Frenulum Cutting? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 06-29-2007, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They cut the tissue under the tongue because the tongue isn't coming forward much to breastfeed. Is this really necessary? I hadn't heard of it in a while and thought I might as well learn.

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#2 of 23 Old 06-29-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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My 3 month old was born with a short frenulum. The LC at the hospital told me it was necessary but my ped told me it was not. The begining was really rought and I had horrible nipples for a few weeks. Raw, bleeding, pussy etc. But she hasn't had any problems in a while. She can't stay latched on under her own ability as well as my son could and she isn't a comfort nurser but no problems latching on.
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#3 of 23 Old 06-29-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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It depends. Sometimes it is just a problem that can be worked out, other cases it is more severe and can even lead to speech problems later in life. Each case needs to be evaluated independently.
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#4 of 23 Old 06-29-2007, 10:22 PM
 
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My daughter was born tongue-tied (the unscientific name). At first it wasn't a big deal because she latched well, but she couldn't stay latched for long. She wasn't gaining "enough" weight, wasn't happy so I agreed to a frenulectomy.
It is not a simple snip in the office , like it used to be, she had to be under general anesthesia and they cortorised (sp?) it with a laser. They gave her morphine after the surgery because she wouldn't stop crying, which totally mortified me! Well after that she wouldn't nurse again....never really cared for the bottle. She wasn't and isn't a big eater. Maybe it caused oral sensitivity ? And she has speech problems... Personally, if I could go back in time I would not have it done.
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#5 of 23 Old 06-29-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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My last baby was tongue tied and I did decide to let the midwife clip it when he was 4 days old. It was causing issues with bf'ing though. For us it was a quick and simple procedure, it took less than a minute and the midwife did it right in her office. I am actually glad we decided to do it , of course I'd rather he not have been tongue tied or for it not to have caused bf problems.

Kellymom.com has articles about it.

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#6 of 23 Old 06-29-2007, 10:39 PM
 
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Most tounge ties can be done with a little snip in office it is rare that they have to put them under. Some need it done to nurse right and gain weight some learn to adapt and some can be taught how to nurse without it.

 
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#7 of 23 Old 06-29-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by earthwise View Post
My daughter was born tongue-tied (the unscientific name). At first it wasn't a big deal because she latched well, but she couldn't stay latched for long. She wasn't gaining "enough" weight, wasn't happy so I agreed to a frenulectomy.
It is not a simple snip in the office , like it used to be, she had to be under general anesthesia and they cortorised (sp?) it with a laser. They gave her morphine after the surgery because she wouldn't stop crying, which totally mortified me! Well after that she wouldn't nurse again....never really cared for the bottle. She wasn't and isn't a big eater. Maybe it caused oral sensitivity ? And she has speech problems... Personally, if I could go back in time I would not have it done.
that sounds horrible. i have had quite a few friends whose children have had their frenulums clipped and fortunately none had the same experience. they were all just simple procedures done in the doctors office, no anesthesia. was your daughters procedure recently? i notice your location says CT... would you mind saying what DR advised you on this? feel free to PM me if you don't want to put it out here.

to the OP- for some babies it is necessary to clip the frenulum so that they are able to nurse more efficiently. personally all three of my children are tongue-tied and none have been clipped (yet). DD #1 has a classic tie that went undiagnosed (even after i diretly asked the LC about it being a possibility : ) which completely ruined our nursing relationship. DD #2 and DS have postier ties that gave us problems the first few weeks nursing but we eventually overcame them.

this is a great PDF about tongue-tie, a little medically oriented but very informative-
http://www.breastfeedingtaskforla.or...newsletter.pdf

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#8 of 23 Old 06-29-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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As earthwise has pointed out, the procedure will depend on the doctor, also the child's age. If it is noticed early and clipped early it is usually a simple clip that can be done in office. If the child is older it often requires general anestheia.

ETA - This is genetic as far as I know, so it is a good idea to ask your parents and your partners parents about it if possible.
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#9 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I had no idea this was so common! Thanks for all the info.

Almost a b-ball team: : Taylor -14, Alex -11, Jack -8, Lachlan born at home 11/15/07
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#10 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 02:01 AM
 
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Id personally wait until they are older to do it... There is always a solution to a "problem"
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#11 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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I have a girlfriend whose twelve year old daughter decided that she wanted her tongue tie clipped (it hadn't given them too much trouble while nursing and mom couldn't find a doc at the time to do it). They clipped it in the office, and the girl says she literally didn't feel a thing. I think that is a good story to know (and this is a good friend of mine, not a friend of a friend of a friend, you know?), because those general "office" clips can save a lot of sore nipples and nursing grief...and if mom knows it doesn't hurt, it may make her decision easier.

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#12 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 01:06 PM
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If breastfeeding isn't a problem, it shouldn't be done.

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#13 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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DS was pretty severely tongue-tied and it caused major problems with breastfeeding. He had an awful, painful latch right from the start, causing me horribly painful bruised nipples, and he couldn't stay latched on properly. He would nurse for hours and hours, but wasn't gaining weight. His first pediatrician told me his tongue-tie wasn't causing my pain or his poor weight gain and sent me home with a can of formula. I finally wised up and when DS was 6 weeks old I found a new ped who clipped his frenulum.

Like a PP said it was a very quick procedure. It took less than a minute, and the ped did it right there on the exam table in front of me. DS cried, but back then he cried every time he was on his back so this was really no different. He latched on much better almost immediately. We had to go back a couple weeks later to have it clipped a little bit more, and a few days after that my nipple pain completely went away. DS finally started gaining weight, and his nursing sessions went down to a reasonable length (like 20 min instead of 2 hours per feed!)

I wish I'd done it sooner. The benefits were well worth the very minimal trauma to DS. If this new babe is tongue-tied we will have his frenulum clipped within days of birth rather than waiting so long.

Oh and in our case it was definitely genetic. DH, his brother and his mom are all very tongue-tied. They were all bottle-fed from birth so it was never diagnosed as a problem, though BIL had some speech issues as a child.

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#14 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Khourtniey View Post
Id personally wait until they are older to do it... There is always a solution to a "problem"
The problem with waiting until they're older is that they'll require the general anesthesia.

DD1 had a latch that looked perfect, and she was gaining weight, but nursing hurt me for over 12 weeks. DD2 caused me worse pain, again with a perfect looking latch and good weight gain.

I saw a great LC who recognized signs of a short frenulum, though she wasn't tongue tied. When DD2 was two weeks old, our FP gave me the option of allowing DD2 to grow out of it like DD1 did, or to have it clipped. I opted for the clipping because I couldn't fathom the possibility of hurting like I did every time she latched on for 10+ weeks!! I absolutely dreaded nursing and was beginning to put it off if she'd let me which would have been bad in the long run.

It was a simple procedure. Just a quick clip. The nurse did have to hold DD2's head still, and that was hard to watch. The nursing pain didn't clear up right away. But after my nipples healed, and a couple more weeks passed things were better.

DD2 nursed until just past her 2nd birthday!
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#15 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 02:26 PM
 
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My dd2 was born with tongue tie. Her latch was really bad. I was bleeding and blistering by the time she was 4 days old.

The LC diagnosed it and said it was causing the bad latch and it could lead to speech problems if left untreated. We took her to the ped and she clipped it- it was a very quick procedure- no anesthesia, no crying. Her latch was perfect after it was done.
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#16 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by earthwise View Post
My daughter was born tongue-tied (the unscientific name). At first it wasn't a big deal because she latched well, but she couldn't stay latched for long. She wasn't gaining "enough" weight, wasn't happy so I agreed to a frenulectomy.
It is not a simple snip in the office , like it used to be, she had to be under general anesthesia and they cortorised (sp?) it with a laser. They gave her morphine after the surgery because she wouldn't stop crying, which totally mortified me! Well after that she wouldn't nurse again....never really cared for the bottle. She wasn't and isn't a big eater. Maybe it caused oral sensitivity ? And she has speech problems... Personally, if I could go back in time I would not have it done.
This was most likely more the doc's preference than real need for general anesthesia. I'm the proud mom of 2 tongue tied kids myself, and clip frenulum's occasionally in the office or hospital for clients also. I've had several clients seek me out because they were told by another doc that their baby would have to have general anesthesia and they heard I'd do it in the office. I've done dozens, and never had a baby have a complication - really it's very simple, just lift the tongue and snip, then baby is handed to mom to go to breast to provide a little pressure on the area. I had one client drive from out of state because an ENT there told her general anesthesia was the only way to have it done. Turns out her sister's baby had also had tongue tie and lives in my town and told her I'd done her baby in the office in front of her. Mom decided a long drive to visit her sister was worth keeping baby out of general anesthesia. Her baby also did well with the procedure in the office done with mom present, and went on to nurse well.

I generally only clip if baby is struggling to latch, or mom has persistent pain.

My oldest ds never really caused me pain, but always struggled to stay latched on and popped on and off a lot. I never realized why until years later when I learned about tongue tie. Fortunately, he was able to nurse well and gain well and it didn't hamper our nursing relationship. He's still kind of irritated, though, that he can't stick his tongue out all the way - and he'll be 19 later this summer! My 4th child caused me serious nipple pain for weeks. I kept working and working on her latch, trying to wait for it to get better because there is no one around here but me who does clip frenulums. I finally got up the nerve at 6 weeks to do it myself as the pain was not getting better. My nurse practioner friend helped me hold her, I snipped her, and instantly put her to breast and had our first comfortable nursing session. She went on to nurse over 3 years without any problems.

Like any other procedure, it shouldn't be done just for the heck of it, but if the nursing dyad are experiencing problems due to baby unable to extend the tongue normally, it is such a simple procedure it is worth trying it. I have almost always seen it be effective at helping the breastfeeding situation.
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#17 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 02:39 PM
 
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Id personally wait until they are older to do it... There is always a solution to a "problem"
And sometimes the solution is a simple procedure.
Seriously, I'd be hard pressed to tell a mom suffering through weeks of cracked and bleeding nipples that they have to stick it out or quit breastfeeding when there might be a simple way to help. If baby can't protrude the tongue over the bottom gum, not much helps.
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#18 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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The problem is very common and ranges in severity from situations that will actually cause speech (as well as nursing) impediments to mild, unproblematic tongue-ties.

I was born with a complete tongue-tie and was clipped shortly after birth. Obviously I don't remember. At 16 when I had oral surgery to remove impacted wisdom teeth the surgeon insisted that my frenulum be clipped even further. He suggested that I would be able to french-kiss better.

The only thing I noticed after the second clip was that I could do that silly tongue trick where you roll your tongue into a tube shape.

I'd get more than one opinion before I'd do it to a child.
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#19 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 07:40 PM
 
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It depends. Sometimes it is just a problem that can be worked out, other cases it is more severe and can even lead to speech problems later in life. Each case needs to be evaluated independently.
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#20 of 23 Old 06-30-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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So if the babe latches well and there's no pain, skip the clip??
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#21 of 23 Old 07-01-2007, 03:59 AM
 
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It is not a simple snip in the office , like it used to be, she had to be under general anesthesia and they cauterised it with a laser
I think it depends how thick and fleshy the frenulum is, and how far forward the attachment is, as well as the age of the child. Obviously snipping a bloodless membrane is easier than a thick piece of flesh with blood vessels in it.
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#22 of 23 Old 07-30-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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This is my first post. We're off to see the ENT at 2 pm this afternoon to have my 6 week old baby's tounge tie evaluated. She was able to latch, but due to early introduction to the bottle, she became 'confused' and refused my breast. At least that's what I thought, but I will post more after the appointment.
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#23 of 23 Old 07-30-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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I have a girlfriend whose twelve year old daughter decided that she wanted her tongue tie clipped (it hadn't given them too much trouble while nursing and mom couldn't find a doc at the time to do it). They clipped it in the office, and the girl says she literally didn't feel a thing. I think that is a good story to know (and this is a good friend of mine, not a friend of a friend of a friend, you know?), because those general "office" clips can save a lot of sore nipples and nursing grief...and if mom knows it doesn't hurt, it may make her decision easier.


I would encourage you to have it done. I had my son's done last week shortly after he was born (3 days old). Myolder dd was tongue-tied and we let it go and boy did my nipples suffer with her inability to latch.

Also, I was tongue tied and had speech problems leading to my tongue being clipped when I was 12. Unlike this person's experience above, I had 7 stitches under my tongue and it was incredibly awful.

4 kids under 10
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