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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having some breastfeeding issues and I'm wondering if anyone can offer thoughts/opinions on this.

My dd was born at 37 weeks on the dot. She started nursing the first hour after birth and latched right on. This is my 5th and I've breastfed them all, so I'm fairly well versed in correct latch and such. She *was* latching beautifully and seemed to be doing great, until my milk came in.

Now theres some concern because she is still losing weight and is boarderline for going over the 10% weight loss thing. She was 6lbs 10oz at birth and was down to 6lbs as of yesterday. And I'm worried because I can tell she's having a very hard time latching on-more often then not she's basically gumming my nipple and it takes many many tries to get her on properly. Its really frustrating since she was doing sooo well until my milk came in! I don't know why that messed her up!

Anyway, it was noted yesterday at my post partum appointment that she also has tongue tie pretty badly. Her tongue can barely make it past her gums. Now, when my older dd had bad tongue tie, I knew something was majorly wrong, because my nipples hurt so bad, they were cracked, bleeding, blistering....that isn't the case this time. I mean, they hurt, but not much, more normal getting used to booby feeding soreness than anything. Maybe its just because I've nursed so many kiddos? Or her tongue tie just isn't as bad? I dunno...

So it was suggested to me that I get her tongue clipped
While I'll do it if it will help, I'm just worried that that isn't really the problem and I'll put her through that pain for nothing. I HATE to put her through it, I really do. But at the same time, nursing is become a terrible pain. Its taking me an hour or longer to get her on properly. Even with that though, I'm not sure she's nursing well...today she downed almost 4 ounces of pumped milk and that was after nursing on both sides.

I guess I just need to be told that I'm doing the right thing by getting her tongue clipped and hoping that it'll help. I'm not really sure, I just feel so bad!!
 

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I'm pregnant right now and have already confirmed with a doctor friend that if my baby is tongue-tied she'll clip it right away! The 2 indications for clipping are: 1) nipple pain OR 2) baby not gaining well. It only takes 1 of the 2 indications to be worth the clipping.

It makes such a difference. I have seen this friend clip about 20, and the baby nurses right after and usually the mother says "he's not sucking!" when baby IS sucking - because it feel SO much better and baby transfers milk so much better.

And the procedure is really quick. The baby may cry because she doesn't like the doctor's finger in her mouth, but she'll nurse right after and there is rarely more than 1 little drop of blood.

I'd really consider it if I were you.
 

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If her tongue-tie was already confirmed at your post-partum appointment, I'd say it's worth having it clipped. The troubles you're having sound like classic tongue-tie behavior, and if she can't move her tongue beyond her gums, she's almost definitely having trouble expressing milk from your breast. My son was tongue-tied. It was noted during my first consultation with an IBCLC, but she suggested not clipping it right away, because he was gaining weight and had a pretty good suck. But I was in so much pain!! I never really had blisters, but my nipples were always pink and sore and I did have a bit of bleeding. We finally had it clipped at three weeks, and it actually took a few more weeks for my nipples to heal, but eventually it got much much better.

Did you have your older DD's tongue clipped? It really is a minor procedure. My DS cried more when the doctor loked in his ears than he did when the frenulum was clipped! He nursed immediately afterward and seemed no worse for the wear. I sympathise with feeling like you don't want to do it if it's not necessary, I had the same concerns. But her tongue tie seems to be obvious, and you're having troubles that are commonly related to tongue-tie - IMHO, it's worth getting it clipped.

Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, unfortunately despite seeing at LEAST a dozen LC's, no one ever noticed her severe tongue tie. She kept gaining weight fine, it was just my nipples that were worse for wear and everyone just kept saying well, she's latched fine so we don't know whats wrong. After about 2 months she apparently managed to figure out some way to nurse without hurting me...but she did get it clipped at 4 years old due to it causing major speech problems. (She was already knocked out for another procedure so at least she wasn't awake!!) Obviously I don't want that to happen again either...

I'm calling first thing in the morning as her latch is just getting worse instead of better. I really don't get why she started off fine and its getting harder and harder for her to latch, but it is. I should be able to get her in tomorrow and I guess we'll be getting it done then. Hopefully it'll help!!
 

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Ah, I see. Honestly, the procedure is a breeze. I was worried sick about getting it done - DS is my first child, and this was his first medical procedure of any kind. We saw a pediatric ENT specialist, who looked in his mouth, said, "yup, he's tongue tied," and snipped it with a little pair of scissors while I held him. DS was kind of mad about being held, but didn't seem to be in pain. I nursed him immediately afterward, which apparently helps stop the (minimal) bleeding as well as provide comfort. IMO, it's also worth having it done as an infant to prevent speech difficulties down the line, as you experienced. I was told that a clipping the frenulum of an older child almost always requires general anesthesia, because the frenulum grows stronger and more sensitive as they get older, but with an infant it's easy-peasy. My doula told me that back in the day, midwives used to keep a sharp fingernail to snip a tight frenulum after birth! (I've since read the same thing elsewhere.) DS's tongue looks totally normal now, and I'm really glad we had it done.
Hope everything goes well!
 

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Just wanted to add -

Like the PP said, the indications for TT are pain or failure to gain weight, and either one can be justification for clipping. Here's how it was explained to me. In my case (and perhaps with your older daughter), I was in pain because DS had basically figured out a way to get milk despite the TT - and whatever it was, it was causing trauma to my nipples, though he was gaining weight. On the other hand, some babies just can't get a good latch going - so it doesn't hurt, but they're not able to get enough milk. So, just because you're not hurting doesn't mean it's not TT.
 

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We're dealing with this now. He's no longer TT, but he had both anterior and posterior TT. He lost a lot of weight in the beginning. Wasn't gaining when he was EBF. His latch didn't feel awful, but I could tell it wasn't a good latch. I did have sore/cracked nipples the first week, which I attributed to just working out the kinks. I also had low supply because he was unable to drive/stimulate my supply with his incorrect latch and weak suck. The anterior was clipped when he was 11 days old. Went back to EBF. He continued to lose weight. Called the LC again to rent a pump 'cause he was declared FTT. Was considerably below birth weight at 3 weeks old.


I pumped and took herbs to build my supply. LC determined he had a posterior TT as well. I continued to EP until we could figure out what to do next. The two ENTs in my area that do them don't accept my insurance. The LC managed to get one of the ENTs to do it at a *very* discounted price. He had it done last Tuesday. He returned to the breast on Wednesday and I definitely felt a difference. He's still practicing since he was on the bottle for a five weeks and when he was on the breast his latch and suck weren't great.

I'm still anxious about whether I'll see him gain weight and thrive while being EBF. My baby scale is frustrating me because I keep getting different readings. I want to know he's gaining appropriately. I'm giving him .5 ounce to 1 ounce upfront before putting him to the breast. Give him some energy to work harder at the breast. I keep wondering if I'm doing something.
I didn't have all these struggles with my girls. Didn't have to worry about suck pattern, diaper output, recording weight readings, latch, etc. :sigh: I wonder if I'll ever be able to EBF him.
 
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