I have a happy, chunky 7 week old baby boy. We are having some trouble breast feeding but he is gaining very well (13,5 lbs at 6 1/2 weeks). We saw an LC last week because DH is taking in a lot of air while nursing and has problems to latch on while I have a huge supply and a forceful let down from nursing a toddler all through pregnancy. The LC suspects a posterior tongue tie and sees a lip tie which is pretty obvious and runs in my family (the lip tie). My daughter has a lip tie as well but she nursed and nurses fine.
I am having a very hard time agreeing to a laser surgery. I guess we are a borderline case and could go both ways though the nursing sessions right now take very long and can be frustrating for both of us. My DD is only 2 1/2 so she needs me too and always has to wait - is getting frustrated too. We had a beautiful home birth with my son and it just doesn't seem right to put him through this now. He is little and so trusting. I have an appointment with a special dentist who is very well known for lasering newborns (D. James Jesse) on Wednesday. DH will be 7 1/2 weeks old and couldn't even have tylenol or ibuprofen after the procedure since he is under 2 months.
Is anyone out here who didn't have their child's tongue/lip tie removed and worked around it? Are there any long time studies on children who had it done and how their speech developed (meaning articulation)? I know it is a quick procedure but to laser in my baby's mouth seems like a big deal.
Please tell me your thoughts and experiences!!! Thanks so much, Maren
Hi! I've been a lurker on these boards for 6 years and I felt compelled to join (or rejoin, I guess I must've joined at some point because I had to reset my password) just to answer your question! I feel somewhat uniquely qualified to speak on this, since I've had two children with tongue tie, and my husband is also a dentist. My first daughter (who is 6) had a REALLY hard time latching on, so much so that the lactation consultant took a closer look at her frenulum (I am quite certain I'm spelling that wrong! Sorry!) and noticed it was quite tight. She suggested a frenectomy and I promptly freaked out. My husband (who was a dental student at the time) talked me down from the crazy tree, and I'm so glad he did-the "procedure", if you can even call it that, took all of .2 seconds. There was exactly one drop of blood, and one "waaah", and it was over. No tears, nothing. It made a tremendous impact on our breastfeeding relationship, and I went on to nurse her for a year.
I had two more girls (almost 4 and almost 2), and we checked them very closely for tongue tie-they didn't have it. Six weeks ago, I had a baby boy, and sure enough, he's got one. I said I wanted a frenectomy and my husband (who has now been practicing dentistry for 5+ years) said he was willing to do it in his office, because it is SO quick and really an easy, easy thing for baby. The only reason I didn't do it at the dental office is because we were already right there at the hospital, and frankly, hauling four children aged 6 and under to my husband's work is no picnic.
I was about to hit "post" when my husband walked into the room and I asked him about this. He said the discomfort associated with laser treatment is usually quite minimal, but he did say one thing you could do ahead of time if you're worried about pain is to make a breastmilk popsicle. I'm having a hard time typing those words without laughing, but hopefully you get the idea.
Hope this was helpful! Good luck!
I have two unrevised children and 1 revised (my youngest). My oldest nursed for 3 years and I tandem nursed..oversupply etc...as soon as my oldest weaned my milk dried up so badly I could not squeaze one drop out...the baby couldn't suck well enough to maintain my supply. Today they are 3 and 5...my 5yo has asthma which I attribute to constant lung infections (likely caused by aspiration from lack of tongue mobility/coordination), my 3yo only got off pureed food a few months ago and still chokes a lot, he also has some speech issues. My youngest had her tie revised along with craniosacral therapy and her reflux is practically gone, she's nursing better, she had been behind on her motor skills and is now on par - maybe even a bit ahead.
There is a great group on Facebook called "Tongue Tie Babies Support Group" that I encourage you to join.
I have three kids. The first has no tie issues... his tongue and lips are fully mobile. Second one has both a lip and a tongue tie which I did not get fixed because he was gaining weight so beautifully. Third one had significant oral defects that caused us huge challenges in feeding and growing. He had his anterior tie clipped and then later his posterior tie done as well.
I will say I have zero regrets about fixing the ties on DS3. It simply for him was a matter of life and death as he was literally starving. So I came at it from that point but sitting where I am now it was over quickly, he cried but then was fine when he could nurse. The worst part was having to make sure it didn't reattach afterwords but once it was fully healed all was fine.
I do however regret not getting DS2 fixed when he was an infant. He's 3.5 and it's now affecting his speech. At this point when they fix it he's going to be a lot more bothered by them messing around with it then he would have as an infant.
If DC4 has a tongue or lip tie that is identified young unless it is so minor as to be causing zero issues (if that happens) I will be getting it dealt with ASAP.
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It is so interesting that you all had the chance to compare within your family. It sounds like such an easy thing to do. I don't know why I have such a hard time with it. Maybe because my son is still gaining weight and looks so healthy. I guess I am afraid that something could go wrong and it wouldn't make a change or worse it would lead to complications like infection or so... sigh, but also, I am very underslept and overwhelmed taking care of my newborn and my 2 1/2 year old daughter. Days can be so crazy.
I only just learned about lip and tongue ties.
My dd1, now age 5, has an upper lip tie, which got torn a bit when she fell and hit her tooth around age 2. It would be classified as a Class 3 or 4 I guess. I don't think she had issues with her tongue, unless it was so minor we couldn't notice it. She nursed until age 3.5 (only at bedtime from age 2.5 on....) and we never had issues with weight gain or reflux as an infant. HOWEVER, she did have early childhood caries - her 2 upper front teeth came in missing enamel, and in retrospect I believe the lip tie probably had a bit to do with it. I kept it at bay with MI paste and fluoride varnish and better brushing, and when she stopped night nursing, the cavities seemed to start to remineralize. Her speech developed well - no concerns. She's never been a thumb sucker or used a pacifier.
DD2, age 10 months has a very obvious upper lip tie which goes right to the bottom of her front gums between her teeth, which I really only clued into about a month ago! I don't know about her tongue....but she seems to have good mobility with her tongue, which would explain how efficiently she can extract the milk. She seemed to suck her bottom lip in the womb as she looked like she had quite an overbite for the first few weeks. I had to always had to pull her lips out after latching to get a better latch. I seemed to have oversupply issues and she learned early on to deal with the flow, but seemed to gulp a lot and choked lots. She had a fair bit of reflux from the very beginning and we're still dealing with it....though not sure whether it has been milk protein intolerance/or MSPI related versus oversupply (since I did try block feeding and reduced my supply without it making a lot of difference to the reflux). I've also done milk/soy elimination diets which seemed to help....though other times they didn't make much difference. Now I'm back on soy/dairy and it seemed to go okay.....but then she started having more trouble with reflux since starting solid foods. The other issue with DD2 is that she too has decay on her upper middle teeth. She nurses 2x/night, and usually will swallow after I remove her from the breast. Again, I don't know if this is due to the upper lip tie exacerbating milk pooling....versus the continual reflux (mostly silent reflux getting swallowed back down before I see it). So many people I know had marathon night nursers who escaped early childhood caries. So frustrating for us!
I wish so much we had a dentist here who did the laser procedure as it sounds so straightforward with little risk! If it saves dd2's teeth from more decay then it's worth it to me. I asked a pediatric dental clinic (one of only 2 in the part of the province) about the procedure....and it would require a general anaesthetic....and there's no way I'll put my baby through that. My first daughter survived her early tooth decay without lasting effects, and we probably have set her up for a lifetime of good dental hygeine having to be so careful. So hopefully dd2 won't require any dental work either.
I'd be very interested to know what mngirl's take is on the tooth decay/upper lip tie link.
Thought I'd add that the kids' father seems to have the upper lip tie also....but his frenum is very obviously torn from a childhood injury. He had a significant overbite and needed head gear/braces....and is a bit of a mouth breather and has had a fair bit of dental issues over the years.