Recovery from tongue-tie clipping? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 05-24-2008, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My almost-six week old daughter just had her tongue tie corrected a few days ago. We have not been able to successfully nurse yet, to my very deep dismay, but one major factor (there are a few others as well, you can read the whole saga here) was a posterior tongue tie that went undiagnosed until a week ago.

We are also doing craniosacral & chiropractic therapy for her issues related to molding, and seeing a VERY good lactation consultant (who first caught the tongue tie). I'm also pumping up a storm & she has had nothing but breast milk, at least, through various methods.

So for those of you who have had to have your children "clipped", how long did it take before you saw significant improvement? I read some testimonials that said nursing was pretty much immediate, and others that did say it takes some more time - but how much? And is there anything more I can do to help it along? Every day that goes by I worry more and more that we did all this for nothing, including minor surgery.

Any experience is welcome.
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#2 of 19 Old 05-24-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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Hi Rose,
Six weeks of not using her tongue properly will take a while for her to learn how to nurse, be patient, she will learn. The baby needs some practice. Everything you are doing is heading her in the right direction.

Do you use the SNS? Ask your LC about trying it, it is a very helpful therapeutic tool to get a reluctant baby on the breast.

Grown people with uncut tongue tie (tight frenulum) have life long issues such as speech impediment or affecting speech pattern, poor digestion and reflux, and never being able to be a deep tongue kisser.
So you did the right thing no matter what.
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#3 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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Oh, wow. No advice, but a BIG for you both!!

My friend didn't know her dd had tongue tie until the child was much older and past nursing. Incidentally, my friend also has tongue tie as a 30+yr old woman.

Keep trying, keep connecting w./ your LC, and don't forget that you're doing the best thing you can for your babe.


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#4 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 02:35 AM
 
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My son had his tongue tie corrected at about 2 weeks. He had other problems too, particularly a recessed jaw. It took until 7 weeks for us to totally get on to only breastfeeding.

Well done for managing to pump enough for your lo. I wasn't able to and had to supplement with formula which I hated. Anyway, by 7 weeks we were home free. This was after him not latching on at all for the first few days and losing loads of weight and then not gaining any weight for a week because his latch/ suck was so inefficient. We also did craniosacral work with him and that helped enormously.

At the time it all seems so overwhelming and impossible and I remember feeling like a failure for not being able to feed my own baby. But in the greater scheme of things, it's only a short space of time and he is now 13 months and can pull up my shirt to get at his 'nummies'. Hang in there.
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#5 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 03:50 AM
 
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big

Rivka's tongue was clipped when she was 5 months old. It was missed until then. She nursed okay right away, but she was always a pretty decent nurser, and she never took bottles (her choice ). I noticed a much more comfortable latch and she transered milk better. Have you been back to a LC?

Good luck!

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#6 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dewi View Post
Hi Rose,
Six weeks of not using her tongue properly will take a while for her to learn how to nurse, be patient, she will learn. The baby needs some practice. Everything you are doing is heading her in the right direction.

Do you use the SNS? Ask your LC about trying it, it is a very helpful therapeutic tool to get a reluctant baby on the breast.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, dewi & others. We have not been using the SNS per se; what I have done is a number of things. For about 2 weeks I was finger feeding with a syringe & tube, then the LC had me switch to finger feeding without the syringe to make her work harder for the milk (just the tube from a bottle). This was taking WAY too long, like almost two hours per feeding, and the poor thing was just getting exhausted & not eating enough, either.

Our game plan now is in three stages: First, at the moment I am doing the "paced feeding" method of using (yikes, I know) a bottle*. This is a very specific way of doing it that is designed to HELP prepare her for transitioning to the breast. If done correctly it's supposed to be more effecting than cup or syringe. I'm also sing the Breastflow bottles, which - though yes, they're still bottles - are designed to make the baby's jaw & tongue action as similar as possible to nursing.

Second, we will soon switch to using a nipple shield to help her get a better grip on me (I also have somewhat flat, small nipples, which doesn't help Lily either), possibly feeding the tube through at first. And then, HOPEFULLY, we'll try getting her fully on the breast.

*If you're interested in the paced bottle feeding method:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html
Download the fourth article by Dee Kassing.
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#7 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Boot View Post
My son had his tongue tie corrected at about 2 weeks. He had other problems too, particularly a recessed jaw. It took until 7 weeks for us to totally get on to only breastfeeding.

Well done for managing to pump enough for your lo. I wasn't able to and had to supplement with formula which I hated. Anyway, by 7 weeks we were home free. This was after him not latching on at all for the first few days and losing loads of weight and then not gaining any weight for a week because his latch/ suck was so inefficient. We also did craniosacral work with him and that helped enormously.

At the time it all seems so overwhelming and impossible and I remember feeling like a failure for not being able to feed my own baby. But in the greater scheme of things, it's only a short space of time and he is now 13 months and can pull up my shirt to get at his 'nummies'. Hang in there.
This sounds very similar to our experience, as her retracted jaw is definitely part of the problem too (was born with lots of molding). Theoretically, my LC believes that the tongue clipping will actually help the CS therapy to become more effective, since she will be able to slowly let go of the incorrect compensation pattens she had been using. I pray that she's right.

Glad to hear that you found success!!
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#8 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 10:49 AM
 
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DS had his posterior tongue tie clipped about two weeks ago, at 12 weeks. We have seen a big improvement in his weight gain (from 0-3 oz/week to 7-9 oz per week) and a moderate improvement in his suck/technique, which was REALLY bad. He nurses less frequently and for shorter peiods now. However, I still am having pain and his suck is still very weird and inconsistent, and we do need a little supplementation, which I am hoping to eliminate--yesterday we went more than 24 hours before we needed any, so I have hope.

BUT he was so old when it was clipped and we are not even sure it was completely clipped. I think you can hope for better, faster results. are you having pain?

We are seeing an OT and a CST starting next week.

I supplement with either finger-feeding, tube at breast, or a bottle. Honestly, I am thinking of switching to all bottles. He is rejecting finger-feeding now and the tube makes me sore. I may try the breast bottle. Does your DD have a high palate from the tie? That's a big problem for us.

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#9 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 11:27 AM
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I didn't read all the responses or your link, but I want to address the tongue tie issue.

DS was tongue tied severely at birth. To the point he could not move his tongue when he cried. It was quite sad actually. I had a hard time finding a doctor who would clip it because I kept getting told it wasn't an issue. Yeah, ok! Cuz not being able to properly nurse OR take a bottle wasn't going to turn into an issue.

So at 2 weeks we had our LC advocate with my doctor's office to get it done. The office was able to write a referral to an oral surgeon, and we had it done the next day. It was less than 5 minutes, he didn't cry, and was happy to see us after. I almost cried and couldn't watch but I was 2 weeks postpartum lol. We were using mainly bottles out of the house because we used a nipple shield and nursing was very difficult at that point. So after the clip we were brought to another room and I sat down and gave him a bottle. I could tell the difference right away. When we got home that afternoon I was able to nurse him much easier (still with the shield).

I was told the amount of time it would take to correct the nursing problems would be equal to the length of time we had problems. Translation= we should have had nursing success in 2 weeks, since that was how long his tongue was tied. Well, that didn't really happen. We still used the shield till he was 1 weeks shy of 3 months old. So that was a lot longer than expected lol. It just happened one day- he didn't want the shield anymore. I had some panic attacks about it at first but after 5 weeks of non-use, I threw it away.

Good luck. It will happen in it's own time.
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#10 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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DS was diagnosed (confirmed diagnosis by ped dentist) with tongue tie on day 1 by the LC and it took us about 2 weeks to decide whether to snip or not. His tongue was tied right down to the tip (the two peds we spoke with were against clipping)

Anyway, I felt an immediate change in his latch - I had been kinda holding my nipple in his mouth and a couple of minutes after the clip did not have to keep the nipple supported - but it did take longer until his latch was really improved - I can't remember now how long, maybe a week or two?

Good luck. I am sure if you continue to have your LC's support and you keep going things will get better

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
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#11 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RoseDuperre View Post
Our game plan now is in three stages: First, at the moment I am doing the "paced feeding" method of using (yikes, I know) a bottle*. *If you're interested in the paced bottle feeding method:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html
Download the fourth article by Dee Kassing.
Bottles can be a brilliant tool if used correctly.
The politics surrounding baby bottles are so complicated that we sometimes forget they can and should be used therapeutically.

IMO and experience i have seen finger feeding used for too long and it introduces all other feeding issues that make transferring back to the breast very difficult and beyond this discussion, but bottles do work and can be helpful when it is decided to be the right tool to get the baby back on the breast and used properly.

Plus the reality is many mothers must work and the baby needs to use a bottle of bm when not with mom.
Bottles are not evil if used appropriately.
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#12 of 19 Old 05-25-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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Just so you know - we used bottles to supplement and ours was a success story - see above. I had a quick look at your link and it sounds like we were given similar advice. I also tried a nipple shield and it helped for a short time but I didn't like what it was doing to his latch so I stopped after a week.

I know some people think bottles are the root of all evil but the current thinking seems to be that they can be very helpful when used correctly. Good luck, you're doing great.
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#13 of 19 Old 05-26-2008, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
BUT he was so old when it was clipped and we are not even sure it was completely clipped. I think you can hope for better, faster results. are you having pain?
That's one thing that is both kind of a blessing and a curse. I have actually not had ANY pain nursing. Pumping is a little uncomfortable when I first start, but she herself has never caused me pain. But that's not a good thing, either - I think her latch was too weak to ever cause any in the first place. So, yeah, not really a good thing at all.


Quote:
We are seeing an OT and a CST starting next week.

I supplement with either finger-feeding, tube at breast, or a bottle. Honestly, I am thinking of switching to all bottles. He is rejecting finger-feeding now and the tube makes me sore. I may try the breast bottle. Does your DD have a high palate from the tie? That's a big problem for us.
Good luck with the OST and CST! Sounds like in your case that will definitely make a difference.

And yes, in fact, she DOES have a high palate! The LC pointed this out but I didn't think it was related to the tie, I thought she was pointing it out just as another feature of her mouth. Are they related? How so? And does this contribute to nursing problems too???
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#14 of 19 Old 05-26-2008, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by fresh_water View Post
I didn't read all the responses or your link, but I want to address the tongue tie issue.

DS was tongue tied severely at birth. To the point he could not move his tongue when he cried. It was quite sad actually. I had a hard time finding a doctor who would clip it because I kept getting told it wasn't an issue. Yeah, ok! Cuz not being able to properly nurse OR take a bottle wasn't going to turn into an issue.
GAH! How maddening! I really think there needs to be more awareness of this in the medical community. Sorry you had to deal with that!

Quote:
So at 2 weeks we had our LC advocate with my doctor's office to get it done. The office was able to write a referral to an oral surgeon, and we had it done the next day. It was less than 5 minutes, he didn't cry, and was happy to see us after. I almost cried and couldn't watch but I was 2 weeks postpartum lol. We were using mainly bottles out of the house because we used a nipple shield and nursing was very difficult at that point. So after the clip we were brought to another room and I sat down and gave him a bottle. I could tell the difference right away. When we got home that afternoon I was able to nurse him much easier (still with the shield).

I was told the amount of time it would take to correct the nursing problems would be equal to the length of time we had problems. Translation= we should have had nursing success in 2 weeks, since that was how long his tongue was tied. Well, that didn't really happen. We still used the shield till he was 1 weeks shy of 3 months old. So that was a lot longer than expected lol. It just happened one day- he didn't want the shield anymore. I had some panic attacks about it at first but after 5 weeks of non-use, I threw it away.

Good luck. It will happen in it's own time.
Your story of success with the shield is very helpful, since that will be our next step. I'm so nervous about it. And even if that time frame didn't work for you, I still like that thought, as it helps me to be patient. One of my biggest challenges.
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#15 of 19 Old 05-26-2008, 04:53 PM
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DS was born tongue tied (my MW noticed it about 3 days after birth) but it (somehow!) didn't really affect his ability to eat. he nursed like a champ and put on weight. but that also made the decision (to cut or not to cut) harder....

in the end, we opted ot have it clipped when he was 6 weeks old. Let's just say, i didn't THINK i was having any problems BF, well, after the clip it was even easier! no more cracked nipples! He nursed immediately after it was done (kinda funny cuz his mouth was still frozen) but I think it was about 2 weeks before i really noticed the change in his feeding.

like a pp said about the deep kissing etc.... all this wasn't done in waste. it might have caused speech problems, and then you'd have had to go on to speech therapy etc... and it still might not have helped....

my friends are also quick to mention that by having it done, DS' future lady friends will thank me, as he'll now be able to pleasure them orally (great, guys, just what a mom wants to hear about her little boy! )

Sandi- firmly attached mama to DS (Feb/08) cautiously expecting #2 09/10
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#16 of 19 Old 05-26-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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And yes, in fact, she DOES have a high palate! The LC pointed this out but I didn't think it was related to the tie, I thought she was pointing it out just as another feature of her mouth. Are they related? How so? And does this contribute to nursing problems too???
Tongue ties are what's called a mid-line defect. A high palate is another mid-line defect. I believe if you have one mid=line defect you are more likely to have another one. There is also a defect related to peeing, where the pee hole is in the wrong place.

Anyhow, having a high palate absolutely affects nursing. The tongue cannot press against the roof of the mouth properly causing problems. I've been told that CST can help spread the palate somewhat and alleviate some problems. However, the practitioner really needs to know what theya re doing. There is a really great CST in Western Massachusetts. He teaches a lot of other practitioners and is supposed to be excellent with babies. His name is Charles Gilliam (http://www.iahp.com/CharlesGilliam/). I see that you are on the Mass/CT border. Maybe he's a possiblity for you or maybe he knows someone in your area who can help.

Just out of curiosity, who did the clipping? I had my son clipped by Dr. Coryllos in NY. Unfortunateoy it wasn't done until 9 months so we're still struggling.

Mom to DMI & Silly Apple
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#17 of 19 Old 05-26-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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DS was diagnosed by our LC when he was 9 weeks old. We had it clipped the next day. It was a good 4 weeks before nursing got to be better. Good Luck.
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#18 of 19 Old 05-26-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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I was also told by Catherine Watson Genna (big expert on tongue tie) that tongue tie CAUSES high palates. The tongue molds the palate as it is used incorrectly. In her words, "Muscle moves bone, every time."

The high palate can mean the nipple is not drawn far enough back in the mouth, but rather hangs up on the roof of it.

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#19 of 19 Old 06-02-2008, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
Tongue ties are what's called a mid-line defect. A high palate is another mid-line defect. I believe if you have one mid=line defect you are more likely to have another one. There is also a defect related to peeing, where the pee hole is in the wrong place.

Anyhow, having a high palate absolutely affects nursing. The tongue cannot press against the roof of the mouth properly causing problems. I've been told that CST can help spread the palate somewhat and alleviate some problems. However, the practitioner really needs to know what theya re doing. There is a really great CST in Western Massachusetts. He teaches a lot of other practitioners and is supposed to be excellent with babies. His name is Charles Gilliam (http://www.iahp.com/CharlesGilliam/). I see that you are on the Mass/CT border. Maybe he's a possiblity for you or maybe he knows someone in your area who can help.

Just out of curiosity, who did the clipping? I had my son clipped by Dr. Coryllos in NY. Unfortunateoy it wasn't done until 9 months so we're still struggling.
This is all interesting to me. First, I feel ignorant here but I'm nut sure what you mean by midline defect. Can you explain a bit or point me in the right direction?

Also, she definitely does have a high palate, as observed by my LC and two craniosacral therapists - and she also has a relatively small tongue in and of itself. Combine that with a high palate, the proportions to latch properly are so difficult. And then there's my slightly flat, too-small nipples. Poor little thing has the odds so stacked against her. But we're still trying - this is going on 7 weeks now, clipped 2 weeks ago. Small signs of improvement are happening, I think, but we have a long road.

And hey - she too was clipped by Dr. Coryllos, who I thought was a wonderful delight.
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