son did not even flinch. It improved his latch immediately, with him breastfeeing within minutes of the clipping.

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
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