Baby with tongue tie - any experiences?

(172 Posts)
Sparkeleigh Wed 06-Nov-13 12:00:00

My baby has been diagnosed with a tongue tie. He wouldn't bf at all on hospital unless the midwives squished my boob and shoved him into it and they were concerned about him not feeding so eventually I gave him formula to get home.

Since then my milk has come in and I've been expressing. I saw a Lll leader yesterday who diagnosed tongue tie, and said clipping it could improve how he feeds.

Does anyone have experience with a baby with tongue tie and did you get it clipped?

My DH feels that if it's just to make our lives easier and get more sleep it's a bit selfish to put him through it. He's been feeding and changing DS at night while I express but I'm worried at how practical this will be when his paternity leave is over.

I don't know what to do, it seems easier to do it now when he's only a week old than later and I'd really like to breastfeed him, even if that is a bit selfish. I've tried nipple shields and he seems to be able to feed through those but they're so fiddly and need constantly sterilised they're not practical for all feeds.

Thanks to anyone who read that essay!

perfectstorm Wed 06-Nov-13 19:40:25

My DH feels that if it's just to make our lives easier and get more sleep it's a bit selfish to put him through it.

Bluntly, your DH isn't the one having to express, nor even clean bottles and do all the feeding when he's back at work. If you get the tie sorted, you're likelier to successfully breastfeed, which is very much in your baby's interests. And oral development isn't as supported by bottle feeding as it is breast - expressing is an improvement on formula, definitely, but not as good as breastfeeding for a range of reasons. I expressed as DS was never able to feed in any sustained way - gave up trying at 5 months - so I also know the workload involved, which increases enormously as the baby grows - they eat litres of milk a day by the time they're 6 months, which you have to extract and then give them. Your DH does not have the right to call it selfish for you to want to cut out an uncomfortable, boring and labour intensive process he can't possibly do himself. Especially as that would be time and energy ideally spent in playing with your baby!

mawbroon Wed 06-Nov-13 19:44:00

Honeybee, sure, mums know best about how feeding is going, but they are not all clued up on the far reaching effects that untreated ties can have.

There is way more to it than feeding and speech. DS1 is undergoing early orthodontic treatment to correct the distortion in his orofacial structure caused by his tongue tie. It is costing us ££££ (NHS are not interested) and could have been corrected or at least minimised by having it revised when he was a baby.

Standingonlego Wed 06-Nov-13 19:44:36

Perfect storm - after a awful failed referral process (grinur consultant doesn't like doing them you know said the PA) we struck lucky and got a name. Mr Griffiths! 300m round trip to Southampton, a truly wonderful man. Cried all over him when he said i can do it right now, it will make a difference, so glad you are here. DS now 7 and reading this over my shoulder. BF well. weaned great and speech ace. He recommended me to my local baby cafe, to help me reestablish direct to breast. OP - DO IT

Standingonlego Wed 06-Nov-13 19:46:14

Not selfish at all...DH talking nonsense grin....in babies interest 100% now for BF and for the future for all the good reasons outlined by all responders.

EugenesAxe Wed 06-Nov-13 19:47:56

No I had it done with DD and found it to be nothing at all in the trauma stakes. I am a very down to earth person though. They advised it's best not to watch (I guess in case the image stays with you) so off I went and I had barely sat down before she was brought out. Don't remember any blood or anything like that.

I would have it done as sore nipples are a bitch and I heard also it can have an impact on speech. It's not selfish at all.

Standingonlego Wed 06-Nov-13 19:53:49

It really does only take seconds. It sounds scary, but it was fine. Had far more tears cutting toenails grin. all done and dusted in a couple of minutes.

nicola1982 Wed 06-Nov-13 19:54:18

My DD2 had her tongue tie cut at 14 days after having a similar experience to FishandJam. I had massive problems breastfeeding - bleeding nipples, mastitis, feeding for several hours at a time, underweight baby and couldn't work out what the problem was.
DD2 checked by doctors and midwives who all missed the tongue tie. It was at 12 days that I spotted it at home and took her to A and E as GP wouldn't see her without a birth certificate. Somehow we hadn't got around to that 12 days post birth! We had to supplement with formula as weight loss was over 10% of birth weight. It was a very emotional time; I felt pretty useless that I was unable to feed her the way I had planned to and was exhausted from the constant attempts to feed. The cut was done under general anaesthetic two days later which was quite scary but the improvement was amazing and she put on 3ozs within 24hrs. I was able to continue breastfeeding but had to pump for a few weeks in addition to normal feeds to improve my supply.
It's definitely worth doing.

Ineedanewone Wed 06-Nov-13 19:59:21

My eldest is now an adult, and she has a tongue tie. I remember only too well the pain of latching and the cracked nipples that I endured for months. I did persevere with bf but it was very hard, and I woukd recommend anyone reading this to have the procedure carried out asap. It was never mentioned to me as an option and I just assumed I was doing something 'wrong'.
However her speech and teeth have not been adversely affected, and she has never needed orthodontics.

Ineedanewone Wed 06-Nov-13 20:00:50

Just to say my subsequent children did not have tt, and the difference in feeding them was immeasurable.

Whykickamoocow Wed 06-Nov-13 20:11:17

I'd say get it done. Mine was snipped by the dentist at 13 (I'm now 40). Was done under local anaesthetic. It hurt but not for long. Never adversely affected my speech, and I'm still not sure of why it was done as I was way past it being an issue by then. DS's was done at 2 days. We had proper issues with bf and even by then I had cracked nipples, but it improved a rubbish situation no end. No regrets.

Cakebaker35 Wed 06-Nov-13 20:15:39

My DD's tongue tie went undiagnosed until she was 3 months. We had an awful time bf'ing and when it was finally diagnosed it was thought to be mild but worth doing to aid feeding etc. So we went for it and it was awful, the hospital where we live doesn't snip but cauterises and my poor DD just howled and howled, then she was in pain for a good 10 days afterwards and terribly upset and clingy. She did then bf much better but honestly I would only get a minor tongue tie snipped in future and as early as possible - I do think the earlier you do it the better as my firend's DD had the procedure at 10 days and was fine.

OBface Wed 06-Nov-13 20:36:51

Similar story here, my DD's tongue tie went undiagnosed even after going back to hospital at 5 days old having lost 18% of her birth weight. On discharge a week later it was diagnosed but there was no provision for having it sorted in our local NHS. We ended up going to a private midwife in the next county who snipped it in her living room with minimum fuss/discomfort.

I'd get it done.

Papyrus02 Wed 06-Nov-13 21:01:09

I echo all that has been said by other posters. Both my dd had TT. DD1 had hers cut at about 10 days. She barely stirred. Youngest had hers done at about 18 days and she did scream like a banshee for a moment, but no bleeding and she was fine within minutes.

The change to breast feeding was brilliant. Had been incredibly painful. I'd get it done if I was you. Research on the internet. Mr Griffiths at Southampton hospital has been mentioned. Google him and you'll find lots of info.

Fishandjam Wed 06-Nov-13 21:08:25

OP, where are you based? If near Cambs I can give you my LC's contact details.

NichyNoo Wed 06-Nov-13 21:08:26

DS2 was snipped at 2 days old in hospital (not in UK). Took about 3 minutes, he cried for about 30 seconds, tiny bit of blood.

seafoodudon Wed 06-Nov-13 21:17:46

Apologies, not read whole thread so may have already been said. I completely agree with the consensus that getting it cut is a good thing. I would add that there might be massive waiting lists on NHS (in Manchester I was told 8 weeks + as we weren't urgent because I was breast feeding and baby putting on weight - apparently the fact that I was bleeding profusely and trying to explain that I couldn't keep it up due to the pain didn't qualify us as being a priority). We went privately which cost around £100 and was booked in for the next day. You are fab to be expressing, but I knew I would never keep up expressing for 8 weeks.

abigboydidit Wed 06-Nov-13 21:20:57

DS latched on with no issues but I was left with nipples like new lipsticks. In the end an older auxiliary nurse suggested tongue tie. Couldn't stick his tongue out and looked like a heart shape when he was crying. Doc said they wouldn't snip it but we insisted and it was cut when he was 6 days old. My milk came in the next day! He didn't even flinch getting it done.

DD felt really uncomfortable when feeding. Hard to describe but just felt wrong. Infant feeding nurse said it was a posterior tongue tie and offered to snip it which we accepted. She was only a day old I think. Immediately feeding became more comfortable.

Standingonlego Wed 06-Nov-13 21:36:12

Oh yes...go private for speed...we faffed around sorting out with axa and stuff (adding on new baby) and it turned out was only #150. That was 7 years ago with Mr Griffiths in Southampton, no doubt some inflation in price now but worth every penny.

Uneasypeasy Wed 06-Nov-13 21:39:09

My DD had a PTT. Bf was incredibly painful and she had to feed very frequently. She struggled to regain her birth weight and was jaundiced. I literally ran around everywhere looking for advice, but kept being told the latch looked fine and positioning was good etc. I finally figured I was just rubbish at bf! I went to my HV 6 week check and the HV was shocked when I told her how much pain I was in and suggested TT, because one of her DCs had one!

She referred me to a lactation nurse, who confirmed the PTT & high palate and referred us for the revision when DD was 7 weeks, we had the revision done at 10 weeks (the lactation nurse put me on a painkiller regime so I could continue bf while we waited!). We went to Mr Griffiths clinic at Southampton and it was the best thing we did, they talked us through everything and then let us decide if we still wanted to go ahead, which we did. The procedure was very quick, DD didn't seem to notice it had happened and bled very little. The first latch on afterwards was a revelation! It took some time for her to learn to get it right every time (rather than mashing me with her gums!), but she's 9 mths now and were still bf.

It's certainly not selfish on your part to have it done, quite the opposite! As others have said, there are very few nerves around that area and from my experience, DD was not bothered by the procedure, but certainly benefitted from the results. Good luck OP.

PolkadotRosa Wed 06-Nov-13 21:40:33

Hello sparkeleigh My baby had a posterior tongue tie. We too were in two minds about getting it done, but I am so glad we did. It made such a difference, immediately after he fed beautifully and the toe-curling pain I'd been enduring vanished. It was so quick, he cried for a second and after feeding made coo-ing and gurgling sounds that he'd never ever made before. So absolutely no regrets here. I'm sure now that my DD had a tongue-tie too, but it was never identified (not the same level of BF support when home) and I had no idea then about TT and how feeding etc is affected but reading up on it since it all fits.
Hope that helps. And congrats!

BonaDea Wed 06-Nov-13 21:42:00

Get the tongue tie snipped. Your baby will not remember anything about it and it will allow you to get on with feeding in peace.

Your DH is being an idiot.

missymum Wed 06-Nov-13 21:43:46

Dd2 had Tt and I had it snipped at 7 days... Am also an ex h/v and have enough experience of Tt babies to know that there is rarely any benefit to leaving it be.. It's not possible to predict if your baby will go on to develop speech problems but in my humble opinion it's such a brief simple procedure it's better to have it divided in most cases. Have never known a single parent regret the decision .

I actually work for the same trust as mr griffiths, he is indeed a lovely man! should be one in every hospital! ...interestingly (is that even a word?!) I see both sides at work and the midwives are much keener to get the tongue ties cut than the paediatricians but if you want it done they will do it

LongTailedTit Wed 06-Nov-13 22:29:43

I definitely recommend getting it snipped, ASAP, and follow up appointments too. Tongue ties can regrow!

DS had both front and back ties, both severely restricting his tongue movement. He was fed on formula and expressed BM for his first month as he simply couldn't latch onto boob, and it was v painful.

His front tie was snipped at 1wo, and both the re-grown front tie and a posterior tie were snipped at 4wo. Feeding got gradually easier after the 2nd snipping, he then had expressed BM and BF while he learnt to latch, then BF happily until 2yo.

The problems we had establishing feeding definitely contributed to my PND as the first few months feeds were very long, and I couldn't rest between feed attempts as I was expressing. Exhausting.

TT is not always a problem however -
DH, his brother, and his nephew all have tongue ties. DH and BIL were both BF fine, and have no other related issues.
DNephew had awful trouble BFing as the TT wasn't discovered for several months. SIL insisted we had DS checked ASAP due to the trouble they had - otherwise we would have had no idea! Can't thank her enough.
On the other hand -
A friend had TT diagnosed as a child due to speech issues, it was decided not to snip, as an adult she has some speech difficulties and a very pronounced jaw, both apparently due to her TT.

asuwere Wed 06-Nov-13 22:29:45

I was TT as a baby - my mum tried to get it snipped early (she remembers her little brother getting it done in his pram as a baby) but at the time, it wasn't considered the done thing. Never effected my feeding in any way (bf for 6months). I then got it done at 3yrs - was under a GA which I still remember but I still can't stick my tongue out! I've never had any problems though.

DS1 was very slightly TT but he burst it himself at about 6 weeks while he was poking in his mouth! DD1 and DD2 are both TT, I chose not to do anything about it. I bf all of them for over a year each with no problems and none of them have had any speech problems.

It's difficult to know what is right. DD1 had an op as a baby and it was purely cosmetic and I felt very guilty about it but I think it was the right thing to do. You'll never know for sure as you can't compare it to anything else, it's the same as any other decision I guess, you just have to do what you think is right smile

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