A lip tie or tongue tie can be detrimental to a breastfeeding relationship. All three of my kids had a form of a tie, resulting in a multitude of struggles.
Eight years ago, I never heard of a lip or tongue tie. I had no idea the havoc that I would face when my first child arrived. Soon as her first examination, the pediatrician told me that she had a severe tongue tie. I didn’t understand the difficulties awaiting me.
After a week, I knew that our troubles were not normal. Unfortunately, our breastfeeding relationship didn’t last as long as I wanted. Her tongue tie was clipped. Seven years later, her tongue is still heart shaped.
Lip Tie and My Second Child
When my second child arrived, the first thing I checked for was a tongue tie. My body relaxed when I realized his tongue looked normal. He latched relatively easy, but he tended to suck on his top lip. I didn’t think much of that at first. He was a new baby and just struggling to figure it all out.
However, I soon noticed just how long he spent on the breast. He nursed for what felt like hours and my nipples suffered. I had to fix his latch continually. An LC visited us and quickly noticed his severe lip tie. I didn’t even think to check his lip. I couldn’t believe our bad luck.
With the help of a tremendous LC, I continued to breastfeed my son. Each time, we worked on creating the perfect latch. He grew right along the curve noted by his doctor and met milestones, so I knew we were doing good. It took a long time before my nipples were comfortable.
Chugging Along with a Lip Tie
Our third child had a small lip tie as well, but not as severe. He was more efficient at birth than his brother, which caused me to worry that my supply was lacking. Luckily, he is growing well, and we know all is fine.
My journey breastfeeding with a lip tie taught me a few things that I hope could benefit other mothers.
- Check for a tongue or lip tie at birth. At the hospital, the pediatrician offered to clip my third son’s tie immediately if we wanted. It wasn’t severe enough, and we waited, but check your hospital.
- Ties can cause a bad latch, which can lead to extreme pain for the mother. It is important for you to create the best latch each time, if possible. You don’t want a lip to be tucked in or for the baby to only latch to the nipple.
- Spend time working with an LC. A lactation consultant can help you create the best latch possible.
- Don’t wait too long to seek help if you think the tie is causing breastfeeding issues. Most doctors can get you an appointment within a few days.
Have any of your children had a tongue or lip tie that made breastfeeding hard?