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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I'm new to this. I have a one-month old dd who has a tight frenulum, or is slightly tongue-tied. I've had challenges with my milk not coming in, and am doing everything I can to up the supply, including herbs and domperidone. We've been supplementing at the breast since she was four days old, since I didn't have enough milk (that was an emotional struggle, let me tell you). Now that I'm beginning to pick my head up and catch my breath, I'm looking for information about the frenulum - our midwife suggested snipping it, but our LC said she has an adequate suck. I'm wondering if the low milk supply has to do with her tongue and latch. The idea of snipping the frenulum is not something I'm eager to do, as we have been very careful about exposing dd to any traumas, but someone yesterday told me it's a very simple procedure. I'm looking for information and experience with this, so I can make an informed choice.

Any feedback is welcome!
 

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my son is extremely tongue tied. his frenulum is tight and all the way to the tip of his tongue. breastfeeding in the beginning was difficult because he couldn't get a proper latch. it took about two weeks before breastfeeding wasn't horribly painful, with me letting him suck on my finger quite a lot to help stretch the thing out. we never snipped it because we figured if he could nurse properly, and if his speech wasn't suffering, then he could do it when he's older. i didn't see any need to put him through that if there was no indication that it posed an actual problem for him. i asked an ENT doctor about it, and he mentioned that most people don't even get far enough along to know if it will cause a speech problem because they just get it done when they're infants. i don't think it is causing your low supply, just because i've gone through the same thing and had enough milk to feed the neighborhood. he's six now, still tongue tied, with perfectly normal speech.
 

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no caps... holding sleeping toddler.


our dd's frenulum was attached all the way to the end of her tongue. she couldn't latch on in the hospital despite the help of 2 very experienced lc's. one of the lc's, who happens to be quite crunchy, recommended having dd's frenulum clipped. we did this when she was 4 days old. it took 5 minutes (literally), was done with a laser, didn't require anesthesia and dd didn't cry. two days after her procedure and one more visit w/ an lc, and she was nursing like a pro. we had to supplement too and seeing her take formula out of a liitle medicine sppon broke my heart. i'm glad we made the decision that we did, even though it was a tough one.
 

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My DD had a moderate tongue tie, my milk supply was also low, she did not get up to her birthweight by two weeks, the ped told me to supplement, he told me that tongue tie does not affect bfing. Two other peds told me this as well, but were willing to clip the frenulum under GA. Finally I found a doctor that was an IBCLC and she just clipped it with a scissors. She put me on domperidone, and gave me APNO since my nipples were tore up pretty bad. Within six weeks I had more than enough milk (since the tongue was fixed and DD was able to properly drain the breast and I was still on Domperidone). We are still bfing at 9.5 months, no supplements have been needed since that time.

http://twofloridadocs.com is my doctor's website, she has an article about tongue-tie on there, the AAP has also put articles out about it.

Good luck!
 

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We discovered tongue-tie at about the same time. Conventional wisdom from peds and ENTs is that tongue-tie is not a big deal, but traditionally, midwives and LCs have always known that tongue tie makes BFing very uncomfortable (for me, it felt like a hoover vacuum - he was making up for lack of tongue control with an overly strong suck - you could see his cheeks sucking in!) and decreased milk supply. It used to always be cut at birth so as to prevent issues, but because of the lack of BFing knowledge by ENTs and peds, there isn't that push any more.

I decided to have it done because I didn't want to find out what the negative ramifications could be down the line; and because I wanted to nurse long-term and it was REALLY uncomfortable. And FWIW, we didn't even consider circumcision, but here's an example of where body modification can come in handy.

We went to a dentist who did it in-office. He used novocaine, although he said he didn't have to. The snip took maybe half a second and it was done. He nursed immediately afterwards, and it took him a day or so to quit using the hoover latch.

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/t023300.asp
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the info. I'll continue to look into it, but it's helpful to know it's not a very painful procedure. My big fear is that if I chose to do it, but it did not make a difference with my milk supply, I would regret causing whatever discomfort to dd.
 

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My DS was extremely tongue tied, and it caused me sever discomfort, but he was gaining well so both Pedis didn't want to clip it, although my midwife and LC suggested it be done. I finally travelled into the city, crazy and desperate to seek out one of the top LC, she clipped it within seconds of seeing him frustrated with the breast and me crying with cracked bleeding nipples. As soon as the clip was done he latched on well enough for the pain to go, it took about 2 weeks to accomplish a great latch though. The procedure was painless and he only cried because she had to force him to open his mouth wide, t made me green to see it done to my 7 week old son so I would suggest not looking.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by niki_73
The procedure was painless and he only cried because she had to force him to open his mouth wide, t made me green to see it done to my 7 week old son so I would suggest not looking.
I agree - it LOOKS much worse than it actually is. I did watch. It really wasn't that bad, but as adults we think about how it would feel if our frenulum were clipped - but in babies at that age, it's extremely thin, like tissue paper. So it's not the same.

Personally, I would really suggest doing it if you're having milk supply issues. I think the chance you take on it not being the root cause is very small, the pain not so bad, and there is much to gain from getting it done. Milk supply issues are very stressful and can affect your BF relationship long-term. If you want to nurse long-term, that is.

Now that the search function is back on, you could also see other people who've asked about it. I asked back in the day as well (5 months ago).
 

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we had dd's short frenulum clipped my our much beloved midwife. she had the classic heart shaped tounge and i had made a comment about needing to breathe more through her latching on and nursing than i did during labor. i think we did it at her three day check up and we were all so worried about the pain it might cause her but she honestly cried more about being weighed than she did after the snip and our sweetest ever midwife did it so quickly and confidently and there was literally only a drop of blood.
breastfeeding has been pain free ever since (all three plus years of it). [who knows - could have just been timing...] but the effect was immediate, although i didn't realize how much so at the time, only in hindsight and talking to other moms who had decided to/not to do it.
that said, i totally understand why one might hesitate (or decline) to do it. i didn't want to do it, either, but i actually think in dd's situation it made nursing easier for her and me, both.
again, who knows, but i've never had supply issues either.
i hope it didn't hurt more than it seemed to - but i really do feel it helped to set us up for the glorious course of goofy-happy-playful nursing that we're still on.
good luck mama.
 

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Abby's frenulum was attached to the end. It seemed like she had a good latch, but I think it was still a problem. We took her to an ENT who zapped it with a laser. It healed very quickly with minimal pain. She nursed right away afterwards.

I would recommend looking into the laser option if you can find one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Forgive my ignorance - what is an ENT?

Thanks. And thanks for the info. We'll be talking to the midwife on Monday to see if she will do it or knows anyone who will, since dd's pediatrician won't...

Hopefully it will make a difference, both to the quantity of milk and the ease of nursing and nipple pain.
 

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Our dd has a very tight frenulum (she still has a heart-shaped tongue at 14 months). Our ped discouraged us from clipping it because I guess the data shows that there is almost never a long-term effect--the frenulum supposedly stretches over time. However, I agree with all the pps who said it makes nursing less comfortable. I had pain-on-latching really bad for about the first 6 weeks. Made nursing a real trial. However, she gained very well so it obviously didn't cause low supply. As I'm sure your lcs have told you, the very best thing you can do for your supply is just nurse constantly. I probably nursed newborn dd at least twice an hour most of the day. Hard if it's uncomfortable but it's worth it in the end.
 

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DS was born with a slight tongue-tie as well. We saw a specialist and he said as long as the baby was gaining weight adequately, he wouldn't do anything. My son is on the small side, but his physical/emotional/social development is great. I think it also really stretched or tore a bit on his own because he can really stick his tongue out now!
 

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Simon's tongue was tied. I was glad he was my 2nd baby because I wouldn't have known nursing wasn't supposed to feel like that!

We had to hunt far and wide to find a pediatrician who would do it, but at around 3 weeks, we had his frenulum clipped. It took about 1 minute, no tears at all, one square of gauze to catch the blood, and nursing was instantly different for us both. We're really glad we did what we did.

I've researched it a lot and learned that the frenulum is barely a membrane until around 6 weeks, then it starts to thicken and develop nerves, etc. After around 2 months, it does hurt the child, but supposedly, not before.
 

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elm.vermont - thinking of you and hope everything is going well, no matter what you decided in the end. sending milk and pain-free-nipple vibes,
aileen
 

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We had the same problem, though nobody figured out that she had tongue tie until she was several months old. I had horrible pain when she nursed for a good 2 months and my nipples were blistered and bleeding. Anyway...we decided to wait and see with her, since my nursing issues had passed. The poor thing, we couldnt understand a word she was saying when she started talking. At 3, we took her into a speech therapist who did some testing and determined that although she had an excellent vocabulary, she was unable to say certain sounds because of her tongue tie. In May (3.5 years old) she had her tongue clipped under general. The difference was immediate, we can actually understand her now and she doesnt get so frustrated.
With my 3rd, I had the midwives check her tongue immediately. Her frenulum is pretty far up front but she doesnt have tongue tie, so we didnt do anything. If she did though, I was going to have her tongue clipped right then. I did NOT want to go through that pain again, and then have to put my dd through surgery (although she had to have her tonsils out anyway, so we did it at the same time).
Oh, my midwives also said that they do clip frenulums at births-not frequently, but enough-and that most of the babies dont even really cry because there are very few nerves in it at that age. They said usually there is just a drop of blood, the baby nurses, and all are fine. (of course, I have heard people say the same about circ and I dont believe that for a second)
 

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We had DS's frenulum snipped by our Ped because he was ripping me to shreds. It did bleed a little, but the difference was great. It wasn't the end of our problems because he also has an extremely high palate (and the only fix for that is time!), but I really could tell the difference in the degree my nipples hurt. I think he was 3 or 4 weeks? He screamed like a banshee, but I really do think that's because someone was holding his mouth open as he was FINE once it was over. Not a peep at all.
 

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We struggled with this issue also. I was having VERY painful nursing, it was not only painful latching, but the whole time while he nursed. I thought this was "normal" (my breasts getting used to it) and when he was a week old, a home visit nurse looked and said she was surprised no one at the hospital mentioned the tight frenulum. I researched it and got opinions and we had it clipped a week later when he was 2 weeks old. It was very quick (we were not in the room with him) he seemed fine and fed right afterwards. I still have painful latch on problems but I am glad we got it clipped.

It is tough decision because everyone has their own opinion about it (peds, lactation consultants, etc).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by little_monkeys
They said usually there is just a drop of blood, the baby nurses, and all are fine. (of course, I have heard people say the same about circ and I dont believe that for a second)
Yeah, but have you watched a circ video? It looks pretty different from the baby's perspective, I think. My baby never screamed like that for the TT clip. Also, with TT, you're fixing a problem, whereas with circ, there was no problem to begin with!
 
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